taking charge: Optimizing Urban Charging Infrastructure for Shared Electric Vehicles

Subramani, P. "taking charge: Optimizing Urban Charging Infrastructure for Shared Electric Vehicles"


This thesis analyses the opportunities and constraints of deploying charging infrastructure for shared electric vehicles in urban environments. Existing electric vehicle charging infrastructure for privately owned vehicles is examined and critiqued. A prototype of smartCharge, an integrated locking, charging, and ambient information system for shared electric vehicles is presented. Design methodology, fabrication of mechanical and electrical systems, and testing of the smartCharge system is documented. Urban implementation case studies for such a universal charging and locking station illustrate the potential of optimized infrastructure for shared vehicles to transform urban streetscapes and improve mobility.

An analysis of leveraging existing building electrical infrastructure for vehicle charging is conducted, including phasing strategies for deploying rapid charging. Technological constraints to rapid charging such as battery chemistry, pack design, and power input are presented and evaluated. A strategy for buffering rapid electric vehicle charging with commercial uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems is described. Two recent buildings on the MIT campus are used as case studies to demonstrate the overhead transformational capacity that exists in many modern, multi-purpose buildings. Connectivity between electrified transport, the electrical grid, and renewable energy sources is explored. A vision for personal urban mobility enabled by fleets of shared electric vehicles powered by clean, renewable energy and intelligent charging infrastructure is proposed.

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