The True Cost: Deploying Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Nationwide

President Biden announced a goal to install 500,000 new electric vehicle chargers across the nation by 2030 when he signed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law into action. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Office tasked the experts at Idaho National Laboratory to answer big questions surrounding this goal. One of the questions of which involves determining the true cost of electric vehicle operation to ultimately enable their widespread adoption as understanding this cost will allow the transportation sector to provide an equitable and affordable solution for all Americans.

According to Clean Technica, In response, INL researchers published a report that demonstrates a model to standardize cost data for charging infrastructure. This report will help policymakers understand how much it would cost to deploy a national charging network. Amid this research, though, researchers realized their original cost model couldn’t give them the answers they needed.

“We had worked on a report last year where we analyzed charger-related costs mostly with data from one charger installation service provider,” said Jean Chu, an INL researcher who coauthored the paper. “Then we decided to expand upon that work and analyze costs of charging equipment more broadly.”

The team quickly ran into a significant snag. The goal of the paper was to use meta-analysis and a literature review to establish the average cost of charging station infrastructure for many different applications. Meta-analysis refers to a social science technique where researchers evaluate existing literature on a topic to try to produce an aggregate figure for the phenomenon in question — in this case, the average costs associated with charging infrastructure.

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