Publication Detail

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


Research Report

Suggested Citation:
Jenn, Alan (2021) Charging Forward: Deploying Electric Vehicle Infrastructure for Uber and Lyft in California. Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Davis, Research Report UCD-ITS-RR-20-63

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) modelwas developedto examine a set of case studies for charger installation in San Diego, Los Angeles, and the San Francisco Bay Area. Aset of sensitivity scenarioswas also conductedto 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 ofcharging (to minimize the amount of time that drivers have to wait to charge their vehicle). There are several notable findings from thestudy: 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 EVowning public.

Key words: Electric vehicles, charging infrastructure, transportation network companies, Clean Miles Standard