Push for Electric Vehicle Infrastructure

There are over 1.8 million registered electric vehicles in the United States, a threefold increase from 2016. As electric vehicle (EV) batteries become lighter and the travel range increases, electric vehicles will become increasingly prevalent across the country.

The rise in electric vehicles on our roadways has led to an increased demand for EV charging infrastructure. In response to this, Governor Kay Ivey has designated $4.1 million to support the installation of electric vehicle charging infrastructure in Alabama.

While the private sector has led the initial push to install EV charging infrastructure, it is critical for local governments and state agencies to develop electric vehicle infrastructure plans for several reasons, including:

  • Minimizing conflicts between on-street electric vehicle charging stations and existing parking spaces, particularly parking spaces for the disabled
  • Taking a citywide or countywide approach to reduce the chances of redundancy (i.e., too many charging stations in the same area, not enough coverage in other places)
  • Identifying areas in the city that are “garage orphans,” which include high-density urban areas, apartment complexes, and universities, and planning electric vehicle infrastructure accordingly

Sain is a leader in EV planning as Paul Gilliam, PE, PTOE, was heavily involved in developing one of the first electric vehicle infrastructure plans in the United States for the City of Frederick, Maryland. Paul evaluated key demographic variables that would impact EV usage and infrastructure, including:

  • Demographics (income and vehicles per household)
  • Trip lengths for work and other purposes, including shopping and school
  • Travel times (congested and uncongested)
  • Downtown Frederick parking inventory
  • Future demographic and traffic forecasts

Transportation and demographic analysis for the Plug-In Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Implementation Plan for the City of Frederick included:

  • Population and employment forecasts from the regional travel demand model were critical in determining existing and future EV charging locations.
  • Household income and vehicles per household were used to determine the areas in the city with the highest EV usage potential.
  • Existing and future travel times and distances were used to estimate the probability of EV usage in the City of Frederick and assist with identifying electric vehicle charging locations in Frederick and adjacent jurisdictions.
  • GIS was used to identify downtown Frederick’s on-street parking locations and potential spaces for electric vehicle charging locations. Similarly, GIS was used to identify multi-family locations, military bases, and other areas identified as “garage orphans” or areas without individual driveways and garages for parking and EV charging.
Electric Vehicle Orphan Issues Map