Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Industrial Engineering


Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


College of Engineering


Mohamed Awwad

Advisor Department

Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

Advisor College

College of Engineering


The transportation sector in California has begun a shift toward adopting Electric Vehicles (EVs) as a primary source of individual and corporate mobility. The US Government and the State of California are initiating public-sector financed charging station infrastructure to help in this change-over to EVs. Automobile companies and private enterprises are also heavily investing in Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) infrastructure going forward. The state of California is subject to natural disasters such as Fire, Earthquakes, and periodic flooding. Increasing numbers of BEVs may add new challenges to mass evacuations that are often associated with natural disasters. This work focuses on unique challenges in providing BEV charging infrastructure during evacuations in regions that:

  • are small towns with a considerable rural population,
  • are prone to natural disasters,
  • have a single evacuation route,
  • have underdeveloped EV charging infrastructure,
  • are considerable distance to a major center of EV charging infrastructure and safety from the mass evacuation scenario,
  • have a secondary small charging location also available on the single evacuation route that leads to the major city of safety.

To analyze the unique challenges of these particular mass-evacuation scenarios, a simulation was created to estimate the evacuation times of the BEV population given a set charging infrastructure. The model also includes BEV charging infrastructure, and for a single secondary charging station that is along the evacuation route. The objective of the simulation model is to determine the charging needs for a rural evacuation scenario and the ideal distance to an alternate secondary charging station along a single evacuation route in order to minimize total evacuation time. In order to provide a more realistic set of scenarios for the model, two different rural evacuation scenarios were analyzed.

  • Kernville, California, in Kern County that is 52 miles from Bakersfield
  • Auberry, California, in Fresno County that is 36 miles from Fresno The BEV

charging infrastructure model inputs are customized for assumed BEV charging infrastructure in the year 2025 based on historical BEV registration numbers according to the Department of Motor Vehicles. The simulation results show that the projected charging infrastructure in the year 2025 would suffice for an evacuation scenario in which 90% of the BEV arrive at the evacuation destination within 10 hours of the evacuation order. However, due to the severity of potential danger in short-notice wildfire evacuations, it would be ideal to further decrease the total evacuation time. The simulation model found that increasing the charging infrastructure by one level 3 charge plug had a much larger impact on minimizing evacuation time than increasing it by two level 2 charge plugs. Therefore, it would be beneficial for the rural towns to invest in level 3 chargers to shorten evacuation times.