8 Steps to Create an EV Infrastructure Blueprint in Your City

From a global perspective, Electric Vehicles (EVs) are forecast to be 54% of new car sales by 2040, and there are several reasons for their growth including the following:

•  The need for auto makers to comply with government targets for noise and air quality
   (CO2 and NOx emissions reduction)

•  An improvement in battery technology resulting in increased range and reduced costs

•  The trend towards autonomous vehicles: it is easier to build this capability into an
   electric vehicle which has fewer components

•  Charging infrastructure installations globally (public & private), are projected to grow
    from around 2 million in 2016 to 12 million+ by 2020

To meet the needs emerging from EV growth, cities need to align with this advancement and implement appropriate charging infrastructure.  But where should they start?

Here is our 8-step guide to enable a city to design and implement a charging network most suited to its needs:

1. Using the City’s vision as a starting point, define the more detailed objectives for creating this blueprint

Although it may seem obvious, it is crucial that the city stakeholders agree on the purpose and objectives of installing EV charging infrastructure.  All will want to reduce urban emissions - but which ones, where, and by how much?  Aside from the objectives that will result from national or international policy, what, if any, are their local objectives?

2. Review the vehicle market

Get a thorough understanding of the different types of EVs and PHEVs (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles) available in the market, and any future plans announced by the auto makers.  This will help establish not only short term charging requirements, but also enable the city to build a charging network that is future-proofed in-line with current market intelligence on technology and volume.

3. Develop the appropriate stakeholder communication & engagement strategy

Identify and engage with the appropriate stakeholders that will need to be part of the decision-making process such as councils, transport providers, and even employers.  Then develop a communications strategy that incorporates raising EV awareness for all stakeholders including end users.

Where you can, utilise third-parties that promote and educate on EVs, such as Go-Ultra Low, a UK-based organisation whose purpose is to provide facts and information to enable end users to make an informed decision about this technology.

Be sure to share the wider benefits of EVs in your communications strategy: for example, a recent Oxford study established that switching 1 million cars from diesel to electric would save over £363 million per year in health costs in the UK.

4. Determine the right hardware

Consider what type of hardware is available and how it would be used.  For example, slower charging capability, which is cheaper, could be used as ‘destination’ chargers (i.e those destinations where users tend to leave their vehicle for a significant amount of time such as train stations).  The more expensive, faster chargers could be installed near motorways or major roads, where drivers are more likely to need a quick charge to resume their journey.

Also take into account the actual hardware – this could be wall mounted, floor mounted, or even connected to a lamppost.

5. Identify, secure, and survey charging locations

Identify locations that will meet drivers’ needs and then start early to secure any necessary permissions or agreements from relevant parties such as site owners.  Site surveys should be carried out as early as possible to ensure the site meets the necessary power and accessibility requirements.

From a commercial perspective, consider other potential revenue models based on location – for example, advertising opportunities, or near local businesses.

6. Establish business and operating models

Creating a long-term business model will ensure that the charging network remains available for use and is sustainable.  Think about whether you want to offer free charging as an incentive to EV uptake, or whether you want to generate revenue from the start of the operation.

There are also various options available for public charging infrastructure ownership, financing, and value creation, and these can be managed in-house or externally.

7. Enable the charger rollout

Have the right team in place to ensure that the installation and commissioning process is seamless and meets required standards.

Often local authority highways’ teams have the appropriate skills, training, and approvals to install charging equipment.  There are also many civil and electrical contractors experienced in charging infrastructure installations.  Finally, charge point equipment suppliers usually have contracts with installers who are proficient in installing their specific hardware.

To provide the best user experience, select a network operation model that works well with existing network operators within your vicinity, and where applicable, have an easy to use access and payment mechanism.

8. Manage & maintain the infrastructure

Reliability of service is key to user confidence, so make sure you have a robust system in place for aftercare, incorporating appropriate service levels with relevant maintenance providers.

To find out more about our capabilities, or if you need help on developing the right eMobility strategy for your needs, contact our eMobility lead: simon.swan@arcadis.com

To learn more about how EVs are impacting urban mobility in 14 global cities, check out our Citizens in Motion report.

For more information about Arcadis and the Future of Automotive, please click here.

Simon Swan

Program Director E-Mobility +44 7810 850099 Ask me a question