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StreetLight Data Partnership Aims to Help Expand EV Chargers

As electric vehicles steadily become more common, StreetLight Data is working with an EV charging company to offer its government clients an AI tool for finding ideal locations to install new infrastructure.

Electric vehicle (EV) charger
With electric vehicles slowly gaining momentum toward becoming the dominant form of transportation in the U.S., two startups have struck up a partnership to help cities and utilities figure out where to put more car chargers.

StreetLight Data, which sells transportation data to local governments, will offer Volta Charging’s PredictEV tool to its customers. The tool uses AI to generate suggestions about where electric charging infrastructure would be most useful — an urban planning consideration that is becoming more important as more electric vehicles hit the streets.

Today, electric vehicles make up only around 2 percent of new vehicles sold in the U.S., but that number is rising rapidly. In 2020, Pew Research found that the number of EVs sold in the country had more than tripled since 2016. And with major automakers all working on new electric models, the upward trend is likely to continue.

StreetLight Data’s business model involves selling a variety of transportation-related data to local governments with greater efficiency than traditional methods; its data include traffic counts, speeds, origins, destinations and the reasons why people travel. That data can be used for a variety of purposes, including planning infrastructure.

"PredictEV uses an extensive data set based on a wide number of parameters — from driving patterns to population distribution to dwell time at locations," said Volta CTO Praveen Mandal in a press release. "Our partnership with StreetLight is intended to take PredictEV to the next level by leveraging the industry's best source for transportation data."