Electric vehicles: battery capacity, charger power, access to charging and the impacts on distribution networks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The battery electric vehicle (EV) market is in a state of continuing rapid evolution, both in terms of the battery capacities and charger power ratings that vehicle manufacturers are bringing to the market and the increasingly widespread penetration of charging infrastructure. As a result, individuals' charging behaviours may change substantially and be different from what has been expected or observed to date. This could have a significant effect on the resulting electrical demand from EV charging. Aside from these technical parameters, the demographics of the population served by any given network -- and how that might affect their travel habits, particularly car use -- must be considered. In this paper, statistical analysis of a large travel survey dataset is carried out to support the hypothesis that car use is likely to vary according to population demographics. Car-based travel diaries disaggregated on key demographic traits of the drivers are assigned to vehicles in the network according to Census data pertaining to those same demographic traits. Charging schedules are derived from these travel diaries for different battery capacities, charger power ratings and level of access to charging to investigate the likely effect of changing these parameters on the resulting charging behaviour and electricity demand. It is found that out of the key emerging patterns identified in the evolving EV market, increasing battery capacities and the establishment of more widespread charging opportunities may reduce the peak demand from EV charging or shift it to a time less likely to coincide with peak domestic demand, hence making it easier for the network to cope with increasing penetrations of EVs. On the other hand, increasing charging power may increase the peak and bring it closer to a time where it is more likely to coincide with peak domestic demand.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 14 Apr 2020


  • electric vehicles
  • distribution network
  • charging

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