Why Most Cities Tend to Install EV Chargers in the Same Public Places

Many cities are taking charging infrastructure seriously. When cities are planning charging infrastructure, they choose to locate chargers at places vehicles are generally parked for a few hours, but not left overnight, finding places city employees, residents, and visitors can charge easily.

City centers often make convenient locations, as do places people visit regularly like parks and libraries, or near superstores, movie theaters, and highway exits. Putting chargers in very visible spots also helps reduce range anxiety by making sure the public sees there are many easily accessible charging stations nearby. EVSE is also a good idea in city centers because it helps clean up the air in populated areas by preventing greenhouse-gases from being released into the atmosphere.

While EV locations may seem random or copied from one city to the next, a City of Albuquerque study suggests that a lot of thought goes into placing EVSE where they are. The city planned its EVSE installation around several different factors. The first was surveys. Facility Operations Managers and the general public were surveyed about where they would like charging stations. Parking rates, operating hours, duration of visitation and other factors were all taken into consideration. “Facility hours and parking lot data were verified by aerial photos”, the study reports.

Daily use of facilities was calculated, assuming three different scenarios: 1%, 2%, or 5% EV adoption.  The study states, “Any facility with greater than 10 projected daily EVs in any one of three adoption rate scenarios, was recommended at least one DCFC station.” Only the top few locations however received DC Fastchargers; the vast majority had Level 2 chargers installed. The city even came up with an algebraic equation to figure out projected use of stations.

All this may seem like overkill to the average EV driver who installs the charger that comes with the car in their garage near the 240V plug. But most cities really do put a lot of effort into figuring out the best and most convenient place to put chargers.

A bio park, a stadium, City Hall, a multicultural center, and four libraries were among those places chosen for installation in the study. While it may seem like cities routinely pick the same installation spots, it’s because those spots test high for potential usage of chargers and ease of location for many different residents.

Increasing usage was also a factor in the decision-making process. The study found that (in 2019), most EV owners were affluent white men who charged at home. Specifically placing chargers in lower income areas in the city helps dispel the myth that electric vehicles are only for the wealthy. In fact, electric vehicles range from very expensive to very reasonably priced, and are affordable for many consumers. Including many new demographics in the community of EV drivers is as important as convenience when choosing places to install chargers. The cost of electric vehicle ownership continues to fall as manufacturers find newer, faster, less expensive ways to make EVs go further than ever.

The Blink IQ 200 is a great choice for any city planning to install chargers. DC Fastchargers are extremely expensive, don’t work for every car, and can damage batteries. A quick alternative to battery-draining fast chargers, the Blink IQ 200, uses an 80-amp charger, installed in a 100-amp circuit, providing up to 65 miles of charge per hour with output of 19.2 kW.

Cities are installing EV chargers in city centers, around parks, libraries, and community centers to ensure they are often used, conveniently located, and accessible for all.

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