The global electric vehicle (EV) market is quickly growing. According to the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) report, the global EV fleet is more than 5.1 million as of 2018, doubling the sales from the preceding year.

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The International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) said that in order to sustain this surge, there is a need to strengthen the public and workplace charging infrastructures.

Given this, ICCT conducted a research on the state of the charging infrastructure in the world and provided recommendations on how cities can support the growth of this industry. They published this in their paper, Electric vehicle charging guide for cities.

Let’s have a quick rundown of these recommendations.

Filling in gaps

ICCT projects that there should be about a 20% increase in the number of charging points among cities each year in order to ensure that the quickly increasing demand for EVs will be properly supported.

While the most visible form of charging infrastructure are the public charging areas, ICCT’s research revealed that the largest share of charging for most drivers actually occurs at homes and workplaces. Given this, governments are focused on increasing the number of charging points in these areas even though they have lesser control over these jurisdictions.

Filling in the gaps of charging infrastructure would involve a healthy balance of making sure that drivers will have charging ports available in the areas where they use it on a regular basis while at the same time ensuring that there are charging points in places where they might suddenly need to recharge.

Tailored approach

Increasing the amount of existing charging infrastructure is easier said than done. Of course, cities have to navigate on the uncertainty of determining what exact number, what specific types, what kind of policies are needed for this infrastructure expansion. These aspects are not the same for each city, so there is a need to have plans that specifically cater to a city’s needs.

With this, ICT recommended developing a charging infrastructure plan that is specific per city. This plan will involve at least five steps:

  1. Conducting baseline electric and charging assessment
  2. Designing infrastructure plans to enable future vehicle targets
  3. Consulting stakeholders to identify infrastructure gaps and barriers
  4. Developing policies to fill public and private infrastructure gaps
  5. Revisiting and reassessing plan based on feedback, market changes, and data.

Catalytic policies

Apart from setting up a plan for the long-term growth of EVs, there are some measures that cities can implement as early as now.

For instance, governments can provide subsidies  for small- and medium-sized businesses for the construction of public charging stations. Shouldering a portion of the installation and labor costs in apartment buildings is also another way to accelerate the creation of charging infrastructure.

Offering incentive programs for charging infrastructure is another helpful policy to expedite infrastructure growth. Helping residents navigate these programs so that they can take advantage of them through public workshops and information sessions will be a great complement. Apart from this, such information dissemination platforms will also be an opportunity for city governments to advocate for the introduction of programs at the national level.


References

Hall, D. and Lutsey, N. (2020, February 25). Electric vehicle charging guide for cities. Retrieved March 24, 2020 from https://theicct.org/publications/city-EV-charging-guide