MIMS Final Project 2021

GEAR: Gaps Explorer for Accessibility and Readiness of California Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure

Transportation accounts for 40% of the GHG emissions in California. To fight against climate change and mitigate GHG emissions. To fight against climate change and reduce air pollution, California must rapidly transition its vehicle fleets to zero-emission in the next decade. The latest California Air Resources Board (CARB) decarbonization scenario modeling suggested 70% of new cars sales in 2030 need to be Zero-Emission Vehicles (ZEVs) (CARB, 2020). The share must reach 100% by 2035, as mandated in 2020 by the Governor (CA State Government, 2020). It is an important marker in phasing out internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles and continuing to reduce the reliance on fossil fuels for its economy. As a result of the new sales goal, it is then estimated that 8 million light-duty ZEVs will be on the road by 2030 (CARB, 2020), and 1.5 million public and shared private chargers are needed (CEC, 2021). These are much more ambitious than the 5 million ZEVs and 250,000 chargers goals set by the former Governor in 2018.

Our project focuses on exploring the gaps in accessibility of EV charging infrastructure in California. To align with the primary goal of ZEV Market Development Strategy to accelerate large-scale, affordable, and equitable ZEV market development, we have the following project objectives:

  • Understand EV users’ persona and their current issues with charging
  • Explore gaps in charger equity in terms of demographic attributes of communities
  • Explore gaps in charger scale compared to forecasted demand and understand how policies can help close the gaps faster

We utilized information visualization methods and web development frameworks to build a web-based visualization tool to present our findings. We also applied natural language processing for an aspect-based sentiment analysis on EV users’ reviews of charging infrastructure, and the results are in the project.

Last updated:

May 13, 2021