The grant will help advance the understanding of and develop tools to guide how EV charging infrastructure impacts the sustainability and equity of people between urban and rural regions.  -  Photo: MSU/NSF/Government Fleet

The grant will help advance the understanding of and develop tools to guide how EV charging infrastructure impacts the sustainability and equity of people between urban and rural regions.

Photo: MSU/NSF/Government Fleet

Michigan State University received a $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, (NSF) allowing the university to continue researching electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure designs in smart cities, as well as policies to support the developments and networks.  

The plan is to design the infrastructure throughout Michigan and then continue throughout the U.S.  

In an MSU press release, Dong Zhao, an associate professor in the School of Planning, Design, and Construction at MSU added, “The goal of this NSF project is to advance the understanding of and develop tools to guide how EV charging infrastructure impacts the sustainability and equity of people between urban and rural regions.” 

The Growing EV Future 

The Leaders Summit on Climate has set a goal to reduce U.S. net greenhouse gas by 50-52% below 2005 levels by 2030.  

With that, the number of EVs in America is expected to soar. According to the Edison Electric Institute, it is projected that 26.4 million EVs will be on the road by 2030.  

In an effort to help with that goal, the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Transportation made $7.5 billion available to develop an EV charging network in America. 

MSU researchers are among the groups that will help with building the infrastructure required to support the growing number of EVs.  

“Current decision-making models and tools for infrastructure investment focus on economic and engineering efficiency and rarely consider the region-level environment and equity,” Zhao said. “This project will create a Geographic Information System or GIS-based decision system that will integrate regional economic and engineering efficiency, environmental sustainability, and social equity into the EV charging infrastructure planning and design.” 

According to the press release, by using the smart city approach, the researchers can determine the best use of energy use, sustainability, fuel consumption, policies, and more. This research can then be used to aid city planners, policymakers, and engineers throughout the U.S. 

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