Preparing for the Electric Vehicle Surge

Zoning Practice — October 2022

By Brian Ross, AICP, Jessica Hyink, Rebecca Heisel


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Electric vehicles (EVs) are a rapidly growing sector of our nation's (and the world's) light-duty vehicle market. In the second quarter of 2022, EV sales accelerated, reaching 442,740 and marking a 12.9 percent increase from the same time last year. During the same period, traditional gasoline-powered vehicle sales were down more than 20 percent compared to the second quarter in 2021

The transforming market has implications for communities and for local governments, including land-use and development changes that need to be addressed in policy, programs, and regulation. In particular, planners and local government decision makers need to consider the land-use implications of the extensive build-out of EV charging infrastructure that is a necessary part of this new technology.

This issue of Zoning Practice identifies the land-use implications of the ongoing EV market transformation, particularly the considerations that communities need to address in regard to public EV charging infrastructure. It describes the significant differences between gas and electric vehicles in fueling practices, the unique land-use nature of EV charging equipment, and the evolving zoning practices that communities across the country are using for public (i.e., non-home) charging equipment and land use. Finally, this issue recommends some tools for assessing zoning considerations of EV charging infrastructure and shares examples of best practices that enable transparent and predictable zoning practices across jurisdictions.


Page Count
Date Published
Oct. 1, 2022
Adobe PDF
American Planning Association

About the Authors

Brian Ross, AICP
Brian Ross, AICP, is a Vice President at the Great Plains Institute, leading GPI’s renewable energy market transformation efforts in the Midwest and nationally. Over 30 years, he has worked extensively with local, regional, and state governments on climate and energy planning, policy and regulation. Brian currently leads multiple efforts at both the state and national level on integrating renewable energy development with natural systems, community priorities, and agriculture business models, and a solar/drinking water protection project. Brian has written numerous model ordinances for local government and adapted models for local implementation, developed ecosystem and community co-benefit best practices for renewable energy projects, and works nationally with the SolSmart program, the PV-SMaRT project, and other wind, solar, and hydrogen, and electric vehicle initiatives.

Jessica Hyink

Rebecca Heisel