Global cities share secrets on EV readiness

Global cities share secrets on EV readiness

Editor's Note: To learn more about how cities are preparing for electric vehicles, be sure to check out VERGE Virtual: Cities 2.0 starting Wednesday, July 18th, 11:30am EDT / 8:30am PDT

To help meet an ambitious goal of 20 million electric vehicles by 2020, a new report and web portal offers critical tips from the world's largest cities on what they're doing to prepare for EVs.

The EV City Casebook provides a snapshot of current deployments, highlighting global city case studies in EV infrastructure build-out, policy incentives and consumer education programs.

Published by the International Energy Agency (IEA), Rocky Mountain Institute, the Clean Energy Ministerial’s Electric Vehicles Initiative, and C40 Cities, the casebook details best practices from 16 cities in nine countries.

The profiled cities account for 30 percent of the EVs on the road today and include: Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, BrabantStad (The Netherlands), Hamburg, Helsinki, Kanagawa Prefecture (Japan), Los Angeles, New York City, North East England, Portland (Oregon), Research Triangle (North Carolina), Rotterdam, Shanghai, and Stockholm.

The report details financial incentives, such as rebates or tax credits on vehicles, exemptions from registration taxes or license fees, discounted tolls and parking fares, and rebates on charging equipment and installation to boost demand for EVs.

Some profiled cities have implemented procurement programs to jumpstart the market by adding EVs to municipal fleets, public transport systems and city-wide taxis, said Ben Holland, manager of Project Get Ready, an initiative to help drive EV adoption at the Rocky Mountain Institute.

Convening multiple stakeholders including city planners, automakers, utilities, infrastructure suppliers and citizens to “identify and address technical, economic and regulatory barriers to EV adoption and integration" is a critical best practice found in several cities, the report said.

Indeed, successful strategies often include developing public-private partnerships and having "engaged mayors position their cities as great places to live and work by enacting forward-thinking policies," said Holland.

In addition to the casebook, a first of-its-kind EV Cities and Ecosystems web portal serves as a central resource for implementers, suppliers and businesses. Developed by UC Davis, with support from the partner organizations, the web portal includes all city profiles and a clearinghouse of searchable information.

"Data on the impacts of policies or consumer behavior is incredibly valuable for city planners," said Tom Turrentine, director of the UC Davis Plug-in Hybrid & Electric Vehicle Research Center and website curator. "But it was spread too far to draw significant connections and now they have all of this information in one place."

Turrentine said the website will be continually updated with new city case studies and plans to launch of series of conferences later this year in North America and Europe.

Electric car photo by Adam Przezak via Shutterstock.com