Charging Plug-In Electric Vehicles in Public

Photo of a public charging station.

General public charging uses AC Level 2 (shown here) or DC fast charging.

For fleet drivers and consumers to charge their all-electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) in public, charging stations must be deployed and integrated with consideration for daily commutes and typical driving habits.

Charging Stations

Public charging stations make all-electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles more convenient. Although the majority of EV and PHEV owners charge at single-family homes, public charging and workplace charging stations can increase the daily useful range of EVs and reduce the amount of gasoline consumed by PHEVs.

General public charging uses AC Level 2 or DC fast charging. AC Level 1 and 2 charging stations should typically be located where vehicle owners are highly concentrated and parked for long periods of time, such as shopping centers, airports, hotels, government offices, and other businesses.

Read more about infrastructure costs and charging infrastructure development in the report Costs Associated With Non-Residential Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment.

Fleet Charging

Fleets that choose to incorporate EVs or PHEVs into their operations must account for several factors when planning for charging stations. Peak demand, duty and cycles, garaging locations, vehicle models, and availability of off-site public charging stations can all factor into decisions about the number, location, and type(s) of charging units. City planners, fleet managers, and utilities can work together with installers to determine the best locations. For more information, see Plug-In Electric Vehicle Handbook for Fleet Managers.

Zoning, Codes, and Parking Ordinances

Zoning, codes (including permitting), and parking ordinances are all regulatory tools at the disposal of state and local officials to further the EV readiness of communities. Each has a different potential role to play, and working in tandem can often best encourage the adoption of vehicle charging infrastructure.

For more information, see the Transportation and Climate Initiative Georgetown Climate Center reports on Creating EV-Ready Towns and Cities: A Guide to Planning and Policy Tools and EV-Ready Codes for the Built Environment.