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Transitioning from petroleum-powered to electric vehicles (EVs) has the potential to create enormous reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and air pollution.The burdens of poor air quality generated by our cars are borne disproportionately by lower-income neighborhoods and communities of color, and it is important to acknowledge the environmental justice impacts of the transition to EVs. Providing publicly accessible EV charging infrastructure will be a key component of supporting an effective and equitable transition.
The majority of today's EV owners charge primarily in garages in single-family homes. But many renters and homeowners are "garage orphans" who have no access to a garage or off-street parking lot due to housing that may be older, located in dense urban or peri-urban areas, and reliant on on-street parking. In addition, many commuters do not have access to off-street parking, or their employers may not offer EV charging stations in company parking lots. The presence of on-street charging infrastructure provides important access for garage orphans and can reduce range anxiety for all EV drivers, quelling the fear of running out of battery power, which is a barrier to EV adoption and use.
This PAS Memo establishes a vision for equitable EV access through on-street, publicly accessible provision of EV charging infrastructure. It introduces planning principles that address where and how chargers should be located and drills down into specific actions that planners can take to enable their equitable rollout. Planners can use this guidance to help their communities plan a charging network that supports equitable and inclusive EV ownership and use and maximizes the carbon emission and air pollution reduction benefits that will result from the transition to EVs.
About the Author
Adam Lubinsky, AICP
Adam Lubinsky, Ph.D., AICP, is a Partner and Managing Principal at WXY architecture + urban design, a firm of 50 people based in New York City and Washington, DC. With a training in architecture and a Ph.D. in urban planning, Adam brings an interdisciplinary approach to planning and design work. Adam leads master plans, feasibility and development studies, strategies and action plans, and he has developed new planning services at WXY, including focus areas in school planning, mobility, and economic development. The firm has won more than 50 architecture and planning awards during that time, including the District 15 Diversity Plan for the NYC Department of Education, which won the 2018 American Planning Association NY Metro Chapter Lawrence M. Orton Award for Leadership in City and Regional Planning. WXY was named by Fast Company in 2019 as one of the “World’s Most Innovative Firms" and in 2017, Adam was named one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People. Adam is an Associate Professor of Professional Practice at Columbia University.