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Identifying New Locations For Electric Vehicle Charging Stations in Baltimore

Electrify America opened these Level 3 DC charging stalls at The Avenues Mall. Image Credits: BILL BORTZFIELD / WJCT NEWS /

The world is seeing a massive rise in electric vehicle (EV) mobility. In 2020, EV numbers climbed to 10.9 million, up more than three million from 2019. A survey by the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW) showed China is leading this electric vehicle boom with five million e-cars, the USA with 1.77 million, and Germany with 570,000 EVs on the road. All of these vehicles need electrical power, but currently, all EV owners, or future owners, will not have charging facilities at their homes. Obviously, with the increasing number of EVs, the number of charging stations also needs to be increased, in suitable locations. Charging stations put in inappropriate places is a significant concern for both operating and expanding the number of EVs. A survey of car buyers showed that the first concern for EV owners is the location of charging facilities, and the time to recharge (Bonges et al., 2016). When locating a charging station, consideration should be given to selecting a location that most effectively considers the route choice behavior, and the charging demand of EV users (Hanabusa & Horiguchi, 2011). Different studies have found that the inappropriate location of charging stations eventually results in voltage fluctuation, and power quality-related problems (Foosnæs, Jensen, & Nordentoft, 2017, Aghaei, Nezhad, Rabiee, & Rahimi, 2016).

To encourage more people to buy EVs, the author of this column conducted a study to see if the EV users of Baltimore county have charging stations where they live or work. The study also tried to identify which areas in Baltimore need more charging stations for EV users. Two data sets were used in this study; first EV charging location data was obtained from the US Department of Energy website, which provided all alternative energy sources in Maryland. Second, was a set of EV user data collected from the National Transportation Center at Morgan State University. NTC had a project titled "Electric Vehicle Ownership Factors and Commuting Behavior in the United States”, where they collected the house and work zip codes of EV users in Maryland. That study mapped the data into three categories: zip codes based on EV user frequency, EV charging stations in the station area, and suggestions for new EV charging stations, or possible extensions of EV charging stations.

Figure 1: Map analysis showing EVs user's frequency zip codes, zip codes with existing charging stations, and proposed area for new EV charging stations.

In the map analysis, zip code data and existing EV charging station data in Baltimore County, and the city, were incorporated together. From the map analysis, we can see five or six users' zip codes where most of the EV stations are concentrated. Some zip codes don't have any EV stations, although EV user's frequency is high. Again, a prominent northern and western part of Baltimore County has zero EV charging stations. These results show the existing EV charging stations are concentrated around particular zip codes. On the other hand, the EV user's frequency map shows that most EV users have homes, or commute to work, in other zip codes where no EV charging station is available. Overlaying the EV charging station map over the user density area, zip codes with high usage, and locations with no EV charging station, areas were selected as an appropriate place to install new EV charging stations (zip codes: 21131, 21136). Another set of zip codes (21030, 21206, 21208) have a medium density of users, but a low number of EV stations, and were selected as potential locations to expand the EV charging station service. As this study suggests, consumers might buy more EVs, if the charging stations are available (Bonges et al., 2016). The author hopes the appropriate and convenient location of EV charging stations, will encourage the citizens of Baltimore to use more EVs.


1. Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW). Retrieved from:

2. Bonges III, H. A., & Lusk, A. C. (2016). Addressing electric vehicle (EV) sales and range anxiety through parking layout, policy, and regulation. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 83, 63-73.

3. Hanabusa, H., & Horiguchi, R. (2011). A study of the analytical method for the location planning of charging stations for electric vehicles. Knowledge-Based and Intelligent Information and Engineering Systems, 596–605

4. Foosnæs, A. H., Jensen, A. N., & Nordentoft, N. C. (2017). Report: Case studies on grid impacts of fast charging. Edison D 4.4.3 & D 4.4.4 .

5. Aghaei, J., Nezhad, A. E., Rabiee, A., & Rahimi, E. (2016). Contribution of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles in power system uncertainty management. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 59, 450–458

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