Included here you’ll find information on the following:
With the arrival of the Nissan LEAF and Chevrolet Volt, the rising cost of gasoline, heightened interest in energy security and continued concerns about the environment, the use of electric vehicles is set to rise steadily. The push for clean, efficient automotive and energy infrastructure technologies demonstrated through the federal tax credit and goal of one million electric cars on the road by 2015 offers unique opportunities for economic growth in the advanced energy technologies industry.
As citizens and businesses look to add PEVs to the transportation mix over the next few years, municipalities will need to amplify local infrastructure, policy provisions and ordinances, training and public information to:
Implement regulatory policies and codes that efficiently and effectively allow for use of PEVs and electric vehicle service equipment (EVSE).
Educate residents, businesses and communities about PEV use and technology to overcome perceived barriers, such as “range anxiety,” maintenance concerns and having convenient access to charging opportunities.
Implement EVSE technology delivery for the public and partner to reduce market hurdles and accelerate technology deployment.
Cities and towns have several roles in the EVSE arena regarding policies that promote safe and efficient implementation of electric vehicle infrastructure. Development regulations, codes and ordinances may need to be updated to support the widespread use of plug-in electric cars.
Most charging will be done at home or workplaces initially, requiring cities to address building and zoning codes for residences and buildings. If these locations are adding Level 2 EVSE (electrical vehicle service equipment), building codes may need to address wiring and disconnects for safety yet be flexible to keep cost savings.
Article 625 of the National Electric Code covers the requirements for construction and installation of electric vehicle supply equipment: All additions and/or modifications to residential or commercial premises wiring must be done according to local and national code requirements.
Permitting and inspection is up to the jurisdiction. Permitting will typically be handled by the electrical contractor hired to install the EVSE. Therefore having trained and qualified personnel and inspectors are a key aspect of streamlining PEV adoption and use.
Some useful resources and sample language:
- The State of Washington has developed a comprehensive guide for local governments to implement policy, regulations, zoning and codes, with model language that jurisdictions may include in their adopting ordinances for electric vehicle infrastructure.
- The Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services Building Codes Division (BCD) has adopted an initial set of statewide standards for the design and installation and establish permitting and inspection requirements for the electric vehicle charging stations that apply statewide in every city and county.
- A cooperative effort by the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) will train and certify electrical contractors and inspectors across the U.S on ESVE, with the Washington, DC Joint Apprenticeship & Training Committee (JATC) ready to offer training. And Underwriters Laboratory offers an online course in EV charging station installation.
Building codes and permitting for private installations in parking lots, multi-family dwellings, neighborhood distribution systems must include understanding the building- or local-load management as PEV charging will increase peak demand.
In addition, opportunities for charging are most appropriate in locations where drivers park for longer periods of time, including sports venues, hospital parking lots, retail stores, restaurants, cultural or recreation centers. There may be a role to partner with siting public/private charging stations or develop codes and policies for these locations, too.
Access to charging stations on-street and in public garages is important to expand charging opportunities as more vehicles are added to the transportation mix, and is vital for those who may not have a garage or ability to charge at work. Deciding where and how to install public charging stations is key to expanding local infrastructure and PEV technology.
Accessibility, allowed uses, ordinance definitions and enforcement of parking designated for PEVs at charging stations are all issues that may need to be addressed locally.
Currently in the Greater Charlotte Region, jurisdictions and public/private partnerships are deploying charging stations:
- City of Gastonia installed station at Schiele Museum of Natural History
- City of Charlotte planning to install 26 stations, Uptown Charlotte and CATS park-n-ride locations
- Bank of America installed XX stations, Uptown Charlotte parking lots
- Duke Energy installed 11 stations in the Mint Street Parking Deck as well as additional stations for their employees.
- Planning to install stations: Wells Fargo (Uptown Charlotte), Charlotte-Douglas Airport
- Station installed at Ritz Carlton Charlotte
Local jurisdictions face a variety of steps in the installation of electric vehicle charging stations, which may include:
- Trenching, Electrical panel box, Installation of Conduit, Inspection of Groundwork, Installation of Bracket Footing and Bollards, Installation of Charging Stations on Mounting Brackets, Testing of Charging Units, Final Inspection
- See Local Projects Page for More Municipal Sample Projects
ESVE equipment currently ranges from approximately $300 to $500 for non-intelligent stations and $1,800 to $5,000 per unit “intelligent” charging stations– those that capture and provide data about the use of the charging station. Software subscriptions may be required for an additional cost.
An initiative by the U.S. DOE plans to reduce the cost of intelligent ESVE by 50 percent over the next three years.
Manufacturers include Coulomb Technologies and the ChargePoint network, GoSmart Technologies, Greenlight, Minit Charger and Aerovironment. For Learn more about charging infrastructure in these two reports: Plug-in Electric Vehicle Infrastructure: A Foundation for Electrified Transportation and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Review