Recognizing the growing demand for electric vehicles and the need for charging stations, today, Councilmember Charles Allen (Ward 6) introduced legislation charting the path forward to at least 7,500 public charging stations in the District of Columbia in the next four years.
The “Comprehensive Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Access, Readiness, and Sustainability Amendment Act of 2022” would dramatically scale up the number of electric vehicle charging stations in the city. As of last year, the District has somewhere between 5,200 and 6,000 electric vehicles on the road on any given day but only around 250 charging locations. As consumer preferences and federal incentives work to transition personal vehicles from gas-consuming cars to electric, the District quickly needs to add the supportive infrastructure necessary to make that transition smooth.
"We already know what needs to be done. To even attempt to meet the goals of emission reductions from vehicles, we need to accelerate the switch to electric vehicles as quickly as we can. But without the EV charging infrastructure in place or the pipeline in development, we are destined to fail in meeting the challenge of our time," said Councilmember Allen. “We have to take big strides and be ready to put large amounts of federal funding into action. This bill would get DC’s EV infrastructure on the way to a time when people can trust they will find a charging station just as easily as they could a gas station. That’s how ambitious we need to be right now.”
The bill includes several ways to reach the 7,500 public charging stations by 2027 while setting a requirement to equally distribute stations across the entire District:
- Expand the District’s Electric Vehicle Charging Station Pilot Program to allow DDOT to use federal infrastructure dollars to rapidly deploy EV charging stations in areas lacking EV infrastructure beginning in 2024.
- Require installation or consideration of installation in all major streetscape projects moving forward.
- Direct DDOT to create and publish an Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Deployment and Management Plan in 2024 to help the District assess the electric grid’s readiness and resiliency for EV charging. The plan will identify future charging station locations with equity as a priority and would be required to be updated every three years.
- Establish an Electric Vehicle Charging Station Grant Program to be administered by DDOT and available to District residents, nonprofits, certified business enterprises, and others to incentivize the purchase, installation, and upgrades of EV charging stations.
- Require all new or substantially upgraded commercial and multi-unit dwellings that have parking lots to include infrastructure that accommodates EV charging stations and mandates a percentage of dedicated EV-ready and EV-installed spaces for commercial and residential buildings.
- Create a permitting requirement for newly built or renovated single-family homes with dedicated off-road parking (i.e., driveway parking spots or garages) to be EV-charging ready.
- Give renters the right to install EV charging stations at their place of residence, with reasonable requirements and safety restrictions by landlords.
- Allow condominium owners and homeowners who are part of a condo association or community association to install EV charging stations with reasonable requirements and safety restrictions by condo or co-op boards.
“While ambitious, the goals laid out in this legislation are realistic and achievable,” said Councilmember Allen. “It’s go-time for the transition away from fossil fuels – we have no choice. But we can take advantage of federal funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to make the transition quickly and make public charging stations yet more benefit of calling the District home.”
The bill was co-introduced by Chairman Phil Mendelson and Councilmembers Brianne Nadeau, Mary Cheh, Janeese Lewis George, and Christina Henderson.