Suggested Citation: Tal, Gil, Dillon T. Fitch, Michael A. Nicholas (2014) Modeling the Spatial Distribution of Plug-In Electric Vehicle Owners in California: A GIS Scenario Planning Tool. Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Davis, Working Paper UCD-ITS-WP-14-06
The purpose of this paper is to model the current and potential future distribution of electric vehicles in California. Because of the current growth of the plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) market, there is a need for charging infrastructure planning and analysis of electricity system demand. The primary goal of this work is to demonstrate a flexible geographic information system (GIS) scenario planning tool developed by the PH&EV center at UC Davis and soon available to the public, that can aid the PEV readiness planning process. This paper covers the development of the GIS tool, conducts a simple tool validation through comparison with the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP), and tests two planning scenarios to explore the potential future changes in the distribution of PEV buyers. Validation results indicate that the tool structure may be improved by considering alternative empirical model structures, and new data from current vehicle owners. The results from two future scenarios, one where prices for PEVs drop and another where range for BEVs increases, indicate that the distribution of PEV buyers will likely continue to be clustered in current areas, but become more dispersed with drops in price. However, results suggest the distribution of BEV buyers will stay tightly clustered, even with increases in range.