Local governments should take a holistic, government-wide approach to develop electric vehicle charging infrastructure to take advantage of new funding opportunities, according to a report issued Tuesday by the Electrification Coalition, a nonpartisan organization that promotes the adoption of EVs.
Last year’s bipartisan infrastructure law provided nearly $19 billion in grants and funds for EV charging, low- or no-emission transit buses, ferries and clean school buses. “Municipalities stand to benefit significantly from transportation electrification, but they must be prepared to leverage this funding,” said Chris Bast, director of EV infrastructure investments at the Electrification Coalition, in a press release.
The report lays out a road map for city and county governments to follow, starting with an inventory of current policies that impact charging deployments, such as zoning, permitting, building codes, parking policies and incentives. The report also recommends developing an EV-focused policy agenda that takes advantage of federal initiatives.
Policy actions can include executive orders, proclamations or resolutions mandating government action and establishing an EV vision for their community. Officials can also update existing ordinances and regulations to ensure that new buildings are equipped for EV charging or require the electrification of government and other widely-used fleets such as ride-hailing services.
The report also recommends engaging with state departments of transportation, metropolitan planning organizations, other government associations and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Cities coalitions. Additionally, local governments should solicit input from their communities. “Charging infrastructure built around a community’s specific mobility needs will aid at-scale deployment and begin to champion related equity concerns,” the report said.
The report also includes a checklist centered on public policy actions, planning, stakeholder and community engagement, and site planning. Specific measures for site planning include identifying shovel-ready charging station sites, streamlining permitting processes and recruiting site hosts.