The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) was signed into law on November 15, 2021. It includes increased funding for existing programs as well as authorizes new discretionary grant programs. The “Charging and Fueling Infrastructure Grants – Community Charging” grant is a new program that will offer funds each fiscal year to install electric vehicle chargers in locations on public roads, schools, parks, and in publicly accessible parking facilities.
Given this new funding stream will distribute funds via a competitive grant, HRTPO staff offered to help localities considering applying for a grant determine good locations for new public chargers.
New public chargers should be located where they are needed most. Local EV owners who live in single-family homes have a low need for public chargers because they charge their EVs at home. Their local commutes will not deplete the battery to the level it needs public charging. On the other hand, local EV owners who live in multi-family homes cannot charge their EVs at home and need public chargers.
Since the Biden- Harris administration emphasizes equity for disadvantaged groups and that disadvantaged neighborhoods often include multi-family housing, the staff decided to use equity-type mapping to help identify needed public charger locations. Options for equity-type mapping used in the analysis include:
The HRTPO staff decided, with the agreement of interested localities, to use the LRTP EJ map that shows High Impact Environmental Justice Block Groups, defined as Census Block Groups that contain FIVE OR MORE Environmental Justice indicators.
Another consideration included visitors to the region who would also need access to public chargers. The HRTPO staff utilized the StreetLight platform to determine the destination of visitors to Hampton Roads.
Finally, the HRTPO staff produced maps for interested localities showing existing chargers, visitor destinations, and High Impact EJ Block Groups. An example is shown below. Localities can use these maps to decide which location would be best for the community chargers when preparing grant applications.
Existing Chargers, High Impact EJ Score Block Groups, Visitor Trips to Block Groups (Virginia Beach)
Source: HRTPO analysis of Census, StreetLight and Google data