As electric vehicles (EVs) become more popular than traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, it is crucial for cities to adapt to this growing demand. With automakers heavily investing in EV development and governments offering incentives for EV adoption, this trend is expected to continue in the coming years. As more people switch to EVs, the need for public charging infrastructure becomes increasingly critical. Cities must invest in public chargers to meet this growing demand and support the transition to a more sustainable transportation system.
Why should your city invest in public chargers? There are many reasons—and many solutions, from DC fast chargers to Level 2 chargers and more.
5 Benefits of public charging for your city
There are many reasons to build more public charging stations in your city, both qualitatively and quantitatively. By creating the infrastructure for more EVs, your city can be part of the transition to the future of sustainability. Here are all the benefits of public charging stations:
1. Building EV infrastructure
Investing in public charging infrastructure not only meets the immediate needs of EV drivers but also signals a commitment to sustainable transportation. A robust charging network encourages more people to switch to EVs, leading to a cleaner and greener transportation ecosystem.
2. Lowering emissions
Transportation is a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions. By promoting the adoption of EVs through the provision of public charging infrastructure, cities can contribute to reducing air pollution and CO2 emissions.
3. Meeting sustainability goals
Many cities have set ambitious sustainability goals to combat climate change. Investing in public charging infrastructure is a significant step towards achieving these goals, as it supports the shift to cleaner transportation methods.
4. Attracting residents and visitors
A city with a well-established public charging network is more attractive to both residents and visitors. EV owners will be more likely to visit or move to a city that has a reliable charging infrastructure, boosting local businesses and increasing property values.
5. Creating job opportunities
As cities invest in public charging infrastructure, they also contribute to job creation in various areas such as charger installation and operations and maintenance (O&M). As the demand for EV charging infrastructure grows, so does the need for skilled workers in the sector. This increase in employment opportunities not only supports the local economy but also helps build a workforce well-equipped for the future of transportation.
Ensuring equitable access to public charging
As cities invest in public charging infrastructure, they must consider the importance of equitable access for all residents. Charging stations should be deployed in a way that ensures residents from all income levels and neighborhoods have access to convenient and affordable charging options. By providing equitable access to public charging, cities can prevent the creation of "charging deserts" in underserved communities and foster a more inclusive environment for EV adoption.
To achieve equitable access, city planners should consider the following strategies:
Collaborate with community organizations
Engage with local community organizations to better understand the specific needs and challenges faced by different neighborhoods, providing valuable input on the most appropriate locations for charging stations.
Prioritize charging infrastructure in underserved areas
Install charging stations in areas with limited access to private charging options, such as multi-unit dwellings or lower-income neighborhoods, ensuring these communities have access to public charging.
Offer affordable charging rates
Work with utility companies and charging network operators to offer affordable charging rates for all residents through tiered pricing structures, off-peak charging discounts, or income-based subsidies.
Promote car-sharing and EV pooling programs
Encourage car-sharing and EV pooling programs in underserved communities, providing residents with more accessible and affordable transportation options while reducing the need for individual vehicle ownership.
Education and outreach
Implement targeted public awareness campaigns and educational programs in underserved communities to raise awareness about the benefits of EVs and the availability of public charging infrastructure.
Electric buses and fleet electrification
In addition to passenger vehicles, cities should invest in electrifying public transportation and municipal fleets. Electric buses offer significant advantages over their diesel counterparts, including lower operating costs, reduced noise pollution and zero tailpipe emissions. The electrification of public transportation not only contributes to improved air quality but also promotes the adoption of EVs by making electric mobility more visible and familiar to the general public.
To electrify their fleets, cities can:
Develop a phased transition plan
Create a long-term strategy for transitioning the city's public transportation and municipal fleets to electric vehicles. This plan should include timelines, budgeting, infrastructure needs and workforce training.
Pursue federal, state and local funding opportunities to support fleet electrification, such as grants, low-interest loans, and tax incentives, including the new National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Program.
Collaborate with manufacturers
Partner with electric bus and vehicle manufacturers to secure favorable pricing, explore new technologies, and gain access to technical expertise.
Install charging infrastructure
Invest in the necessary charging infrastructure to support electric fleets, including overnight charging at depots and on-route charging for buses.
Train the workforce
Provide training and resources for maintenance and operations personnel to ensure they have the skills and knowledge needed to support the transition to electric fleets.
Electric mobility in the sharing economy
The sharing economy has transformed the way people access transportation, and cities can leverage this trend to promote electric mobility. By integrating EVs into car-sharing, ride-hailing and bike-sharing services, cities can make electric mobility more accessible and affordable for residents who may not be able to purchase an electric vehicle outright.
For example, Enel X Way partnered with Uber to support zero-emissions driving with JuiceEco, a product which enables EV drivers to charge up with 100% renewable energy through the use of Renewable Energy Credits (RECs). This US-based partnership provides Uber drivers with special savings on JuiceBox smart home chargers, as well as free access to credits for emission-free driving.
To promote electric mobility in the sharing economy, cities can:
Provide financial incentives, such as reduced fees or tax breaks, for car-sharing and ride-hailing companies that incorporate EVs into their fleets.
Collaborate with sharing economy companies to install dedicated charging infrastructure for their EV fleets, streamlining the charging process and ensuring a consistent supply of available electric vehicles.
Work with sharing economy companies to raise awareness about the benefits of electric mobility and provide resources to help users navigate the EV charging process.
Encourage the deployment of electric micromobility options, such as e-bikes and e-scooters, as an affordable and environmentally friendly alternative to traditional transportation methods.
Monitor and evaluate
Collect data on the use of EVs in the sharing economy to assess the impact of these initiatives and identify opportunities for further growth and improvement.
Different public charging solutions for cities
To cater to the diverse needs of EV drivers, cities have multiple public charging solutions at their disposal. Which one is best for you? Let’s explore the options:
1. Level 2 charging stations: Level 2 charging stations are the most common type of public charger. They use a 240 volt power supply and can typically charge an EV in 4 to 8 hours. These chargers are suitable for parking lots, workplaces and other locations where vehicles will be parked for several hours. Enel X Way has worked with cities and utilities across the country to install the Level 2 chargers like the JuiceBox Pro and JuicePedestal.
2. Level 3 DC fast charging: DC fast chargers, like Enel X Way JuicePump chargers, provide a rapid charging solution for EVs, charging a vehicle up to 80% in 20 to 30 minutes. These chargers are ideal for locations along highways, in city centers and other areas where drivers need a quick charge.
3. Public-private partnerships: Cities can collaborate with private companies to install and operate public charging infrastructure. These partnerships can help cities leverage private investment to expand their charging networks more rapidly.
What solution works best for your city?
Investing in public charging infrastructure is crucial for cities looking to promote electric mobility and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. By adopting a comprehensive and strategic approach to EV charging infrastructure, cities can not only support the transition to electric vehicles but also create new job opportunities, promote equitable access, and improve public transportation.
To succeed in this endeavor, cities must collaborate with various stakeholders, assess the unique needs of their communities, and implement targeted solutions that ensure a seamless and convenient EV charging experience for all residents. By prioritizing public charging infrastructure, cities can lead the way towards a more sustainable, equitable and environmentally friendly future for transportation.
By taking action now and investing in public charging infrastructure, cities can pave the way for a cleaner, greener and more sustainable future.