Impact of COVID-19 on Mobility and Electric Vehicle Charging Load

Alejandro Palomino, Masood Parvania, Regan Zane

The COVID-19 pandemic has depressed overall mobility across the country. The changes seen reflect responses to new COVID-19 cases, local health guidelines, and seasonality, making the relationship between mobility and COVID-19 unique from region to region. This paper presents a data-driven case study of electric vehicle (EV) charging and mobility in the wake of COVID-19. The study shows that the number of EV charging sessions and total energy consumed per day dropped by 40% immediately after the arrival of the first COVID-19 case in Utah. By contrast, the energy consumed per charging session fell by just 8% over the same periods and the distribution of session start and end times remained consistent throughout the year. While EV mobility dropped more dramatically than total vehicle mobility during the first wave of COVID-19 cases, and returned more slowly, both returned to stable levels near their mean values by September 2020, despite a dramatic third wave in new infections.

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