Enterprise and the National League of Cities selected three regions they view as being indicative of EV inequities and charging needs across the country: St. Louis, Houston and Columbia, S.C.
“When you look at those three cities, they’re very different in a lot of ways,” Tabourn said. Over eight months, they worked to identify some best practices that can help cities regardless of size.
To identify future opportunities, the “Equitable Electric Mobility Playbook” says the following should be considered:
1. Apply local definitions of equity and equitable electric mobility to define areas of need.
2. Highlight areas where demand for publicly accessible charging has or will likely be met by the market.
3. Incorporate the needs of various user groups, particularly those who share vehicles.
To map out “socially vulnerable communities,” the playbook analyzed demographic and economic data and environmental factors such as population of color, households without cars, housing and transportation costs, and pollution exposure.
Here are summaries of the challenges and opportunities in each area cited by the playbook.
- Areas of vulnerability are concentrated in the northern part of St. Louis County, Mo.
- Of the three regions studied, only the utility company Ameren Missouri has implemented EV and electric vehicle service equipment incentive programs.
- The region has adequate unused capacity in most electric substations to accommodate additional public chargers at a 10 percent EV penetration without the need for any additional substation investment. However, upgrades and grid investments are likely to be required as EV penetration reaches 20 percent.
- St. Louis passed two EV adoption bills, including a “Future-Proofing” program — consisting of building codes to include EV charging areas — and prioritization of low-emissions city fleet purchasing.
- Vulnerable areas are concentrated in the northern and eastern parts of the city. Those are also areas that have experienced significant low-income displacement in recent years. Such areas would benefit from having increased access to clean transportation options to offset emissions from nearby manufacturing.
- The city does not have an EV-related collaboration with CenterPoint Energy; incentives are available through the region’s retail energy providers.
- Houston has a goal of 30 percent EV share of new-vehicle sales by 2030, and it aims to convert the municipal fleet to 100 percent EV by 2030.
- Vulnerable areas are clustered in West Columbia and the southern side of Interstate 20.
- Local utility company Dominion is planning an EV service equipment program.
- The city had a goal of purchasing more fuel-efficient and low-emission vehicles in its 2016 Climate Action Plan, but no EV or charging infrastructure incentives are currently offered at the municipal level.