FASTER : a site-selection methodology for journey EV chargers

Sims, Ryan and Hunter, Lewis (2022) FASTER : a site-selection methodology for journey EV chargers. In: CIRED Porto Workshop 2022, 2022-06-02 - 2022-06-03, Centro de Congressos da Alfândega do Porto.

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The FASTER project is a €6.4 million EU INTERREG V funded project led by East Border Region Ltd in partnership with the University of Strathclyde and HiTrans (Highlands and Islands Transport Partnership). The project aims to reduce the impact of fossil fuels and transport emissions through the delivery of 73 new publicly accessible rapid (≥50kW) charging points across Western Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Border Region of the Republic of Ireland to support drivers as they make the switch to electric vehicles. The FASTER project is currently working with several rural local authorities across Western Scotland to identify suitable locations for 24 rapid chargers which will be installed throughout 2022. Scotland already has an extensive publicly-owned charging network covering the country. The challenge with further infrastructure deployment is balancing user-demand (i.e. supplementing infrastructure at busy charging sites) while ensuring geospatial coverage – all whilst minimizing the costs associated with connecting to local distribution network. The team at the Power Networks Demonstration Centre has implemented a layered modelling approach to help identify candidate sites for rapid charger deployment. This methodology considers charging demand forecasts, geospatial coverage, existing usage rates and site-specific metrics including land ownership and user convenience. The model produces a ranked-order list and an interactive GIS (geographic information system) mapping file to help support local authorities and transport partnerships understand priority locations for EV infrastructure. The top identified sites were assessed from a power-capacity perspective to anticipate where costly grid connections are likely and mitigate against them prior to formal connection applications. The data-underpinning the entire process uses publicly available data to provide a transparent process for local authorities. Results from power capacity studies were disseminated to non-technical partners via a ‘traffic-light’ approach to help demonstrate why some sites may be more challenging to implement than others. This paper will present the methodology developed for the FASTER project and will provide case-studies demonstrating the benefits of the approach. In one such case study, savings of c. £35k were achieved through minor relocation (<1 km) of a potential site (noting that the total average site budget including the purchase of the rapid EV charger itself was c. £45k). The paper will also highlight the data-sources required to repeat this study for other areas and outline learnings discovered through this process. Finally, the paper will summarise several ways the outlined methodology could be developed further. This will include a description of how the methodology can be used to collaborate with DNOs as they try to identify areas of the network that require forward investment for electrification of transport. It will also include a description of how the methodology's outputs could form the basis of a valuable open data set to be used by public and private stakeholders across the transport and energy industries. Several images are attached to this abstract showing the material presented to local authority partners in the project.