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Nov 6 -- The Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology (OST-R), DOT, invites comments to OMB by December 6, 2023 regarding a new information collection related to the nation's battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs)—collectively referred to electric vehicles (EVs). The information collected will be used to produce national statistics on the characteristics and uses of EVs as well as the charging patterns and preferences related to EVs.

As the pace of electric vehicles' adoption and use increases on the nation's roadways, the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT)'s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) is planning to conduct the first national-level Electric Vehicle Inventory and Use Survey (eVIUS). The eVIUS will be conducted to gain an in-depth understanding of the characteristics, usage, and charging patterns of electric vehicles (EVs) as well as the demographics and charging preferences of EV owners. The data collected through eVIUS will inform policy and planning decisions on future transportation systems and infrastructure investments.

The survey will be administered to owners of a nationally representative sample of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). The survey scope will be inclusive of passenger cars and light-duty vehicles (up to 10,000 pounds).

As there is no existing national-level data source for EV use and charging patterns, the eVIUS will provide valuable data and information that can assist transportation professionals and other stakeholders at the federal, state, and local levels to decipher the characteristics and usage of the EVs being driven on US roadways, as well as the charging preferences and needs of EV owners. The national-level data will inform policy and planning decisions related to EV charging infrastructure in the US, thereby leading to increased mobility, safety, air quality, and equity on the nation's roadways.

The Electric Vehicle Inventory and Use Survey (eVIUS) is a United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) program aimed at gaining a deeper understanding of electric vehicle characteristics, usage levels, and charging patterns in the United States. The methodology for the eVIUS program will be an extension of the methodology used in the Vehicle Inventory and Use Survey (VIUS) program, which has run from 1997 to present and the Truck Inventory and Use Survey (TIUS) program, which ran from 1967 to 1992. The eVIUS survey will specifically target battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), surveying a sufficient number of respondents to enable the publication of relevant estimates on a national scale. Electric Vehicles (EVs) are a small proportion of the total US vehicle fleet (1%), and they are primarily concentrated in the passenger vehicle classes but are also represented across all Gross Vehicular Weight Rating (GVWR) up to, and including, Class 8 vehicles. A separate survey, focused on the EV population, is needed to adequately analyze EV usage and charging patterns. The Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) is seeking approval to conduct a voluntary survey from a sample of registered EVs. These will include both personal and commercial EV registrations. This survey will be administered to a random sample of registered EVs. A set of the questions focus on collecting data for usage during 2023, while other questions ask about general or typical use. BTS will reach out to the individual or business identified on the registration to obtain responses. BTS will maintain both the survey responses and the administrative data associated with the sample frame (e.g., vehicle make, model, year).

With the increased emphasis on electric vehicles (EVs), there is an increased need for data on EV usage. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) provides $7.5 billion of funding for EV charging infrastructure. The Biden administration has set a goal of installing 500,000 EV chargers nationwide by 2030 and to have at least 50% of new vehicle sales be EVs. To determine the best placement of these EV chargers and most effective policies around EVs, agencies need data on EV ownership and usage.

BTS administers a related survey, the Vehicle Inventory and Use Survey (VIUS), which has been conducted since 1963 to better understand the characteristics and use of trucks on our nation’s roads and aid the US Census Bureau in fulfilling Title 13. Since its inception, the survey has been used to guide investments in the nation’s infrastructure, conduct size and weight studies, track changes in vehicle technologies, and more. However, the VIUS captures minimal information about EVs. Data on EVs is needed to inform decisions on EV infrastructure investment. In conducting an EV-specific VIUS to collect EV-specific data, the methods used for conducting VIUS can be leveraged to optimize the use of Government resources. Accordingly, BTS is planning to conduct an Electric Vehicle Inventory and Use Survey (eVIUS) to collect data from a representative national sample of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). With a scope including vehicle types such as passenger cars and light-duty trucks up to 10,000 pounds, the eVIUS will provide valuable data that can assist federal and local transportation professionals and other stakeholders better understand the characteristics and uses of BEVs and PHEVs being driven on US roadways as well as the charging behavior and needs concerning such EVs. As an extension of VIUS, the eVIUS will also support fulfillment of Title 13. This survey will also support the DOT strategic plan goals by providing data to make critical decisions regarding how to encourage EV usage (climate and sustainability), and where to place EV infrastructure (equity and transformation).

The survey will provide data on electric vehicle usage and charging patterns and preferences, which will be valuable information in support of planning decisions related to transportation systems, infrastructure investments, and automobile manufacturing.  At the federal level, the data can support the Biden administration’s goals of installing 500,000 EV chargers nationwide by 2030 and having at least 50% of new vehicle sales be EVs, by providing data to support decisions on charging infrastructure placement. The data can similarly support infrastructure decisions at a local level. These data can be used by public agencies at all levels and private companies to make evidence-based decisions about EV manufacturing and infrastructure.

The sample frame will include all BEV and PHEV registrations in all 50 state and the District of Columbia. The frame will be stratified into 918 strata, stratified by geography, GVWR, and fuel type, as detailed below.
Geography: 51 states (including the District of Columbia)
GVWR: 9 classes (small passenger vehicles and GVWR classes 1-8)
Fuel Type: 2 types (BEV and PHEV)
51 geographies * 9 vehicle classes * 2 fuel types = 918 distinct strata
 
The frame will be analyzed to obtain the number of strata that are actually viable for the survey. It is expected that there will be many combinations of state, GVWR and fuel type that do not have any vehicles, or do not have sufficient numbers of vehicles to make a statistically valid estimate while retaining respondent confidentiality. Desired sample sizes for each stratum will be sent to the third-party source. BTS will request that the desired samples be selected through simple random selection without replacement from the frame. Each vehicle will have a uniquely identifiable Vehicle Identification Number as well a contact information for the vehicle’s registrant.
 
VIUS: https://www.bts.gov/vius
BTS submission to OMB: https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=202310-2138-001 Click IC List for data collection instruments, View Supporting Statement for newly added technical documentation. Submit comments through this webpage.
FRN: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2023-24397

For AEA members wishing to submit comments, "A Primer on How to Respond to Calls for Comment on Federal Data Collections" is available at https://www.aeaweb.org/content/file?id=5806

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