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STATUS: Complete YEAR: 2018 TOPIC AREA: Sustainability, energy, and health Vehicles and infrastructure CENTER: PSR

Charging Forward: Deploying Electric Vehicle Infrastructure for Uber and Lyft in California

Project Summary

Project number: PSR-18-20

Funding source: US DOT

Contract number: 69A3551747109

Funding amount: $37,981

Project period: 10/1/2018 to 3/31/2020


Project description


With recent policies such as the Clean Miles Standard in California and Lyft's announcement to reach 100% electric vehicles (EVs) by 2030, the electrification of vehicles on ride-hailing platforms is inevitable. The impacts of this transition are not well-studied. This work attempts to examine the infrastructure deployment necessary to meet demand from electric vehicles being driven on Uber and Lyft platforms using empirical trip data from the two services. The Widespread Infrastructure for Ride-hail EV Deployment (WIRED) model was developed to examine a set of case studies for charger installation in San Diego, Los Angeles, and the San Francisco Bay Area. A set of sensitivity scenarios was also conducted to measure the tradeoff between explicit costs of infrastructure versus weighting factors for valuing the time for drivers to travel to a charger (from where they are providing rides) and valuing the rate of charging (to minimize the amount of time that drivers have to wait to charge their vehicle). There are several notable findings from the study: 1) DC fast charging infrastructure is the dominant charger type necessary to meet ride-hailing demand, 2) shifting to overnight charging behavior that places less emphasis on daytime public charging can significantly reduce costs, and 3) the necessary ratio of chargers is approximately 10 times higher for EVs in Uber and Lyft compared to chargers for the general EV owning public.


Link to white paper on eScholarship


Link to research brief on eScholarship




Alan Jenn
Assistant Professional Researcher, Institute of Transportation Studies
1605 Tilia, Suite 100
Davis, CA 95616
United States
[email protected]