Can public slow charging accelerate plug-in electric vehicle sales? A simulation of charging infrastructure usage and its impact on plug-in electric vehicle sales for Germany
Alternative fuel vehicles face the lack of refueling infrastructure as one obstacle to market diffusion and potential operators of refueling stations await significant market shares before constructing a dense refueling network. The resulting lock-in effect or chicken-egg-problem has scarcely been analyzed for plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) up to now. The research question of this article is How much public charging infrastructure for PEVs is needed and is there mutual interaction in the diffusion of public charging infrastructure and electric vehicles? Here, we present an agent-based market diffusion model for PEVs and their charging infrastructure that is based on a large number of individual driving profiles for private and commercial car holders in Germany. Our results demonstrate the possibility of a market diffusion in Germany without any slow public charging infrastructure until 2030. Although a charging point at home is obligatory for early adopters, the second-best option for an infrastructure set-up is at work where the majority of vehicles is parked for a long time during the day, the installation is not costly and users profit more than from public facilities. Public slow charging facilities do not increase PEV market shares and they need to be subsidized for a long time.