The integration of electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure in rural areas requires careful planning to cater to the unique needs of diverse stakeholders. Different levels of planning, namely corridor-level planning, community-level planning, and site-level planning, play crucial roles in ensuring the successful deployment of EV charging infrastructure in rural settings.
Corridor-level planning primarily addresses the needs of interregional and interstate travelers and freight operators. State Departments of Transportation (DOTs), tribal governments, regional planning agencies, and county governments are well-suited to undertake corridor-level planning. This approach is particularly relevant for rural areas without a significant local base of EV adopters, as it allows them to tap into broader regional or national bases of travelers.
Key Considerations for Corridor-Level Planning:
- Alternative fuel corridors provide nationwide coverage, making them highly relevant to rural areas.
- Corridor-based planning is suitable for areas lacking a sufficient base of local EV adopters.
- Fast-charging infrastructure, especially DCFCs, is crucial for meeting the needs of EV drivers on corridors.
- Consideration for longer stops at attractions along corridors may influence the choice of charging station types.
Resources for Corridor-Level Planning:
- FHWA’s Alternative Fuels Corridors program website offers resources on infrastructure building and corridor-level planning documents.
- FHWA’s Regional Convenings webpage compiles meeting materials and reports on alternative fuel corridor partnerships.
- DOE Alternative Fuels Data Center’s corridor measurement tool allows users to measure the driving distance between EV charging stations.
- FHWA Alternative Fuel Corridors interactive map explores potential new corridors for EV charging stations.
- FHWA State EV Infrastructure Deployment Plans webpage provides links to State plans for building out EV charging infrastructure along major corridors.
Community-level planning engages local stakeholders to serve a specific neighborhood, town, or region. State, Tribal, and local governments, along with community organizations and transportation planning agencies, are involved in this type of planning. Unlike corridor-level planning, community-level planning caters to the needs of the local population.
Key Considerations for Community-Level Planning:
- Rural entities can establish partnerships through regional coalitions and national-level organizations.
- Technical constraints may be faced in rural EV charging projects due to the less-developed electric grid and telecommunications infrastructure.
- Diverse stakeholders in communities have different needs and perspectives that should be considered.
- Tourism may significantly impact traffic patterns, influencing the demand for different types and locations of EV charging installations.
Resources for Community-Level Planning
- Plug-In Electric Vehicle Readiness is the AFDC’s primary portal for information to help communities assess existing conditions, identify opportunities, and conduct education and outreach.
- A Guide to the Lessons Learned from the Clean Cities Community Electric Vehicle Readiness Projects is a comprehensive summary of lessons learned from DOE’s Clean Cities EV Readiness projects.
- The Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Projection Tool helps estimate the overall quantity and type of EVSE infrastructure needed in communities.
Site-level planning can be approached either as a top-down, coordinated effort among regional leaders or as a bottom-up, individual initiative by EVSE site hosts, including local business owners. This planning level considers the specific needs of individual charging sites within rural areas.
Key Considerations for Site-Level Planning:
- Rural entities can establish partnerships through regional coalitions and national-level organizations for site-level planning.
- Challenges such as lack of three-phase power, wired broadband, or cellular service may impact the installation of certain types of chargers.
- Unique accommodation may be required for rural drivers, such as pull-through parking spots for those arriving with trailers.
Rural EV Infrastructure Planning with Apogee Charging Solutions
Effective planning at different levels is essential for the successful deployment of EV charging infrastructure in rural areas. By considering the unique characteristics and needs of each planning level, stakeholders can contribute to the growth of sustainable transportation options in rural communities. To get started planning your EV charging project, contact Apogee Charging Solutions to learn more about EV infrastructure. Call 484-816-2076, email [email protected], or schedule a call that fits your needs by clicking the button below.