A multi-factor GIS method to identify optimal geographic locations for electric vehicle (EV) charging stations
Fuel-based transportation is one of the major contributors to poor air quality in the United States. Electric Vehicle (EV) is potentially the cleanest transportation technology to our environment. This research developed a spatial suitability model to identify optimal geographic locations for installing EV charging stations for travelling public. The model takes into account a variety of positive and negative factors to identify prime locations for installing EV charging stations in Wasatch Front, Utah, where automobile emission causes severe air pollution due to atmospheric inversion condition near the valley floor. A walkable factor grid was created to store index scores from input factor layers to determine prime locations. 27 input factors including land use, demographics, employment centers etc. were analyzed. Each factor layer was analyzed to produce a summary statistic table to determine the site suitability. Potential locations that exhibit high EV charging usage were identified and scored. A hot spot map was created to demonstrate high, moderate, and low suitability areas for installing EV charging stations. A spatially well distributed EV charging system was then developed, aiming to reduce “range anxiety” from traveling public. This spatial methodology addresses the complex problem of locating and establishing a robust EV charging station infrastructure for decision makers to build a clean transportation infrastructure, and eventually improve environment pollution.