Electric Vehicle Readiness
This guide synthesizes findings from the 16 EV community readiness projects.
These resources can help communities plan for the arrival of electric vehicles (EVs) and EV charging. As local and regional leaders know, EV readiness is a community-wide effort, requiring planning, charging infrastructure, policies, and support services.
Readiness planning can occur at the city, regional, or state level. EV readiness can take many forms; some communities work to meet projected EV needs while others take a more active approach and plan for how they can increase EV adoption. Planners can use the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Projection Tool (EVI-Pro) to estimate how much EV charging infrastructure a city or state might need and what the electric load of EVs might be. By setting goals and timelines, EV readiness planning can be specific and focused, and result in outcomes that benefit the community.
It is important to build off existing momentum and evaluate what work has already been done to support EVs in the community as well as what local characteristics may influence EV adoption. Factors to consider include:
- Existing charging infrastructure
- Building codes and municipal zoning codes
- Parking codes
- EVSE permitting and inspection processes
- Vehicle registration or sales data
- City fleet composition
- Housing market characteristics, such as the number of multifamily housing
- Population data, including income and driving patterns
- Environmental justice and equity considerations and initiatives
- Projected population and housing growth
- Previous outreach and education campaigns
- Local, state, and federal incentives for EVs and charging infrastructure
- Local utility efforts related to EVs 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.
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 multifamily housing
- Electrifying the city fleet
- Standardizing EV charging station signage
- Working with utilities to offer time-of-use rates or other incentives to EV drivers
- Focusing on expanding charging and opportunities for EV ownership in low-income and other underserved communities.
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?
Because EVs impact many different aspects of city and regional planning, successful EV readiness projects involve a wide variety of stakeholders. Stakeholders have unique perspectives and concerns. By incorporating different types of expertise, EV readiness planning will be more holistic and balanced. Examples of stakeholders include:
- Relevant city departments, including transportation, public works, capital planning, permitting and inspection, streets, transit, and sustainability departments
- Public and private fleets
- Local Clean Cities coalition
- Local businesses, including building developers, car dealerships, and other employers
- Local institutions, such as universities
- Environmental and sustainability groups, including EV engagement groups
- Low-income community representatives
- Community-based organizations representing low-income residents, seniors, and other underserved groups.
Education and Outreach
Communication about readiness planning and community education are key to 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 EVs and learn about how the region is supporting EV adoption. See the publications database for education and outreach resources.
Tools and Resources
EVI-Pro Lite – Estimate how much EV charging infrastructure you might need at a city- and state-level and the load profile of EV fleets.
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 EV incentives and regulations, utility incentives, and examples of local laws.
AFLEET – Calculate the environmental benefits and lifecycle cost savings of EVs and charging infrastructure.
Examples of Projects and Plans
See the following resources for example projects, case studies, and readiness plans related to electric vehicle readiness:
- EV community readiness projects
- Seattle, WA case study
- Aspen, CO EV readiness plan
- Bay Area, CA EV readiness plan
- Boulder, CO EV infrastructure and adoption assessment(PDF)
- Coachella Valley, CA EV readiness plan(PDF)
- Fort Collins, CO EV readiness roadmap(PDF)
- County of Santa Clara EV best practices compendium(PDF)
- Northern New Jersey alternative fuel vehicle infrastructure report
- San Diego, CA EV readiness plan(PDF)
- San Joaquin Valley, CA EV readiness plan(PDF)
- Tahoe-Truckee, CA and NV EV readiness plan(PDF)