Parking & Mobility August 2021

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What are the barriers to greater adoption? Are there innovations happening to address these barriers?

Range anxiety for private or fleet EVs, cost, and the needed charging infrastructure for electric buses. Batteries are getting better so range anxiety will eventually cease to be an issue. Electric bus manufacturers will need to be electric mobility service providers where they help design, engineer, and finance electric bus charging infrastructure, routes, and bus design to be fitted properly for the given mobility needs.

Talk to us about fleets and electrification: how will that change transportation as we know it today? Where do you see storage and charging happening? How does the evolving “mobility hub” account for EVs?

EVs will help local air quality and address climate change, particularly if the electricity they use is from renewable sources. But traffic, parking demand and travel time are not improved by EVs. If the range for

EVs continues to improve, the need for workplace charging should decline. Charging will be needed where people live for overnight charging as well as along long-distance routes. What will be the big game changer is when the vehicles are operated autonomously. Then parking facilities will need to be able to charge autonomous vehicles using inductive charging.

What is one key thing parking, transportation, and mobility pros need to know about EVs and their impact in the future? What accommodations and changes should be made now to current and near-term operations?

Charging should not be provided for free. It cost to put in, maintain, and supply the power. Charging EVs is another product to provide in the parking industry like valet, carpools, car sharing, etc. It will take a decade or more before a parking facility must have chargers, unless required by local code. By then, not offering EV charging will limit market share for the charge-less facility.

EDWARD A TRAMMELL II

Planning & Project Manager Lexington & Fayette County Parking Authority

What are your predictions on the adoption rates and percentages of EVs on the road in the short- to medium- and longer term for both privately-owned vehicles and fleets? And what happens with mass transit?

As a medium sized urban area located within a rural state, the large scale adoption of privately owned EV vehicles still appears to be eight to 10 years away, but I could foresee fleet vehicles in the area converting to EV much sooner. Mass transit within our community has already worked to transition a portion of its fleet to EV.

What are the barriers to greater adoption, e.g. cost, technology, etc.? Are there innovations happening to address these barriers?

The adoption of EV vehicles in the state of Kentucky has lagged behind the national trend and that low adoption rate pre-COVID made the investment of installing EV charging stations less appealing, as our garages were at capacity and the ROI on EV chargers wasn’t as appealing in our market. As the economic impact of COVID continues to unfold and garage occupancy levels remain below pre-COVID levels, we’ve begun to more seriously consider the idea of installing EV chargers. While we

currently don’t foresee installing a large number of chargers, the idea of installing one or two per facility looks more appealing than before. It would be an additional amenity to offer downtown visitors that drive electric vehicles and as such would work as a marketing tool for our organization, promoting the technology.

What is one key thing parking, transportation, and mobility pros need to know about EVs and their impact in the future? What accommodations and changes should be made now to current and near-term operations?

One thing to consider is a forward-thinking capital asset management plan that addresses the existing infrastructure of your facilities. While exploring the idea of installing EV chargers in one of our older facilities, we discovered the existing electric panels were at capacity. The necessary upgrades to the existing electrical system added substantially to the cost of the project. By planning ahead and making capital improvements to your facilities before the impending larger surge in EV ownership, your organization can be better positioned for the demand that will accompany the widespread adoption of electric vehicles. ◆

PARKING-MOBILITY.ORG / AUGUST 2021 / PARKING & MOBILITY 41