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Why Should Governments Care About EV Charging?

Posted 06/13/2023

Electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) is slowly making its way across the country, filling in the gaps in America’s charging network, and facilitating the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs). But it’s not just private businesses that are installing EV charging infrastructure. Federal, state, and municipal governments are also electrifying their fleets and adding charging stations to their workplace and public parking lots. Here are four reasons why – if they haven’t already – government offices and agencies at all levels should start the process of transitioning their fleets from internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles to EVs.

Why Install EV Charging?

EVs help you lead by example

Municipalities and local governments can lead by example when they choose to electrify their fleets, says Andrew Light, a clean energy specialist with the World Resources Institute. He suggests that municipalities should conduct an analysis of their fleets, including police and service vehicles, and their buildings to discern which vehicles could be replaced with EVs and which locations could be fitted with charging stations. Many governments have sustainability initiatives and environmental committees that work to reduce pollution and promote environmentally-friendly policies. Switching to an electric fleet, installing workplace chargers for government employees, and adding charging stations to public parking lots can greatly support your sustainability initiatives and set an example for the community. As Andrew Light points out, installing EV charging stations can provide municipal employees with real-world experience to help them answer questions and conduct outreach and education for local residents. Adding EV charging stations will also help to attract sustainability-minded businesses to your community and encourage existing business owners to embrace sustainability.

EVs help you decrease harmful emissions

EVs typically have a smaller carbon footprint than traditional ICE vehicles. That’s because without internal combustion, EVs have no tailpipe emissions. And as utility providers switch from natural gas and coal to renewables, the “well to wheel” emissions of an electric vehicle will decrease even more. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set up two helpful interactive tools to help people determine total emissions. Using the Power Profiler, you can look up electricity production and fuel mixes by zip code. And with the Beyond Tailpipe Emissions Calculator, you can estimate the greenhouse gas emissions associated with charging and driving an EV or a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) in a given area. Select an EV or PHEV model and type in a zip code to see the CO2 emissions and how they compare to those associated with an ICE vehicle. These tools can help municipal government employees and residents learn about the amount of CO2 emissions they could eliminate by switching to EVs.

EVs boost local business

Beyond transitioning their own fleets and installing their own charging stations, government agencies will also want to promote installing EV chargers in local communities to help those communities with the transition to electric vehicles. Thanks to federal government tax incentives, and state-level tax incentives for individuals and businesses, more people are purchasing and driving EVs. Research firm McKinsey & Company estimates that as many as 48 million EVs could be on the road in the US by 2040. In its Rural EV Toolkit, the US Department of Transportation notes that “given the significant time required even when using fast charging infrastructure, EV drivers may also be inclined to combine their refueling stops with other activities, including visits to local stores, restaurants, casinos, parks, and attractions in the vicinity.” With annual increases in the number of EVs on US roads, public EV charging is required to support local businesses will need to start adding charging equipment to accommodate that serve both local EV drivers in their region and EV drivers those visiting from outside the .

EVs help you future-proof your fleet

While many government fleet managers are still in the first phases of an EV fleet pilot program, there will be a time when every vehicle at your depot or office is electric. That’s why many facility managers are planning for future electrical needs. Even if your fleet is only 20% electric, it will pay to start installing charging stations and getting parking spots ready for EVSE installation in the future when you add more EVs to your fleet. You can install electrical conduits and other infrastructure in preparation for future charging stations. When you work with Blink Charging, we will perform a site assessment with you to decide on the best course of action for your current and future charging needs, including showing you ways to save money when installing EVSE.

Selecting and Installing EV Chargers for Government

Which types of chargers should I install at my government facility?

The types of chargers you need will depend on the vehicle usage and type, size of the fleet, the budget you’re working with, and the available power at the location. Many fleet managers are using a mixture of charging stations, such as the  Blink Charging MQ 200 or Blink Series 7 for daily Level 2 charging, in addition to the Blink Series 9 30kW DCFC for light- and medium- duty fleets or the Blink 60-180kW DC Fast Charger for heavy-duty fleets.

Is funding available for government projects?

Thanks to federal funding programs for electric vehicle charging infrastructure installation, municipalities in the United States have options for getting help with procuring and installing EVSE. Government entities, public education facilities, and non-profit agencies can use the Sourcewell program, which provides simplified purchasing of vetted products at negotiated rates. [embed][/embed] In addition, municipal government agencies can qualify for certain state incentives for commercial EV charging stations. Click here to view Blink’s commercial rebates and incentives tool. Ready to get started? Click here to find out more about how Blink can help governments with choosing and installing the right EV charging equipment.

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