Although most owners of electric vehicles (EVs) predominantly charge their vehicles at home, widespread deployment of EVs requires a network of public and private charging infrastructure. These chargers benefit EV owners when they are away from home, as well as renters who may be unable to install a home charger as well as car owners who lack off-street parking.
There are a variety of policy approaches to promote EV charger deployment. For example:
- Building codes may mandate the inclusion of chargers (or at least the supporting conduit, wiring, and electrical capacity) for a percentage of newly constructed parking spaces, particularly in large apartment or office buildings.
- Government and utilities may offer rebates to homeowners or business owners to pay for part of the cost of EV chargers, including installation costs.
- Government may use its own funds, such as those derived from a carbon tax, low carbon fuel standard, or vehicle fuel taxes, to directly pay for the construction of public charging stations.
- An electricity regulator, such as a public utilities commission, may direct electric utilities to build EV charging stations, funded by a grant from the government, revenues from electricity ratepayers, or a combination of the two.
- Regulators may set more favorable electricity rates for EV chargers, lowering operational costs and thereby improving the financial incentive to build and operate EV chargers.
- Local governments can streamline their permitting process for EV charger installation. They may also modify zoning laws to allow charging station installation at the curbside.
For commercial fleet vehicles, buses, and mobility services (fleets of company-owned EVs for car-sharing), private chargers are typically located in a central depot, garage, or holding facility, allowing vehicles to charge in between scheduled services.
For a more detailed discussion, see the applicable chapter of Designing Climate Solutions, our book on smart energy and climate policy design.