Alexandria, VA

Looking ahead to a time after the coronavirus pandemic is over, Alexandria is working on overhauling its electric vehicle infrastructure.

The aim of the new effort, called the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Readiness Strategy project, is to examine current electric vehicle charging needs and try to predict where and how those needs will spread.

“The Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Readiness Strategy project develops an electric vehicle charging infrastructure strategy as a roadmap to anticipate the needs of City residents, workforce members and visitors as transportation options transition from reliance upon conventionally fueled vehicles to electric vehicles,” Bill Eger, the city’s energy manager, said in an email.

The project was funded in the fiscal year 2020 budget as part of a broader “Green City” effort that included switching the city government’s vehicles to electric. Efforts have already included replacing diesel school buses with electric ones and adding new electric buses to DASH.

Eger said the aims of the project are to evaluate the future need for electric vehicle charging, identify optimal locations and recommend certain infrastructure options, like hardware and operational models.

Part of the strategy will also involve reviewing the city’s zoning, codes, permitting and other bureaucracy to change them in ways that will promote and anticipate vehicle charging needs.

“[The strategy will] recommend policies, approaches and synergies for locating electric vehicle charging infrastructure at businesses, multi-unit dwellings, single-family homes, right-of-way, and other locations,” Eger said. “Synergies with the City’s vehicle fleet electrification, public transit bus electrification and other forms of mobility will also be evaluated.”

This program is identified as a key program to advance smart mobility and Environmental Action Plan 2040 goals. This initiative includes community engagement to evaluate priorities and opportunities.

The timeline for the plan remains unknown. It was planned to be brought forward at the Transportation Commission meeting earlier this month before that meeting was canceled, so future plans might have to take a back seat to the city planning for the coronavirus pandemic.

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