Plug-In Electric Vehicle Readiness

Guide to Lessons Learned

Guide to Lessons Learned

This guide synthesizes findings from the 16 PEV community readiness projects.

These resources can help communities plan for the arrival of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) and PEV charging. As local and regional leaders know, PEV readiness is a community-wide effort, requiring planning, charging infrastructure, policies, and support services.

Scope

Readiness planning can occur at the city, regional, or state level. PEV readiness can take many forms; some communities work to meet projected PEV needs while others take a more active approach and plan for how they can increase PEV adoption. By setting goals and timelines, PEV readiness planning can be specific and focused, and result in outcomes that benefit the community.

Existing Conditions

It is important to build off existing momentum and evaluate what work has already been done to support PEVs in the community as well as what local characteristics may influence PEV adoption. Factors to consider include:

  • Existing charging infrastructure
  • Building codes
  • Parking codes
  • PEV charging permitting and inspection processes
  • Vehicle registration data
  • City fleet composition
  • Housing market characteristics, such as the number of multi-unit dwellings
  • Population data, including income and driving patterns
  • Projected population and housing growth
  • Previous outreach and education campaigns
  • Local, state, and federal incentives for PEVs and charging infrastructure
  • Local utility efforts related to PEVs and charging infrastructure, including special rate structures, incentives, and outreach programs
  • Regional planning efforts and goals, including Regional Transportation Plans, climate action plans, and energy plans

Opportunities

After assessing existing conditions, communities can identify gaps or areas in which they would like to improve. Common actions include:

  • Streamlining charging station permitting and inspection processes
  • Mandating or incentivizing charging station installation or pre-wiring at new commercial buildings and multi-unit dwellings
  • Electrifying the city fleet
  • Standardizing PEV charging station signage
  • Working with utilities to offer time-of-use rates or other incentives to PEV drivers

It is important to consider what initiatives the city or region should implement, what they should partner with local organizations on, and what should be left to the private sector. For example, does the city want to install and own charging stations? Provide financial incentives to private entities installing charging stations? Support increased infrastructure development by making the station installation process easier for private entities?

Partnerships

Because PEVs impact many different aspects of city and regional planning, successful PEV readiness projects involve a wide variety of stakeholders. Stakeholders have unique perspectives and concerns. By incorporating different types of expertise, PEV readiness planning will be more holistic and balanced. Examples of stakeholders include:

  • Relevant city departments, including transportation, streets, transit, and sustainability departments
  • Public and private fleets
  • Utilities
  • Local Clean Cities coalition
  • Local businesses, including building developers, car dealerships, and other employers
  • Local institutions, such as universities
  • Environmental and sustainability groups, including PEV engagement groups
  • Low-income community representatives

Education and Outreach

Communication about readiness planning and community education are key to PEV readiness planning success. Messages should be tailored for different audiences, which could include the stakeholders listed above as well as residents, first responders, and tourism professionals.

Public events, workshops, and technology demonstrations, like ride-and-drives, can help community members understand the benefits of PEVs and learn about how the region is supporting PEV adoption. See the Publications database for education and outreach resources.

Tools and Resources

  • EVI-Pro Lite – Estimate how much PEV charging infrastructure you might need at a city- and state-level.

  • Alternative Fueling Station Locator – Determine how much charging infrastructure is in your area and where it is located.

  • Laws and Incentives Database – Find existing state and federal PEV incentives and regulations, utility incentives, and examples of local laws.

  • AFLEET – Calculate the benefits of PEVs.

Examples of Projects and Plans