The Future of Public Fast Charging : A forecasting of battery supported public fast charging based on a business model perspective
Abstract: With the ever-pressing threat of a climate crisis, the EU has decided to become the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. This in turn will require the road transportation sector to make a transition from fossil dependent to fossil-free vehicles. Sweden has the objective to become net positive in GHG emissions by 2045. To be on track to reach this goal, the GHG emissions of the domestic transport sector must be reduced by 70% by 2030 compared to 2017’s levels. Electric vehicles (EVs) are leading the way in the transition to fossil-free vehicles. To further springboard the diffusion of EVs, the development of a fully functional EV charging network is required. In order to assist the transition to electric vehicles, this report aims to analyse the development of the public fast charging infrastructure in Norrland and Svealand from now to 2030. Additionally, identify geographical areas where an expansion of the public EV fast charging network is needed to cover the future demand of electrified passenger cars. However, there are two major hurdles in building a fast charging network with full coverage. The first is the high monthly costs of providing fast charging which needs a certain utilisation rate to cover the expenses. The second hurdle is the difficulty to receive a grid connection, in certain areas, at the required power output to be able to provide EV fast charging. Therefore, a semi-mobile battery solution used for EV charging is analysed through a business model perspective. The semi-mobile battery solution requires a lower grid connection hence it could be possible to implement public EV fast charging at a lower monthly cost and to develop the public EV fast charging network in otherwise technical difficult areas. A mixed-method approach including both quantitative and qualitative elements was utilised. Primarily, a study of 10 interviews with respondents from a range of different fields connected to EV charging and batteries was performed in combination with a literature review and document analysis. In addition, existing traffic flow data and data of fast-charging infrastructure, were converged via ArcGIS Pro to illustrate the coverage of the fast charging network. Furthermore, projections of the development of the EV fleet were used in order to forecast the flow of EVs in Norrland and Svealand by 2030. Based on these forecasts the future demand of public EV fast charging was analysed. Resulting in a map showing areas of interest, where there will arise a need to expand the charging infrastructure. These areas are Umeå to Piteå, Lycksele with proximity, Bollnäs to Ljusdal and Leksand to Älvdalen. Additionally, the exiting public fast charging infrastructure was identified to require expansion of existing charging stations due to the increased traffic flow of EVs by 2030. The upgrade of existing stations was further assessed to be required to meet both a permanent and seasonal demand, hence making semi-mobile battery supported charging an attractive solution. Furthermore, the design of a semi-mobile battery supporting public EV fast charging was identified to be influenced by situational aspects and that the location-specific conditions were vital in determining profitability for a specific case. For example, the power output in the EV chargers should be adapted to the specifications of the geographical location and the customer segment identified. The energy storage capacity of the battery should also be designed based on the conditions of the location. A connection to the electricity grid exceeding 0.1 MW was also important since it enables the semi-mobile battery to provide additional services to the electricity grid and hence increase revenue streams. Furthermore, FCR-D Up was determined to be the most suitable complementary service to integrate into the system. One major challenge for the semi-mobile battery, based on a business model perspective, is the high costs for semi-mobile batteries and EV fast charging station hardware. However, these costs are projected to continue to decrease and consequently, improve the opportunities for semi-mobile lithium-ion batteries.
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