Electric vehicle (EV) ownership continues to rise in North Carolina, with the state recently crossing the 50,000-vehicle mark. To accommodate and benefit from this electric-transportation surge, more homes and businesses are looking to add charging. Once viewed as an amenity, charging stations are becoming expected by residents, employees, tenants and customers. Retail locations, hospitality establishments, tourist attractions, town centers, apartment complexes, and parks and recreation areas can gain from installing charging infrastructure, which can drive business and support sustainability initiatives.
In collaboration with the City of Raleigh’s Office of Sustainability, we developed a comprehensive playbook for planning and installing public, residential and workplace EV charging. The playbook was the result of a year-plus of research, interviews and writing, along with gathering reviews and input from local electric utilities, municipalities and other electric-transportation stakeholders.
The document begins with a high-level discussion of EVs and recent market trends, including the role that the technology is playing in meeting sustainability goals. It then shifts to its primary focus: the installation of electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE).
After providing an overview of EV charging, the playbook highlights a key component of any charging project: considering future needs. Planning for future EV charging can come in two related but distinct forms. “Make-ready,” or “EV-ready,” programs involve preparing a location at the time of construction or major renovation to efficiently incorporate EV charging later. This approach could be accomplished, for example, by adding electrical capacity in a home’s service panel and conduit to support charging. More and more municipalities across the U.S.— including in North Carolina — are inserting procedures for building EV-ready structures and facilities.
“Future-proofing,” which is primarily used on public, commercial or multi-family properties, occurs when charging station installation is already underway. Here, the charging site is set up for additional stations that may come later. For example, if a site is receiving two stations, the installation contractor would also install conduit for extra stations, reducing the need for significant trenching, boring or other site work and likely saving costs down the road.
The playbook is then divided by location, with a section devoted to single-family residential settings and another to public, workplace and multi-family environments. Both sections have the same basic structure, covering the following information in detail:
- Charging levels
- Electric utility considerations, including how charging might impact utility bills
- Charging station varieties, with discussions on plug types, networking, fee structures and more
- Station location and placement, such as how stations should be marked and comply with Americans with Disability Act guidelines
- The permitting process
- Installation steps
The playbook concludes with case studies from three entities that offer public or commercial EV charging: North Carolina State University, Wake Technical Community College and Caraleigh Mills Condominium Development. Representatives from these sites provided insight into their charging programs, including why they added EVSE, how they procured the equipment and the lessons they’ve learned.
You can read the full Raleigh EV-ready playbook here. We believe it will be a great resource for residents, homeowners, developers, electricians, municipal entities, property managers, homeowners associations, public staff, workplaces and business owners hoping to learn more about EV charging. We want to thank all of the organizations and municipalities that provided feedback throughout its creation.