To accelerate the process of putting fast chargers on the ground, EVgo started Connect the Watts, an initiative to bring the electric vehicle charging infrastructure community together to identify and deploy best practices for charger deployment.
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Best Practices for National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Program (NEVI)
We outlined some best practices for state Departments of Transportation (DOTs) and their partners when administering the $5 billion NEVI program.
Connect the Watts ™
National EV Charging Recognition Program
Why We Created Connect the Watts
Our Nation's Transportation Infrastructure Is Changing
America’s network of public gas stations made it possible for broad ownership and operation of gas-powered vehicles. Now, to prevent emissions and combat climate change, the U.S. is turning to electric vehicles (EVs). A vast, public infrastructure of EV fast chargers is needed to support the demand for EVs and the drivers who will depend on it.
Growing consumer demand and policy support behind EVs make it necessary to roll out EV charging infrastructure faster than ever before. To succeed, we need to accelerate the process of putting a fast charger in the ground.
The Demand for Electric Vehicles is Booming
At the end of 2021, there were 2.4 million EVs on U.S. roads. By 2030, the number of EVs is projected to reach 26.4 million. To power those EVs, it’s projected that we’ll need 140,000 fast charging stalls in operation by 2030.1 As of June 2021, the United States had 18,035 fast chargers.2 In order to meet market needs and reach climate goals, the U.S. needs to pick up the pace of rolling out EV charging infrastructure. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act) will support the build-out of a nationwide network of 500,000 L1, L2, and fast charging stations.
1. Source: Edison Electric Institute EV Sales and the Charging Infrastructure Required Through 2030
2. EVgo figures from internal database and Plugshare. The Alternative Fuels Data Center counts 18,492 public fast chargers as of 6/10/2021.
Stakeholder Collaboration Fosters Faster Progress
To build and energize those thousands of fast charging stations, all stakeholders will have to work together to streamline the process of site identification, design, permitting, installation, and utility interconnection. Actual construction of a charging station takes just 4-8 weeks, but the entire process to bring a fast charger online—from site host interest through utility planning and permitting to utility interconnection—currently takes an average of approximately 18 months. With proper planning, engagement, and alignment of all parties involved, and process streamlining through the adoption of best practices, this average timeline can be reduced to just 6 months.
The Connect the Watts Community Includes:
Government creating streamlined permitting
Equipment vendors offering certified equipment built in America
Automakers responding to consumer demand
Contractors bringing chargers to life
Site Hosts providing chargers at their facilities
Utilities dedicating teams to charging and investing in equipment to ensure chargers are sited efficiently
What Connect the Watts Does
Connect the Watts collects data about current practices and obstacles in each stage of deployment, illuminates best practices, creates a space to share those lessons learned, and generates new best practices for dissemination and adoption. It also includes quarterly meetings for the entire ecosystem, during which EVgo and attendees generate and share tools and examples, plus additional discussions on specific industry topics.
Why EVgo Is Positioned to Lead
EVgo is one of the nation’s largest public fast charging networks for electric vehicles, and is powered by 100% renewable energy. With over 10 years of experience deploying charging stations across the county, we fully understand this process and the associated challenges and opportunities. As such, EVgo is uniquely positioned to lead this effort to encourage and enable our fellow charging infrastructure stakeholders to generate and share important insights that will streamline and speed up charger deployment, and to share our expertise on EV charging processes to that end.
Connect the Watts: Best Practices
In an effort to shorten the learning curve to building chargers, EVgo is releasing a series of guides to provide solutions to challenges from the field. Choose an option below to learn what EVgo is doing with each of these partner groups.