Recognizing the growing demand for electric vehicles far outpaces the current charging infrastructure in the District to support that growth, Councilmember Charles Allen is introducing legislation to put the District on track to install at a minimum 7,500 charging stations in every part of the District by 2027, with every member of the Council signed on as a co-introducer.
The “Comprehensive Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Access, Readiness, and Sustainability Amendment Act of 2023” would dramatically scale up the number of electric vehicle charging stations in the city.
As of 2021, 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. The Transportation Planning Board, our regional transportation planning body, has said that we need 90 percent of vehicles to be electric by 2040 if we want to meet our climate change targets. 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.
“To support a big increase in EVs, charging infrastructure needs to become as common and reliable as we think about gas stations today. But unlike gas stations, we can deploy EV charging to better fit into our city, including in and around our homes and neighborhoods,” said Councilmember Allen.
The bill was first introduced late last year. As the new Chair of the Council’s Committee on Transportation and the Environment, Councilmember Allen will guide it through the legislative process more directly.
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, specifically at least four (4) charging stations in each Ward.
- Require installation or consideration of installation in all major streetscape projects moving forward—just like crosswalks and bike and transit lanes.
- 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 even more EV charging infrastructure than the law currently does, as well as infrastructure that accommodates future EV charging stations.
- 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.
The bill is co-introduced by all 13 Members of the Council.