Monday, November 13, 2023
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Qualitative Study of Disadvantage and Electric Vehicle Utilization during Hurricane Evacuations
Session ID
C1 - Electric Vehicles and Equity

Previous studies of electric vehicle (EV) evacuation primarily focus on the allocation of charging locations with heterogenous vehicle fleets and without considering disparities in localized charging infrastructure, particularly residential charging. This presents a gap in the literature concerning how evacuation planning affects disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged groups differently in an electrified fleet. Due to a lack of behavioral theory and models considering these differences, we conduct semi-structured interviews and a focus group to gather qualitative data investigating differences in the thought processes, constraints, consideration sets, and decision-making strategies between disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged groups. The topics covered and questions asked began by considering components of the Protective-Action-Decision Model (PADM) and four-step evacuation transportation model where differences could be most pronounced. Specifically, we focus on three major aspects: evacuation decision, destination choice, and route and charging choice. We expect differences in residence type and neighborhood infrastructure would leave the disadvantaged with fewer residential charging options. This could increase heterogeneity in the daily state of charge since non-disadvantaged residences are more likely to have home charging options. This would impact readiness to evacuate plus mobilization time, destination choice, and charging needs en route. It is unknown how much remaining range impacts the choice of destination, and the tradeoffs people consider between the need/preference to charge en route and their preferred destinations. The interviews and focus groups will include populations of disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged motorists in Florida. The disadvantage will be defined either financially at the individual level or as residing in a disadvantaged neighborhood (under transportation, energy, and environmental justice metrics). The interview starts by collecting fundamental information about the participant’s state of living, neighborhood safety, vehicle ownership, hurricane knowledge, past evacuation experience, familiarity with EVs, and homeplace charging situation. Respondents are walked through hypothetical hurricane evacuation scenarios and asked to describe their thought processes considering they now own an EV.