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BYU Engineering and Systems Design Lab

Electric Vehicles

Mission Statement:

The Electric Vehicle group seeks to develop realistic models and simulations that determine the economic, environmental, and behavioral impacts of electric vehicles in cities throughout the world.

General Overview:

Recent developments in re-chargeable electric batteries (or rechargeable lithium-ion batteries) has led to the resurgence of electric vehicles (EVs) in the American car industry. Electric Vehicles have also become more desirable due to their energy efficiency and their low carbon footprint. With even more developments in battery technology, EV weight reduction, and electric power transmission just around the corner, EV’s have the potential to completely reshape the automotive landscape around the world.

The EV group aims to identify geographic areas and transportation environments that are ideal for the implementation of electric vehicles. This includes considering the affects that electric vehicles have on reducing annual levels of carbon emissions, the cost of driving and operating a vehicle, energy loads on the power grid, regional preferences on public transportation, and driver behavior. The group also aims to predict how future technologies such as rapid charging, increased EV range, and driverless technology can affect society.

Active Research

New York Yellow Taxi Initiative:

The city of New York has set a goal to have 33% of its yellow taxi fleet convert to electric vehicles by 2020. The EV group’s current goal is to determine how best to implement electric vehicles within the city by determining the ideal locations for charging stations and the affects switching to electric vehicles will have on current taxi drivers. Both of these areas include a wide range of underlying issues such as: How many cars will be required to re-charge their batteries in the middle of their shift? How much will they lose in fares if they do so? Is the reduction in fares offset by the cost savings in gasoline? How many charging stations will be necessary? Will the implementation of fast charge locations supersede the energy grid capabilities of the city? At the end of the day, how much will a 33% EV taxi fleet reduce carbon emissions in the city?

By analyzing data provided by the New York Taxi and Limousine Commission, the group hopes to define a model that will identify an optimal number of charging stations and their locations, determine the required energy loads for each charging station, as well as predict the financial and behavioral impacts that an electric vehicle has on the day-to-day life of a taxi driver in New York.