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A Sociodemographic Analysis of Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station Accessibility in North Carolina

Authors: Gregory Carlton*, University of North Carolina - Greensboro, Selima Sultana, University of North Carolina - Greensboro
Topics: Transportation Geography, Urban and Regional Planning, Sustainability Science
Keywords: Electric Vehicles, Alternative Transportation, Accessibility, Sustainability, Equity
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

In 2019, the number of electric vehicles (EVs) on American roadways surpassed one million for the first time in recorded history. As EVs have become an increasingly common fixture in the United States, so too has the infrastructure that is required to support them. As of 2019, there are more than 23,000 EV charging stations in the United States, and this figure is constantly growing. In the conceivable future, it is not unreasonable to believe that charging stations will become as commonplace as other types of fueling stations. While most petrol stations are accessible 24 hours a day and offer multiple fuel options, EV charging stations are more restrictive. EV charging stations often have limited hours of operation, are frequently only accessible to drivers with certain vehicle models, and occasionally require purchases of other non-charging related services to be accessed. In this paper, we analyze electric vehicle charging stations in the state of North Carolina to see how accessible they are to different sociodemographic groups. We conduct this analysis both from a general spatial perspective and also from a perspective of overall accessibility. In a state where close to 40% of public charging stations are restricted use, we examine whether there are spatial patterns to these restrictions, and whether these restrictions disproportionately effect some groups more than others.

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