Regional Forecast for EV Ownership
According to data provided by Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia Motor Vehicle Departments, there are approximately 500 EVs registered in the metropolitan Washington region. At least three major EV and PHEV models are available in the region, and service to convert hybrids to PHEVs is available.
While it may not be possible to predict exactly how many EVs will be operating in the region incoming years, one means of estimating future EV adoption is to analyze the recent experience ofhybrid vehicle adoption. According to data from the Transportation Planning Board (TBP), from2005 to 2011, the number of registered hybrid vehicles in the region grew more than 600 percent,from approximately 12,000 vehicles to more than 70,000. COG staff determined that a conservative estimate would be 1,500 to 3,000 EVs operating in the region by the end of the decade. The high estimate could see anywhere from 50,000 to 75,000 EVs on the region’s roadways by 2020. A projection conducted by the Electric Power Research Institute, based on past hybrid sales, manufacturer production estimates, and other publicly available studies, predicts that there could be 15,000 to over 30,000 EVs in the Washington region by 2015.
Potential for EV Use
COG staff analyzed the potential for EVs in the context of current driving patterns in the region. According to COG’s Household Travel Survey, most vehicle trips in the region are relatively short, with an average vehicle trip length of 7.7 miles. This is well within the range of one charge for all EVs in the market today. Therefore, for most daily commutes and other trip purposes, the relatively short length of the trips would not cause significant range anxiety.
Publicly Accessible EV Charging Infrastructure
A growing EV charging infrastructure exists in the metropolitan Washington region as a result of stimulus funding through state governments and private investment. COG staff developed an inventory of EV charging stations for the metropolitan Washington region. Altogether, the inventory identified 332 chargers in 133 publicly available charging station locations, 11 of which are planned stations. The District of Columbia has the most charging stations among COG jurisdictions (36), followed by Arlington County, Virginia (15); Fairfax County, Virginia (18); and Charles County, Maryland (11). The District of Columbia and Arlington County, Virginia, have the highest number of chargers (85 and 62, respectively). About 40 percent of the chargers are Level 1, and the remaining 60 percent are Level 2.6 No DC fast chargers were installed when the inventory was developed. The inventory indicates that building managers are installing EVSE in a variety of land uses.
LOCAL GOVERNMENT POLICY
To understand the current EV policy landscape of the metropolitan Washington region, COG conducted a survey of its 22 member jurisdictions in early 2012 about EV permitting procedures and infrastructure planning efforts. Results of the survey indicated that with some exceptions, most jurisdictions reported having no EV policy development in place. Two exceptions are the District of Columbia and Fairfax County, Virginia, which are integrating EV considerations into the permit review process, building code policy, and ADA parking restrictions. The City of Frederick, Maryland, and the City of Falls Church, Virginia, indicated that they are tracking EV charging permit applications. In other jurisdictions, electrical permits do not indicate whether an EV charging station is being installed—thus presenting a barrier to tracking. Additionally, if a dedicated circuit is already installed, EV drivers charging at 120V (Level 1) outlet would not need to obtain a permit.
The Municipal Policy and Permitting/Inspections subgroups emphasized that local governments will play a critical role in the region’s EV readiness. To facilitate continued growth of the market and smooth the transition to higher rates of EV adoption, the subgroups recommend that local governments ensure that EV infrastructure development is addressed in comprehensive for definitions of EV charging technology.
Planning efforts and that zoning, building codes, and permitting and inspection processes provide a pathway to the expeditious installation of charging equipment. Streamlined permitting and inspection processes, EV and charging incentives, infrastructure readiness, low permitting and inspection costs, and nominal installation costs all contribute to reducing barriers to greater EV adoption.
ELECTRIC UTILITY POLICY
The regulatory status of EV charging stations—contained in provisions of electric utility policy—can help or hinder the ability of private companies and utilities to provide EV charging services. Across the region, the regulatory status of EV charging service providers is inconsistent and in some cases unclear. Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia have all taken steps in recent years to resolve areas of uncertainty in their electric utility policy as it relates to EVs and EV charging. However, room for improvement remains, particularly when it comes to notifying utilities about EV charging station locations.
The Electric Utility Policy subgroup found that clear state-level policies are needed to promote private investment in EV charging infrastructure for charging in the for-pay charging market. They recommend that ideally, local and state policy would allow utilities to be notified in advance about the location of EV charging equipment so they can ensure that appropriate infrastructure is in place to accommodate the increased load and avoid service disruptions for their customers.
EVs FOR FLEET USE
A 2012 survey of fleets in the metropolitan Washington region found that EVs are being adopted slowly. The Greater Washington Region Clean Cities Coalition’s survey of 11 fleet managers found that most EVs currently in operation are used onsite, such as trucks used on landfills or campus landscaping equipment. 7 According to the Coalition, fleet managers cite the cost of EVs and infrastructure as obstacles to purchasing additional EVs. The Fleets subgroup provided recommendations on promoting partnerships between governments and manufacturers to reduce costs and increase utilization of EVs in fleets, encourage charging infrastructure sharing, and promote cooperative purchasing.
OUTREACH AND EDUCATION
The public’s current level of knowledge about electric vehicles is limited. Education efforts by private and public entities (including nongovernmental organizations, electric utilities, PEV service providers, auto dealers, other businesses, and government) are needed to bridge the gap. To set the stage for EV marketplace success in the metropolitan Washington region, regional partners involved in the Metropolitan COG Electric Vehicle Planning Initiative have identified key target audiences and information needs for those audiences.
In addition to identifying an initial list of resources for EV stakeholders to use in education and outreach efforts, the subgroup provides recommendations on how to increase outreach efforts throughout the region. Continuing to search for and share resources, engaging with regional partners to encourage collaboration and to share experiences, and promoting EV awareness through industry training and curricula should be priorities for the region.
SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS
Achieving EV readiness in the metropolitan Washington region will require a coordinated approach among all stakeholders, including utilities, players in the EV industry, state and local governments, and nonprofit groups. This report contains recommendations for these stakeholders to promote a consistent set of practices across the region that will remove barriers to EV adoption and infrastructure planning.
The top five recommendations to facilitate EV deployment in the region are as follows:
1. Stakeholder partnerships, such as a Washington Regional Electric Vehicle Partnership, should be formed to develop a business case for EVs, and to assess the potential for community return on investment.
2. Stakeholders should consider offering incentives such as preferred parking, HOV occupancy exceptions, and tax credits to promote EV adoption.
3. Electric permitting procedures should identify EVSE installations and notify electric utilities of their locations.
4. Outreach and education is needed to promote EV adoption and inform the public of its benefits.
5. Comprehensive plans and zoning regulations should guide EV infrastructure
development and ensure that the built environment can accommodate future EVSE installations.
See the entire report here
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