Vehicles with an electric motor. Electric vehicle charging stations on the roadside

This EV Charging Infrastructure Blueprint includes a high-level overview of the process and benefits of electric vehicle charging infrastructure, showcases important tools and online resources, and outlines Key Activities to help guide EECBG Program entities to success. A Blueprint Summary PDF is also available for download (below), which provides a concise summary of the Blueprint Key Activities. DOE plans to make technical assistance available to support all entities interested in electric transportation, which may include, one-on-one support from national lab or DOE experts, webinars, and peer learning opportunities.

What is EV Charging Infrastructure for Your Community?

Thorough and thoughtful EV charging infrastructure planning – sometimes referred to as community EV readiness – sets communities up for success as the nation’s vehicles transition from gasoline-powered engines to electric. Proactively planning and installing electric vehicle (EV) charging stations for your area will support this transition while taking into account your community’s unique needs. Community EV readiness planning can occur at the local, state, or regional level and can take a variety of forms and complexities. While some communities work to meet current charging needs projected by EV adoption projects, others work to increase overall EV adoption. Such planning can also include consideration of alternatives to single-occupant vehicles such as increased investment in public transit, bike paths, and more walkable streets.

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Justice and Equity: Installing publicly available EV charging stations makes it possible for more members of the community to go EV. Public involvement in selecting the location of charging stations can incorporate accessibility and equity concerns, including dwell time and associated economic and environmental benefits, in a way the private sector may overlook. Publicly funded charging stations could prioritize neighborhoods the private sector may leave out, like disadvantaged or Environmental Justice (EJ) communities. RFPs for charging vendors can also include preferences for local and women- and minority-owned small businesses.

Why is EV Instructure in the Community Important?

EV car sales in the United States increased from 0.2 percent of total car sales to 4.6 percent in 2021 over an 11 year period and many forecasts expect a strong acceleration in EV adoption to continue. Comprehensive EV planning allows government officials the chance to think through impacts EV investment options may have on equity, the grid, air pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions. By strategically planning EV infrastructure, communities can better prepare themselves for the changing vehicle landscape and provide residents with the support they need, especially those that are not able to charge vehicles at home. Indeed, charging stations built through a careful planning process experience much higher utilization than those that were not. Similarly, planning EV infrastructure in advance helps communities prepare their electrical grid for increased demand and futureproof their designs to allow for easy upgrades and installations over the long term.

Who Should Consider This Blueprint?

Communities that anticipate high EV adoption or are experiencing EV adoption but have not yet completed any infrastructure planning. This Blueprint is especially recommended for communities interested in EV deployment and for communities where transportation represents a high percentage of GHG emissions.

Who/What Will You Need?

To develop an EV Charging Infrastructure Plan, you will need to engage your community’s planning organization and department(s) as well as any department that specializes in sustainable development, transportation, or environment. You will also need to identify stakeholders to participate and provide input during the research and planning process.

Download the Blueprint Key Activities Summary.

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Key Activities

These selected Key Activities are suggestions of important steps a government could take to begin or make progress on their EV infrastructure planning journey. EECBG Program awardees that utilize a blueprint will receive expedited application review from DOE. Applicants must execute at least one of the key activities listed under each selected blueprint but should avoid going beyond the recommended activities. Going beyond these key activities may trigger additional reviews of your EECBG Program project to ensure you’re meeting National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), historic preservation, and/or other federal regulations. While each step is important, they should be seen as a guide. Awardees should determine their own priority activities based on their local context. 
 

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First, determine if you need a formal solicitation process to purchase and install EVSE. Work with your organization’s contracting and procurement team to understand what types of legal parameters you will need to establish a procurement plan for EVSE. The site host will have specific characteristics and goals that may influence the process (e.g., utilization rates, equity considerations).

  • Choose an EVSE manufacturer and station vendor through an RFP that complies with certification requirements and is compliant with SAE International standards (i.e., SAE J1772). Cost estimates:
    • Level 2 charger: $3,000-$7,500/charger, incl. hardware and installation costs.
    • DC fast charger: $55,000- $200,000/charger, incl. hardware and installation costs.
    • Actual installation costs vary significantly site-to-site.
  • Work with your utility to get technical support for EVSE installations.
  • Select the vendor that will best meet your needs.
  • Identify local, state, and national codes and regulations that apply to EVSE installations and include requirements that installations be completed by licensed electrical contractors.
  • Identify permitting requirements from local building authorities.
  • Include testing measures to assess the safety and functionality of the EVSE.
  • Determine the type of ownership model you would like to utilize. Most ownership modes are site host-owned and third party-owned (by a charging network).
  • Develop requirements for maintenance and operation issues (e.g., who is responsible for maintaining EVSE and ensuring high uptime).
  • Determine if your stations need to be networked and if utilization data needs to be collected.

If available in your area, the following information can help inform your planning efforts:

  • Data on local EV market and Charging Infrastructure, such as:
    • Existing public charging infrastructure (aka. Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE)
    • Vehicle registration or sales data
    • State, county, city or tribal fleet data
    • Existing financial incentives and relevant grant opportunities
    • Existing efforts related to expanding EV charging infrastructure (e.g., utility deployment investments)
    • Regional planning efforts and state-level EVSE goals or plans
    • Any EVSE permitting and inspection fees, processes, and timelines
  • Data to inform EV adoption projections and EVSE locations, such as:
    • EV adoption projection data
    • Community housing makeup (i.e., a breakdown of single-family homes vs. multifamily housing units)
    • Population data to inform EV adoption projections
    • Transportation demand management data to help inform ideal locations for EVSE deployment
  • Relevant codes, such as:
    • Building and municipal zoning codes that impact electrical wiring, construction, and EVSE
    • Parking codes and design standards, such as ADA-accessibility design requirements

Key Resource: The Charging Infrastructure Procurement and Installation (DOE AFDC) website hosts information and resources about specific characteristics that can influence the procurement and installation process.

Key Resource: Developing Infrastructure to Charge Electric Vehicles (DOE AFDC) is an introduction to charging infrastructure terminology, different charging use cases, and resources on options, planning tools, and funding programs.

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  • Develop a list of stakeholders to involve in the EVSE infrastructure planning process. The stakeholder group should consist of all entities impacted by EVs and EVSE.
  • Hold regular meetings to collect initial input before beginning the planning process and collect feedback on your EVSE draft plans.
  • Tailor your outreach to each unique audience to ensure you are communicating effectively and will solicit meaningful feedback.
  • Hold public events, workshops, ride-and-drives, and other activities to engage your community and help them better understand the new technology.

Stakeholders may include:

  • Government fleet representatives
  • Other relevant government departments (e.g., public works, transit, permitting and inspection)
  • Electric utilities with service territory in your jurisdiction
  • Multifamily dwelling representatives
  • Your Clean Cities Coalition. In addition to being a subject matter resource, Clean Cities Coalitions are doing a lot of work on engaging EJ communities and could help recommend which communities or organizations to engage.
  • Local businesses, institutions, and universities
  • Local environmental groups
  • Low-income and disadvantaged community representatives and interest groups, such as ratepayer advocates

Key Resource: Electric Vehicle Charging Equity Considerations (ANL) evaluates how to ensure investments in electric vehicle charging benefit disadvantaged communities.

Key Resource: Electrifying Transportation in Municipalities (Electrification Coalition) is a policy toolkit for electric vehicle deployment and adoption at the local level, including information on Equitable Charging for Affordable Housing.

  • Complete community EV adoption projections, readiness assessment, and siting assessment to determine the number of EVSE you will need to install. This should identify the level (e.g., Level 2, DCFC), number, and location (e.g., workplace, MUD, public) of EVSE needed to support your community based on existing infrastructure and anticipated infrastructure needs.
  • Work with your utility to determine the feasibility of installing EVSE at the desired locations. Work with your utility to expand electrical infrastructure and capacity where needed. This process can take a while, so it is best to get started early.
  • Select promising locations and if there are particular sites or areas that your plan should concentrate on.

Cost estimate: $5,000-$15,000

Key Resource: Charging Electric Vehicles in Public (DOE AFDC) includes information and resource links about the types of public charging stations and zoning codes, and parking ordinances to consider when siting.

Key Resource: Case study: Advancing Iowa's EV Market Report was produced for the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) as a study to assess the current electric vehicle (EV) market, forecast future market conditions and evaluate programs and policies that could potentially help the market meet these projections.

Key Resource: Case study: EV Fast Charging Corridors Grant Program (Colorado Energy Office) aimed to tackle one of the major barriers to PEV adoption in the state, the lack of publicly available fast charging along highways.

Key Resource: Plug-in EV Best Practices Compendium (County of Santa Clara) provides an overview of the key considerations for local governments who are seeking to support the deployment of plug-in EVs and charging infrastructure.

  • Test the safety and functionality of your EVSE.
  • EVSE installations are restricted to the footprints and levels of previous group disturbance within the EVSE site.
  • All activities must be reversible, non-permanent techniques for installation and use the lowest profiled EVSE available that provides the necessary charging capacity.
  • Use colors complementary to the surround environment.
  • Install EVSE in convenient locations with good lighting.
  • Consider signage and pavement markings to help inform drivers about EVSE use.
  • Incorporate Americans with Disability Act requirements for site design.

Key Resource: The Charging Infrastructure Procurement and Installation (DOE AFDC) website hosts information and resources about specific characteristics that can influence the procurement and installation process.

Key Resource: These Electric Vehicle Readiness (DOE AFDC) resources can help communities plan for the arrival of electric vehicles (EVs) and EV charging. EV readiness is a community-wide effort, requiring planning, charging infrastructure, policies, and support services.

  • Utilize social media platforms to share meetings and engagement opportunities as well as infrastructure development updates.
  • Share program updates and metrics to demonstrate the demand and effectiveness of the EVSE installation.
  • Continue to solicit feedback from the community for continued infrastructure improvements.

Key Resource: Case Study: Seattle: An Early Electric Vehicle Adopter, Still Leading the Charge (AFDC) describes how Seattle used a combination of plans, ordinances, pilot projects, and a robust community engagement process working with City resources and partners to create one of the strongest EV readiness strategies in the country.

Key Resource: Case Study: The Tahoe-Truckee, CA and NV Plug-in EV Readiness Plan (Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and Truckee Donner Public Utility District) includes resources on consumer awareness, overcoming barriers to adoption, and implementation ongoing actions.

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Find out how Asheville, North Carolina, is building a network of electric vehicle charging stations.
Video courtesy of CleanCitiesTV

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Next Steps to Get Started

Sign up to join the EECBG Program EV Chargers for Your Community Blueprint Cohort using this Microsoft Office Form.

Check out a whole library of Inspirational Videos made in partnership with DOE and Motor Week. 

The Department of Energy Vehicle Technologies Office’s Clean Cities Coalition hosts a plethora of information, data and resources for communities interested in electric vehicle infrastructure. Connect with your local Clean Cities Coalition to learn more about what EV Charging activities are already underway in your area. The DOE team of experts may also be able to provide in-depth technical support to EECBG awardees.

Additional Federal Funds to Leverage and Braid with Your EECBG Program Award

Funds for EV chargers may become available through US Department of Transportation and state DOTs. EPA will also be issuing competitive grants for electric school buses, electric heavy-duty vehicles and EV planning. Other funding opportunities include:

Additional funding programs and resources may be found on the Alternative Fuels Data Center Laws and Incentives Database website.

Additional Resources

Cost Estimates:

Case Studies:

Guidance, Tools, and Links: