an ineffective sign identifies an electric vehicle-charging station, but doesn’t forbid parking by internal-combustion-engine (iCE) cars. result: The charging station is usually inaccessible. This one is at the los
angeles Science Museum.
As a part of the background research done
on the PSRC project, experienced eV driv-
ers were surveyed. This resulted in a number
of emphases included in the eVI guidelines.
For instance, it is clear that eV drivers don’t
want special treatment. They would rather have
charging stations located away from prime
parking nearest to building entrances. This is
because they don’t want scarce charging spots
blocked by conventional cars and trucks driven
by internal combustion engines (ICe). When a
charging space is blocked by a gas-drinker, an
eV driver is “ICed.”
To prevent ICeing, effective signage should
be posted. See the photos above for examples of
signs that don’t work and those that do.
Copyright © 2011 by the American Solar Energy Society Inc. All rights reserved.
of our member base to increase the likelihood
that new charging station installations would
every potential site is unique. Factors that
must be considered include —
• User profile — how long will drivers park, and
where will they go?
• Level 1, 2 or 3 charging rates — which is best
for this location?
• Site host profile — what’s in it for the host?
Profit, customer service, environmental image
or some other motivation?
• Local government and business profile — do
local decision-makers support eV initiatives?
What are their incentives to action?
• Proximity to electrical supply.
• Capacity of electrical supply.
• Physical layout of parking lot(s) and adjoining
• Possibility to place stations at non-prime parking locations.
• Compliance with the requirements of the
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
• Integration with other green initiatives at the site,
such as a photovoltaic power source, bicycle trails
and racks, walk-to destinations and public transit.
The biggest driver complaint in California
regards older stations no longer in service, due
to vandalism or to an equipment problem. For
a site to be effective, it must be kept operational.
And to keep it operational, you need to have a
method for regularly checking its status. Any
plan for new charging stations should include
What you can do
Want to bring charging sta- tions to your town? As a citizen or an American Solar Energy
Society chapter member, approach
people in local government who
are already on board with
green programs. The
city’s sustainability officer and the
planning board are
good places to start,
and so is the head
of the transportation
department. Connect the
dots for them: Show how charging
stations can tie into the agency’s
efficiency upgrades or solar installations. Local governments don’t have
cash right now to spend on new
infrastructure, so show how charging stations can be rolled into the
project costs the next time the city
needs to repave a parking lot or
upgrade a parking structure.
In the private sector, talk to
local solar installers. A survey of
Plug In America’s EV drivers found
that 40 percent of EV owners have
a residential solar array, and half of
these owners installed solar almost
immediately after purchasing an
EV. Installers should roll charging
stations into their product offerings, along with inverters and
a maintenance program. If your site won’t have
much human oversight, this may argue for
using a networked station so that you can monitor status remotely.
In summary, there is no need to reinvent
the wheel when it comes to best practices and
eV charging station deployment. Published
guidelines exist, such as the PSRC eVI Guide.
Plug In America serves as an expert resource,
with additional materials on its website. We
also advocate the use of an eV champion or
consultant on each project. This is analogous to
having an accredited professional assigned to a
green building project in order to integrate and
coordinate all stakeholders. ST
solartoday.org SOLAR TODA Y June 2011 31