The role of electric vehicle infrastructure in municipal mobility planning
The movement toward electric vehicles (EVs) is accelerating, fueled by shifting consumer preferences, generous incentives from the federal government, and bold commitments from automakers who collectively aim to reduce our country’s carbon emissions over the of the next decade and beyond. Sales of electric vehicles in the United States have increased by more than 40% each year, on average, since 2016, and according to a revealing report recently published by McKinsey & Company, America will need about 1.2 million public electric vehicle chargers and 28 million private EV chargers by 2030. Fortunately, the bipartisan infrastructure law recently passed by Congress and signed into law by President Biden targets $7.5 billion to build 500 000 EV charging stations across the country, and forward-thinking planners at the city and county level must act quickly to expand EVs. load optimization plans and additional investments secured through public-private (P3) partnerships to bring this critical infrastructure to our communities.
Create a roadmap for success
An electric vehicle charging optimization plan is essentially a roadmap to help municipalities and stakeholders navigate the extremely complex nature of electric vehicle technology and deliver a range of environmental benefits and new sources of income to the community. Knowing that federal government grants to establish and strengthen EV infrastructure won’t last forever, city leaders should quickly develop EV charging optimization plans and submit funding applications that can cover most – and, in some cases, all – of the initial investments. .
When creating an EV charger optimization plan, it is important to integrate supply and demand by analyzing metadata on traffic volume, registered EVs, and other external factors. This will provide the information needed to perform a spatial analysis of potential recharge sites to ensure optimal accessibility. In terms of location, municipalities typically benefit from owning a treasure trove of prime real estate for on-street and off-street electric vehicle charging stations in the middle of public sidewalks and other high-traffic areas in commercial districts. Local governments have also been strongly encouraged to focus on maximizing the use of electric vehicles and promoting equity among people of diverse incomes and backgrounds.
Here are some other factors to consider when planning public electric vehicle charging facilities in high-density areas:
- Work with an experienced mobility and electrification partner to ensure you have a solid plan that meets projected demand over the next five to ten years.
- Extend charging networks beyond the urban core, into other urban neighborhoods and suburbs easily accessible to all.
- Install more chargers in existing charging stations, which is more economical than building new stations.
Leveraging public-private partnerships (P3)
Public-private partnerships are also a valid pursuit for realizing EV solutions at the municipal level, as private sector entities are often willing to subsidize projects and provide vital infrastructure in return for a minimum term operating agreement. . This agreement can significantly reduce upfront capital expenditures and provide municipalities with long-term stable sources of revenue.
For example, Georgia recently unveiled a plan to bolster its electric vehicle charging infrastructure through P3, under which the state would not own, operate or maintain electric vehicle charging locations. . Private partners will be found through a competitive solicitation process, according to state officials. In neighboring Florida, the state passed legislation allowing electric vehicle public-private partnerships, and Colorado released an electric vehicle deployment and infrastructure plan to create a sense of certainty and commitment that calls for massive private sector investment.
Private sector operators can also provide insight into the optimal pricing structure, charger visibility, and advertising best practices to increase usage among drivers and create an attractive profit structure for local governments. Local governments, in turn, can support the private sector by streamlining licensing processes, increasing existing charger networks, and creating policy that further encourages the development of electric vehicles.
The demand for EVs has been established beyond doubt, and now is the time for municipalities to take advantage of the resources and opportunities that have been made available to flood the market with EV charging infrastructure. As we saw with the pandemic-inspired rescue grants for struggling businesses and households, the government’s aid programs were robust but ultimately ran out of money. Taking stock of these lessons learned, it is incumbent on municipalities to act quickly on the bipartisan infrastructure law – in collaboration with different levels of the public and private sectors – and become early adopters of sustainable technology that will benefit communities for years to come. come.
David Schmid is the Chief Investment Officer of Propark Mobility, a national mobility and parking management company based in Hartford, Connecticut, with more than 750 locations in over 100 cities. Schmid leads Propark’s mergers and acquisitions, real estate division and Cloudpark technology initiative.
Luis Garcia is Senior Vice President of Mobility at Propark, where he oversees the overall strategy, development, planning and implementation of Propark’s mobility offerings and partnerships. For more information, visit Propark.com.