Accelerating Pace: Electric Vehicles and Impacts on Public Infrastructure

They are quiet, clean, and quick. And they are coming.

By the year 2040, 55 percent of all new car sales and 33 percent of the global fleet will be electric, according to a report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance in May 2018.

This growth will bring changes to public infrastructure both large and small, from upgrades to the electric grid to new parking lot layouts. IMS is tracking these projects, and provides Advanced Notices of upcoming opportunities and the daily coverage of RFPs and RFQs for this electric vehicle-related infrastructure.

And it’s not just for electrical and energy engineers. This technology is being integrated into a myriad of systems, and it will impact a broad range of A/E/C professionals.

Developers are incorporating electric vehicle charging stations into housing and mixed-use projects.

Planners are considering ordinances and incentives to promote electric vehicle usage.

Environmental engineers are evaluating how these vehicles can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to the goals of Climate Action Plans. With this comes the measurement and verification of emissions and energy usage.

Land-use planners and surveyors are developing models for the siting and growth of this infrastructure.

Transportation/traffic designers are incorporating this technology into new parking structures, rest stops, and other facilities.

There will be much private investment in this new technology, but the public sector is playing a major, early role. One source of funding for electric vehicle infrastructure is coming from a settlement by Volkswagen for its use of illegal emissions “defeat devices” in diesel passenger cars.

Electric vehicle charging stations are becoming more ubiquitous due in part to increased funding.

“Volkswagen is finally atoning for Dieselgate, investing $2 billion in electric vehicles and other clean transportation across the United States as part of the massive settlement, along with $2.7 billion paid into a trust fund to help states reduce transportation emissions,” according to Forbes. “This trust fund will be allocated based on the prevalence of illegal diesel engines in those states, and states can use 15% of it to directly fund EV charging infrastructure.”

This money will be used to help develop region-wide charging corridors, install high-speed electric charging stations, and invest in zero-emission vehicle replacements. The settlement money will be spent alongside millions more in public funding for the transition to electric vehicles.

Some recent examples of electric-vehicle related projects for architects and engineers include the following:

In May 2018, IMS published an Advanced Notice for the City of Berkeley, Calif., which may be seeking a consultant to prepare a strategic plan to promote electric vehicle use within the community (IMS 428322).

In El Monte, Calif., IMS provided an Advance Notice in early 2018 and covered the RFP for design services in late May for the new Civic Center parking lot. The design included a parking shade structure with solar panels and electric vehicle charging stations (IMS 411196-1).

In Erie, Colo., IMS published an Advance Notice and covered the RFP for owner’s representative and project management services in May 2018 for improvements to the Erie Community Library. The project for the High Plains Library District includes parking lot expansion, solar panels and battery storage, and electric vehicle charging stations (IMS 419103-1).

Installing solar panels in parking lots maximizes land use as a potential renewable energy source. (Source: Asia Chang)

The City of Fort Collins, Colo., released an RFP in October 2017 for a consultant to prepare a strategic plan/readiness roadmap to increase electric vehicle use (IMS 400937).

In May 2018, IMS published an Advanced Notice related to measurement and verification services. The Sacramento Municipal Utility District may be seeking a consultant to develop the methodology and requirements needed to establish an ongoing measurement and verification service for energy storage and electric vehicles (IMS 425711).

In Seattle, Wash., IMS covered an RFP for a consultant to develop a dynamic electric vehicle service equipment siting model and Charging Infrastructure Roadmap. The project will identify top priority regions for installations at Shared Mobility Hubs across the City (IMS 424822).

An RFQ from the State of Washington laid the groundwork for the expansion of electric vehicles. The RFQ in March 2018 sought a consultant to provide architectural and engineering services for site improvements at the Eastern Regional Office Project in Spokane. The scope included the rough-in for future electric vehicle charging stations (IMS 418713).

In Boston, Mass., the Massachusetts Port Authority released an RFQ in March 2018 for engineering services for electric vehicle and ground service equipment charging stations at locations around Logan International Airport (IMS 421348).

The County of Summit, Utah, released an RFP in December 2017 for a consultant to provide design services for site electrical and electronic systems for the Ecker View Area Park and Ride facility in Park City. The project included lighting, security, and an electric vehicle charging system (IMS 407726).

The State of Florida in August 2017 sought a consultant to provide design build services for the Golden Glades Multimodal Transportation Facility, which included a multi-story parking garage, an Intercity Bus Terminal, and electric vehicle charging platforms (IMS 394251).

In 2017 the City of Philadelphia, Penn., released an RFI regarding methods, technology, best practices, and trends in urban electric vehicle charging, parking infrastructure, and systems (IMS 393874).

IMS is tracking and covering more projects as the demand grows for electric vehicle infrastructure. From ADA compliance to building codes, from smart grids to strategic plans, this technology will have an impact on a wide range of developers, designers, and planners.

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