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III. PROMOTE EV CHARGING ACCESS
AND INFRASTRUCTURE

Electric driving requires a paradigm shift in how we fuel our vehicles as fueling can take place at home, in the community or along our highways. People’s perceived lack of visible charging stations is cited as one of the top barriers that contribute toward car buyers not purchasing electric vehicles. Thus, designing and planning charging systems will require addressing unique needs and removing barriers that local leaders are in a position to help with. Local governments can install and own EV charging equipment and adopt policies to encourage private investment in charging infrastructure. One useful tool to help determine the amount of charging needed is the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Projection Tool (EVI-Pro) Lite, from the Alternative Fuels Data Center, U.S. Department of Energy. Additionally, the cost of installing chargers may be reduced by leveraging funds available for charging equipment from the Volkswagen diesel emissions settlement fund.

A.  EV-Ready Building Codes

“EV ready ordinances” ensure that buildings that are permitted today are preparing for the coming electrification of transportation. EV ready ordinances require new homes, buildings, and parking structures to have the conduit and wiring in place to accommodate incremental additions EV chargers later on. It does not mean installing the charging stations. It is much cheaper to install the wiring during initial construction rather than retrofitting existing buildings and parking lots when the need arises later. For most applications, the recommendations are 10% of new spaces for projects over 100 spaces, Level II charging with 208 Volts/40 Amps or 240 Volts/40 Amps, and an EV charging zone.

 

Examples:

B.  Multi-Unit Dwelling Charger Support and Incentives

EV drivers who live in multi-unit dwellings (MUDs) like apartment buildings and condos need access to charging EVs at or near their home yet often do not have a power outlet handy and cannot install new a new outlet or charger, as homeowners can. Yet MUD residents should not be denied access to the benefits of driving an EV because of this challenge. Rather, installation of shared charging equipment at MUD developments should be encouraged. When new MUD projects are being considered for permitting, encourage the developer to consider installing EV infrastructure.

Example:

Florida State Statute protects condo owners from prohibitive rules by Homeowner Associations regarding installing a charging station in their common element parking area.

C. Streamlined Charger Permitting Process​​

Cities and counties can make the permitting approval process easier for the installation of EV chargers with strategies such as one-day turnaround, online design review services, and expedited inspection for EV charger permits.

 

Examples:

  • City of Chicago Online Permitting Process

  • Many cities in California--from small to large--, pursuant to Assembly Bill 1236 (i.e. Burbank, CA)

D. City Charging Station Installation Guidelines and Best Practices

Cities and counties can clear up any confusion around how to go about installing EV charging equipment by providing clear expectations to stakeholders such as step-by-step instructions or installation guidelines. The city/county can maintain hard copies of the resources and digital copies on their website for installation at different types of sites.

 

Examples:

E. Workplace Charging For City & County Employees

Workplace charging is one way to encourage and support employees who drive electric. It extends their all-electric driving range, enabling those with long commutes or those who lack home charging to drive electric. According to the Department of Energy, an employee with access to workplace charging is six times more likely to drive electric than the average worker. It can attract visitors as well. It can be free or have a subscription fee. Additionally, daytime charging can easily take advantage of low-cost, environmentally friendly solar power.

 

Examples:

F. Workplace Charging for Private Sector Employees

Encouraging workplace charging in your community is another way to build infrastructure. When new projects are being considered for permitting, encourage the property/business owner to consider installing workplace charging.

 

Examples:

G. Public Charging Stations on Public Property

Cities can spur EV adoption in the community by providing public access to EV charging stations. There are examples of both free and pay-to-charge systems, and government-owned or third-party contracted chargers.

Examples:

H. City-Owned Fleet Charging Stations 

Some cities install charging stations to support their fleets’ electrification specifically and do not designate them for public use. This ensures the stations are always available for their use.

Example:

I. Permit Curbside Charger Installation in Public Right of Way

A challenge for some businesses and residences is lacking off-street parking at which to install a charging station. Some cities have addressed this issue by permitting installation of curbside EV chargers. 

Examples:

J. Pair EV Charging Stations with Renewables

Several companies offer solar canopies to generate the power for charging stations. Solar canopies have the additional benefit of providing an attractive, shady parking place so cars are sheltered from the sun. Battery backup systems can be added to solar canopies co-located at critical facilities such as water treatment plants or hospitals.

 

Example:

K. Free Up Access to Chargers with  Instructional Signage and Code Enforcement

One challenge for public EV charging is parking spaces with chargers getting blocked by non-EVs or EVs that are not actively charging. Local governments can discourage this from happening by ensuring adequate instructional signage that only actively-charging EVs (determined by whether or not they are plugged in) should be parked in those spots. Some states, such as Florida, outlaw non-EVs from parking in EV-designated spaced, but local enforcement may not happen. Enforcement can be encouraged and in states without such legislation, it can be added to code.

Examples:

L. Wayfinding Signs for Drivers to Locate Chargers

Many potential EV drivers fear not being able to find public charging when they may need it. Local governments can help increase the visibility of the availability of EV chargers and also help EV drivers better utilize existing EV chargers by providing wayfinding signs on the street for public charging stations. Additionally, EV charging locations can be made highly visible with signposts and painted parking spots.

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