Use travel data, expert insights and PG&E's grid for siting electric vehicle charging stations

This project provides useful information on potential locations for siting Direct Current Fast Chargers (DCFCs) for electric vehicles within PG&E’s service territory. The tools below can help developers identify potential site hosts for chargers based on preferences of drivers, hosts, and developers as well as forecasted unmet need in 2025 and available transformer capacity. The tools provide useful data on factors that influence EV driver convenience, access, and use.


Understanding DC Fast Charging

A DCFC is a high-powered EV charging station that can completely recharge a typical EV’s battery in about 30 minutes. These fast chargers provide an essential backbone for EV drivers, enabling faster corridor travel and emergency charging. DCFCs can help encourage new adoption of EVs by reducing range anxiety.


Aiding in Deployments of DCFCs

While DCFCs are essential to supporting the growth of EVs, finding suitable locations for DCFC installations can be difficult and expensive, often requiring infrastructure upgrades due to their high power needs. This Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) technology demonstration project used state travel data with other important factors related to EV driver convenience and accessibility to identify the top 300 areas in PG&E’s territory predicted to have the highest unmet EV charging demand in 2025. Within each area, potential site locations for DCFCs were identified based on criteria from drivers, potential charger hosts, and network developers, as well as current available capacity at the service transformer to install two or more DCFCs without necessitating an upgrade to the distribution service transformer.


The interactive map, Micro-Siting Tool and report described below are intended for use by DCFC developers, state agencies, cities, municipalities, and others, to provide useful data for siting DCFCs with the intent of minimizing installation cost, maximizing EV adoption, and supporting disadvantaged communities.


Map Tool:

PG&E created an interactive map tool that can be used by PG&E and third party developers for exploring potential DCFC sites identified by PG&E. The map displays the 300 1-mile radius bubbles (in light green) where there is an expected unmet need for fast charging locations by 2025. Each bubble is numbered based on priority of the highest forecasted unmet need for DC Fast Charger sites based on vehicle travel data and existing DC sites (e.g. Bubble #1 represents the location with highest forecasted unmet need). Zooming in on any individual bubble will reveal individual sites (shown as bright green dots) which have been identified as potential DCFC hosts. Clicking the bright green dots within each bubble will display information about potential sites, including address, business name, and site type. PG&E notes that decisions on where to locate DCFCs will be based on multiple factors in addition to those in this project. The data in this project may be useful for identifying some of the factors used to site DCFCs, but other factorssuch as community needs, more local driving patterns, availability of other EV charging facilities, and land use planning and environmental criteria, will also be relevant to DCFC siting decisions.


This tool may be useful to charging network developers and planners looking to identify new areas or sites for adding DCFCs to their network. It may also be helpful for municipalities, public agencies, utilities, automakers, or others interested in expanding access to fast charging within a specific region.


Download the full EPIC report:

The EPIC project report provides an in-depth overview, results, lessons learned, and knowledge transfer plan of the demonstration conducted for this project, as well as best practices for DCFC siting based on expert interviews. Download Pacific Gas and Electric Company EPIC 1.25 (PDF, 2.8 MB)


Request the Micro-Siting Tool:

The Micro-Siting Tool allows developers to search for specific DCFC sites depending on preferred specifications. Users can filter all 14,000+ identified sites based on location, business type, available transformer capacity for DCFCs, and also score sites based on further investigation for minimum conditions for EV drivers. To receive a copy, please email EPIC_info@pge.com.


Starting a DCFC Installation?

For those interested in moving forward with the installation of a DCFC, use the below resources to begin a project with PG&E, or contact your account representative:


Project Contributors

In addition to PG&E, this project and report was a collaboration between several contributors, including:

  • University of California, Davis, Institute for Transportation Studies
  • Energy and Environmental Economics (E3)
  • PlugShare
  • Ricardo

Disclaimer

  • Map and excel information is static and may not reflect changes in sites or transformer capacity since the time the report was complete. Customer information, procured from an independent third party, is also static. Data is current as of February 2016.
  • The analysis performed for this report is only for areas served by PG&E’s electric distribution system. Areas served by other utilities or municipalities are not included.
  • This report does not represent PG&E’s recommendation or endorsement of particular locations or regions for siting DCFCs, and factors other than the factors in this report will be relevant to siting decisions.
  • While this project identified sites with sufficient distribution transformer capacity, other distribution upgrades may be required based on existing conditions and size of DCFC deployment.

About the Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC)

The Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) is a customer-funded program that enables PG&E to work with the other California Investor-Owned Utilities and the California Energy Commission (CEC) to develop Smart Grid technology demonstration and deployment programs, which are important contributions to enhancing areas tied to our core values of providing safe, reliable and affordable energy for our customers.