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Determinants of Electric Vehicle and Public Charging Infrastructure Adoption in Baltimore, MD

Investigation and Policy Implications

Principal Investigator(s): Celeste Chavis PhD, Glenn Robinson PhD, Tonya Sanders Thach PhD

Project Partners: Morgan State University, Caliper Corporation, Baltimore City Office of Sustainability, Baltimore City Parking Authority

Research Project Funding: $128,730

Project Start and End Date: Oct 1st, 2023 – September 30st, 2024

Project Description:  In an effort to reduce the environmental impacts of the transportation sector and to reduce reliance on fossil fuels, policies supporting electric vehicle (EV) adoption are being implemented at all levels of government across the nation. Past studies have noted that the most important location for EV charging is at home, followed by work, and then public locations. However, in Baltimore City, where only 14% of Baltimore’s housing stock are single family detached homes and dedicated parking is limited, home-based charging may be an option. Thus, the objectives of this study are to understand factors such as residential location and socioeconomic characteristics that increase the likelihood of EV adoption in Baltimore City and quantify the utilization and users of public EV charging stations. To accomplish the objectives, a GIS EV user and EV public charging station accessibility and equity analysis will be conducted at the census tract level. Additionally, a survey will be distributed to EV users in Baltimore city to understand the factors that lead to the purchase of an EV. Video surveillance will be used to collect information on the utilization of public EV charging stations. By linking license plate data to residential location, we can imply the rate of home-based and non-home-based charging trips. Finally, the results of the study will be used to develop a prioritization metric for determining future public EV charging locations.

US DOT Priorities: This project fits well within the US DOT Strategic Goals of Equity and Climate and Sustainability, aiming to inform Baltimore City and other local jurisdictions how to prioritize investment in EV supporting infrastructure such as public charging stations through the lens of equity and environmental justice. In the same line, this project contributes to CCST’s Focus Area 3: Accelerating the Mass Market Adoption of EVs & Alternative Fuels and Focus Area 2: Community-Centered Solutions to Environmental Justice.

Outputs:  This research project aims to develop an equitable proof-of-concept blueprint for assessing and understanding the physical and socio-economic constraints

to developing a balanced and equitable distribution system for EV charging stations, that’s in-step with the increasing adoption and growth of electrified vehicles. This study will develop the following outputs: GIS dashboard/map, a computer visioning pipeline methodology of analyzing use of EV charging stations, two peer-reviewed conference/journal articles, a final report, webinar, and policy brief.


Increasing public acceptance of EV alternatives hinges on reducing range anxiety, cost, and the availability of EV charging stations. While the scientific principles surrounding EV and charging station technology are well established there remains accessibility and mobility gaps, the ease of reaching EV charging station destinations (such as hospitals, job sites, schools, factories, airports, ports, and community centers), and the number and type of chargers. This project seeks to provide insights that may lead to policy and manufacturing changes that reduce social economic impediments that may constrain its wide-spread acceptance of the EV technology and negatively impact our collective efforts to battle climate change. The intent of this research is to assess and determine how to close the accessibility gaps (time, distance, and location) that are found within and across our Baltimore communities and neighborhoods.

This study will have the following outcomes: 1) Better understanding of factors related to EV adoption that leads to additional policies and incentives for EV adoption; 2) Additional public EV charging infrastructure with the goal of increasing use of the stations by diverse residents of Baltimore; 3) Better diversity in EV user socioeconomic profiles.

In the short run this project will inform stakeholders on the factors that encourage adoption of EVs which will allow policies and incentive programs to be developed to promote EV adoption. Additionally, the parking authority will know where to prioritize investment in public charging facilities. In the long term, increased adoption of EVs will reduce transportation-related emissions. Informed households may also determine that EV adoption is more affordable over the lifespan of a vehicle than combustion vehicles and thus save money and improve their mobility.