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February 26, 2018
First-of-its-kind policy analysis of best practices from across U.S. and globally
As Electric Cars Revolutionize the Vehicle Market, New Study Helps Cities Address Infrastructure and Parking Challenges
Dallas, TX -- With electric vehicles (EVs) hitting U.S. streets in record numbers, a new study by TexPIRG Education Fund, Environment Texas Research and Policy Group, and Frontier Group highlights best practices to help local officials make their cities as EV-friendly as possible. The new report, "Plugging In: Readying America's Cities for the Arrival of Electric Vehicles," includes local and state data for Dallas and Texas about the projected number of electric cars expected on the road in coming years, and how cities can accommodate these new EVs with enough places to park and recharge.
Even the change-resistant auto industry recognizes that the future is electric. GM plans to launch 20 EV models by 2023, while Ford announced last month it plans to invest $11 billion in EVs, with a goal of having 40 models by 2022. These new cars don't just check off the "electric" box; they're earning acclaim from mainstream car enthusiasts. Motor Trend even named Chevrolet's Bolt the 2017 Car of the Year.
"AECOM believes electrification of transportation is crucial to the overall improvement of safety, mobility and health of the region." - Suzanne Murtha, AECOM's vice president, connected and automated technologies.
"NCTCOG is energized by the large-scale transition to cleaner, electrified transportation forecasted in TX-PIRG's 'Plugging In' report, and we are committed to working with a broad set of stakeholders to achieve that goal. Expanding access to electric transportation solutions that include private and municipal vehicles, public transit, and last-mile support will play a key role in that success," notes Chris Klaus, Senior Program Manager for NCTCOG.
TexPIRG Education Fund's "Plugging In" report estimates that Dallas, Texas could possibly see 39,000 electric vehicles on the road by 2030.
But with more electric vehicles on the road, and many more coming soon, cities need to map out where EVs will charge, particularly in city centers and neighborhoods without off-street parking. In all, major cities will need to install hundreds to thousands of new publicly-accessible electric vehicle chargers to keep the increased number of EVs running, depending on the size of the city.
"American cities risk being unprepared for the impending arrival of thousands of electric vehicles on their streets," said Alana Miller, policy analyst at Frontier Group and co-author of "Plugging In."
"Without forward-thinking policies that give EV owners places to park and charge their vehicles, cities could lose out on the health and air quality benefits that electric vehicles can deliver," Miller said.
The report's authors note that local and state officials increasingly are having to lead on issues related to climate change, clean energy, and clean cars, as the Trump administration dismantles federal policies that offered concrete solutions to these issues. In the coming weeks, the administration is expected to propose new steps towards revoking federal fuel efficiency standards and weakening clean car policies.
"Adopting smart public policies, which have been implemented already in visionary American and international cities, can help more U.S. cities lead the electric vehicle revolution," noted Scoggin. "For the sake of our public health and environment, it's crucial that we expand access to clean transportation for those who live, work and play in our urban centers. And once we complete the transition away from gasoline and diesel, we can all breathe easier and see more clearly."
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