How mobile app data tracks EV growth and city readiness

Editor's note: To learn more about how cities are preparing for EVs through data and mobile apps, be sure to check out VERGE@Greenbuild this fall, November 12-13, in San Francisco.

U.S. cities are well on their way preparing for electric vehicles. Data collected through PlugShare, a mobile app monitoring more than of 11,000 public and private charging stations, shows Portland, Oregon with the highest density of EV charging stations at 11.2 for every 100,000 residents in the city.

Given its green credentials as a city, Portland is a likely candidate, as might be the San Francisco Bay Area, but the growth of EV charging stations is "more than a coastal thing," said Armen Petrosian, CTO with Xatori, makers of the PlugShare app. He points to unlikely destinations of Dallas, Tuscon and Nashville, all ranking within the top ten for EV city readiness.

With more than 100,000 users, PlugShare is providing critical information for cities to understand where to place EV charging networks and drive EV adoption, said Petrosian.

"Data is the key to our business model in helping drivers, station providers and cities see a current glimpse of EV adoption," said Petrosion.

Indeed, an ever-growing number of data resources are tracking how well are cities are getting EV infrastructures in place.

For example, the EV Project, a program focused on 18 US markets, has amassed more than 34 million miles of electric vehicle behavioral and charging infrastructure data.

Managed by ECOtality, the project is funded by the Department of Energy and involves a wide range of carmakers, utilities, retailers, government entities and technology providers, to gather a detailed data dump in tracking more than 4,600 vehicles and monitoring 6,200 charging stations.

But, of course, it's not just charging stations within a geographic area that determines how well cities are prepared for EVs.

The recently released EV City Casebook shows how policy, financial incentives and consumer education programs are critical in boosting demand for EVs for cities.

By highlighting global case studies from 16 cities in nine countries, the casebook, compiled by the International Energy Agency (IEA), Rocky Mountain Institute, the Clean Energy Ministerial’s Electric Vehicles Initiative, and C40 Cities, details what's required for cities to "get ready" for electric vehicles.

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