A Guide for Local Governments – How to Educate Your Community on EVs

by | Oct 26, 2023 | 0 comments |

The question has changed from if EV infrastructure is necessary to how communities can make it happen. As municipality electrification is becoming part of the conversation, communities have a responsibility to prepare for the growing demand for EV charging. This often means navigating available incentives and understanding applicable regulations. For leadership, this can seem overwhelming but there is a way to simplify the process.

Local Governments and EVs

A common reason consumers are hesitant to switch to electric vehicles is the fear they won’t be able to find public charging stations. Unfortunately, this concern is not unfounded. States across the country have gaps in their EV charging infrastructure. This means local officials must address these gaps to reassure community residents they will have easy access to EV chargers.

This starts by developing robust EV charging infrastructure, and there are three ways local governments can get started.

  1. Incorporating EVs into local ordinances, especially in zoning ordinances
  2. Conducting EV educational outreach programs
  3. Leading by example by developing EV infrastructure at public facilities

By following these three simple steps, municipalities can start implementing EV charging in their communities.

Municipality Electrification – How to Incorporate EV Charging into Ordinances

Local governments can include incentives or requirements for local businesses and residences to encourage the adoption of EV infrastructure. Some examples that are proving effective include incorporating EV infrastructure into zoning ordinances and reducing the required number of off-street parking spaces for businesses when the parking spots are equipped with EV chargers.

Other municipalities are requiring all parking lots and structures to have at least one EV charging station for a pre-set number of parking spots. For example, one EV charger for every 200 parking spaces.

While this is a start toward reaching the growing demand for public EV charging, most municipalities are only looking at short-term needs instead of setting long-term goals. This means that in a few years, the discussion about the need for a more robust EV charging infrastructure will come up again.

EV Infrastructure Education

Not every community wants to force EV charging infrastructure into their local ordinances. If this applies to your municipality, there is another role community leaders can play.

Educating the community about the costs and benefits of EV infrastructure can help encourage municipalities to adopt viable strategies.

A study out of San Fransisco finds that it costs an estimated 1.7 to 2.3 times as much for an EV charger retrofit as it does to install the units during the parking lot’s construction. While there are still costs associated with installing charging stations during construction, the costs are not due all at once. Parking lot owners do not need to install the charging stations during construction, they can wait until there is a public need and demand. Since the infrastructure is already in place, parking lot owners are only responsible for the fees associated with purchasing or leasing EV charging stations.

Parking lot owners looking to save on costs but still offer EV charging in the future can follow the three levels of EV readiness.

  1. EV-capable. The electrical panel is installed to support EV charging
  2. EVSE ready outlet. The panel’s electrical capacity can support one or more EV charging stations
  3. EVSE-installed. The chargers are installed and ready for use

Local governments can also educate the public about rebates and other financial incentives that help offset installation and purchasing costs. Along with local and state incentives, the federal government also offers financial incentives to businesses and homeowners.

Local Governments and EVs – Leading by Example

Government officials can also lead by example. This can include purchasing electric vehicles and installing home EV charging units. Electrifying public fleets can help reduce concerns the public often has about being able to charge their vehicles away from home.

Municipalities can also provide information on the various EVs on the market.

Local governments can also demonstrate the benefits associated with electric vehicles which include promoting a more sustainable future. For more information on how your government can educate the community about electric vehicle charging infrastructure, contact Apogee Charging Solutions. Contact us today by calling 484-816-2076, emailing [email protected], or schedule a call that fits your need by clicking the button below.


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