NYC: electric commute, taxis and fast electric vehicle charging

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Preparing for New York’s transition to cleaner, quieter electric cars for rent

Get off the sidewalk to hail a taxi. Jump in a taxi to return from the station. For more than a century, these yellow sedans have been iconic symbols of New York City and a daily presence in the lives of its residents.

In recent years, ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft have taken over a significant portion of the journeys traditionally provided by taxis. While conventional taxi service lives on, more changes are on the way, as rental cars in America’s largest city switch to cleaner, quieter electric vehicles (EVs).

Researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) are working to ensure that the city’s electric vehicle charging network and local utilities can meet future demands for more than 100,000 electric cars for rent. The results of a first study on ride-hailing services were recently published in the journal iScience.

“While automotive technology has advanced, there is still a long way to go before we have the infrastructure in place to support all of these electric vehicles,” said Matthew Moniot, lead author and NREL research engineer. “Decision makers in industry and government must determine the ideal number, types and locations of charging stations – and a multitude of factors must be weighed before making those decisions.”

Moniot and his team of researchers ran simulations leveraging a wealth of data streams, including real-world trip data, driver changeover times, overnight charging access rates, and even weather for explore the need for public fast charging stations. The results reveal economic and operational insights that could prove useful for ride-sharing, utility and charging operations.

The project facilitated discussions and detailed data collection with industry stakeholders, including the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission and utility operator Con Edison. The researchers then fed this information into NREL’s Highly Integrated Vehicle Ecosystem Simulation Framework (HIVE) modeling tool. Based on this data, the HIVE simulation platform was used to model VTC demand for charging over space and time, implementing networks that responded to fleet-level performance metrics. and vehicles.

Both Uber and Lyft have promised aggressive goals to fully electrify their fleets by 2030 across the United States. Historically, drivers for these ride-sharing services used their own vehicles and refueled at the city’s long-established network of gas stations. This means that a shift to a fleet of electric vehicles would not only require more transport service drivers driving electric vehicles, but also convenient access to public fast-charging stations or home charging.

Public fast-charging stations are seen as a particularly crucial element in making the switch to electric journeys for hire viable. Fast charging only takes around 30 minutes, while overnight charging can take up to seven hours. The faster drivers can recharge their batteries, the faster they get back on the street and collect fares.

The high volume of taxis and cabs in New York, along with traffic congestion, makes more frequent charging needed for electric vehicles in the city. Cold winter weather can further limit battery life. Even though EVs only accounted for 30% of rental vehicles, the study results indicate that the city would need to increase the current number of 68 fast-charging ports to more than 1,000 to meet demand.

Yellow cabs have been iconic symbols of New York for over a century. Image courtesy of Brendan Miles.

Insights from the study on where and when demand could increase can help charging network operators come up with strategies to accommodate ride-hailing services as well as the average driver.

“Unsurprisingly, the greatest demand for electric vehicle charging appears to be where most pickups occur in midtown Manhattan,” said the paper’s co-author and transportation systems analyst. integrated energy at NREL, Brennan Borlaug. “However, we have also seen considerable demand for charging near drivers’ residences.”

The research team also found that providing drivers with more convenient overnight charging options in their neighborhoods across New York’s five boroughs could reduce the number of public fast-charging stations needed by up to 65 percent. . However, even this optimistic scenario would still require a substantial expansion of the current fast charger network in New York.

Electric vehicles and their grid-supplied power requirements also represent a major opportunity for utilities interested in the prospects for load growth. However, utilities work hard to predict how much electricity is needed, when and where.

The study, supported by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), highlights how fast charging compares to overnight charging in terms of grid impact. Although charging an individual EV overnight consumes less energy than fast charging, charging a large number of EVs simultaneously can increase demand on the grid during the evening hours. That said, overnight charging was found to be more widely dispersed across the city, and neighborhood charging stations were more consistently used around the clock than fast-charging stations in busy downtown neighborhoods. city.

Just as transport vehicles represent only a small portion of all light vehicles, this is part of a larger New York State effort to identify the infrastructure needed to support the 850,000 vehicle goal. by 2025. A larger study will be published later this year.

“Switching from these ride-sharing services to electric vehicles will not only help reduce air and noise pollution in New York City,” Moniot said. “It will also represent the cutting edge of business model innovations needed to meet ridesharing electrification goals, potentially serving as a model for other cities.”

This research fits into DOE’s broader system-level research efforts, such as the Consortium of Systems Mobility and Modeling Laboratories for Accelerated Transportation Research (SMART).

Read it full newspaper articleexplore the NRELs transport and mobility research and HIVE modeling tooland learn more about NYSERDA.

Article courtesy of National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). By Anya Breitenbach


 


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