Humboldt State University

Schatz Energy Research Center

Plug-in Electric Vehicle Modeling

See PEVI in action – the video above shows an animation of a single day of simulated travel and charging by 6000 PEV owners in Humboldt County. The red lines indicate trips between the various zones (the county was divided into 52 zones). The yellow circles indicate charging events at public venues (e.g. at places of work or public parking lots) and the green squares indicate charging events at driver homes. The size of the circles and squares indicates the number of drivers charging at any point in time.

SERC is currently a project partner and technical lead on two CEC PIER grants (PON-10-602) with the objective to develop regional plans to support plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) readiness. One of the principal questions that SERC and others throughout the state must address is how to deploy PEV chargers in a cost-effective manner.

This is a complex question to answer with a data-driven, quantitative analysis:

These and other issues require that planners use the best available region-specific data and account for the interactive effects of multiple PEV drivers simultaneously vying for limited chargers in public venues.

The research team at SERC has developed a unique and powerful approach to evaluate the deployment of PEV chargers. We built an agent-based micro-simulation model called PEVI, the PEV Infrastructure Model. Individual PEV drivers are simulated as they conduct their travel and interact with virtual charging stations. Drivers begin a day with a vehicle, an itinerary of trips, and a set of rules for how to behave. The simulation is started and evolves according to individual driver behaviors and interactions with the EVSE network. All aspects of the day’s events are observable, from the experience of each individual driver to the aggregate outcomes of the entire fleet.

The PEVI model can be used by planners and policy makers as a test bed for a variety of purposes: