Parking & Mobility magazine, October 2021

Page 16


The Ongoing Evolution of EVs


By Taylor Kim

ITH SOME ANALYSTS PREDICTING that electric vehicle (EV) sales will jump 70 percent in 2021,

an influx of new drivers is hitting the road and looking for places to charge their vehicles. With EV adoption and the governmental regulations guiding them changing almost faster than we can keep up, implementing charging technology in new parking facilities is a constantly evolving challenge. How It Gained Traction

Electrical infrastructure

A few years ago, very few cities across the U.S. mandated EV charging requirements for parking. Palo Alto, Calif., home of Tesla in the heart of Silicon Valley, was an early adopter of EV requirements, requiring 5 percent of all parking spaces in new non-residential projects to have charging stations and an additional 20 percent wired with the necessary infrastructure to install them later. However, in just a few years, major cities such as San Jose, Oakland, Los Angeles, and San Francisco have begun requiring EV chargers for 10 to 20 percent of new parking, with infrastructure for a future capacity of 50 to 100 percent. EV technology and policy has evolved as well. California became the first state to pass legislation that mandates all new vehicles to be zero emissions by 2035. This will likely be a game changer for vehicle manufacturers that need to address this significantly-growing market. Earlier this year, Ford announced the first all-electric truck to its lineup, starting with the 2022 model year.

Adding significant amounts of EV charging infrastructure often increases the project’s electrical system up to a higher voltage, adding to the cost of the overall electrical system. This in turn requires additional room onsite and in the buildings for larger electrical rooms. In cities where this infrastructure is mandated, this can create a financial burden on projects, or even make them cost prohibitive. The other challenge of adding EVs in a parking structure is the conduits and raceways they require. Parking decks are typically not designed to incorporate extensive conduits embedded in the slabs. Therefore, EV spaces in elevated parking decks require unsightly exposed conduit, or adding thickened slabs or curbs to enclose the conduit within the slabs.

An EV Diagnostic As more EVs hit the road, designers and planners are seeking out ways to support them with adequate infrastructure, which poses a number of challenges.


Accessibility Accessibility for EV parking has not been addressed on a national level. The ADA Standards for Accessible Design is the federal document that governs accessible design, however, it has not been updated to incorporate requirements for