In the field of e-mobility charging and city planning, we pay a lot of attention to the future charging infrastructure demand. How many charge points do we need? What type and power output are necessary? How and when can we achieve a sound business case and return on investment?
Techniques, models and simulations differ, but they all create outcomes. These numbers flow into national roadmaps, heatmaps or even street-level maps of future charging stations. However, very few of them seem to recognise the dynamics of human behaviour. To improve, we need to look at charging an electric car not only from a technical viewpoint. Above all, charging is a complex play of individual choices and social interaction.
Predicting how future drivers will charge their – future – electric cars comes with a great deal of uncertainty. Therefore, we should recognise and honour the unknown. In other words: we need to adopt an adaptive strategy for infrastructure. That benefits the user and the economic viability. Great to see that the German Nationale Platform Zukunft der Mobilität is embracing this principle in this report on public charging infrastructure needs. Also, l’Institut Paris Region is recommending such a strategy in its evaluation and perspective on EV charging in the Paris region.