Approved by the Transportation Policy Committee on March 29, 2023
Approved by the Public Policy and Practice Committee on April 19, 2023
Adopted by the Board of Direction on July 22, 2023
The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) supports the planning, design, investment, and integration of electric vehicles (EVs) as part of an integrated, resource efficient transportation infrastructure system. This includes a consistent regulatory framework for EV infrastructure that ensures the affordability, protection, and reliability of the power grid and encourages transportation electrification.
- Establishing reliable funding sources to incorporate EV facilities into the existing and future roadways.
- Developing guidelines for electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) to include:
- Equitable access to EV charging stations regardless of socioeconomic status, housing type, or geographic location.
- Standards to support the variety of EVs and standardization of EVSE with adaptability for future technology upgrades.
- Planning, design, construction, integration, maintenance, and operation of the transportation and energy networks that support EVSE.
- Updates to local codes and standards to include requirements for EV infrastructure.
- Making recharging speeds comparable to petrol refueling facilities.
- Providing electronic information showing locations and real-time availability of charging stations.
- Incorporating life-cycle cost into EV facilities.
EVs are becoming more prevalent throughout our nation’s transportation landscape. Because of this expansion in the use of EVs, the following issues need to be addressed:
- While EVs have the potential to provide substantial environmental benefits and increased resiliency, we must ensure their adoption does not undercut the Highway Trust Fund and state transportation funding, which are largely supported by motor fuel tax revenue. The federal fuel tax rate, which supports the Highway Trust Fund, has remained unchanged since 1993.
- Many proprietary EVSE (charging stations) are not compatible with all forms of EV models (plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, battery-electric vehicles, and fuel cell electric vehicles). To gain public acceptance, standardization of EV infrastructure should be paramount to planning and design. This creates a need for open charge point protocol (OCPP) for software compatibility.
- To provide the reliability people expect from their transportation system, drivers need access to real-time information on EVSE’s locations, availability, transparency in pricing, and operational status. Availability, transparency in pricing, and operational status information will help maintenance crews address outage issues and travelers plan their trips.
- EV charging times are substantially longer than refueling times for internal combustion engine vehicles. Technological advancement is needed in EVSE to reduce charging times to be more comparable to refueling times for petroleum-fueled vehicles to gain acceptance by and avoid adverse economic impacts to EV users.
- Federal Executive Order 14037 of 2021 set a target for half of all new vehicles sold in the U.S. in 2030 to be zero emissions.
- Future investment will be required to broaden the EVSE infrastructure network to equitably serve all regions and populations.
EV infrastructure has been supported through recent federal legislation. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) invests $7.5 billion to build a national network of 500,000 EV charging stations. The Departments of Transportation (DOT) and Energy (DOE) announced in February 2022 that $5 billion will be made available under the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) formula program, which was established by the IIJA. Provided over five years, these funds will help states provide an EVSE network along designated Alternative Fuel Corridors, with a focus on those that are part of the Interstate Highway System. In Fiscal Year (FY) 2022, the total amount available to states under the NEVI program was $615 million. Further, within the IIJA, the Federal Transit Administration’s Low-No Emission funding has been increased to $5.25 billion over five years. These funds will significantly increase the number of EVs in the nation’s transit fleets.
Comprehensive understanding about charging needs and grid capacity is important to building out an EV charging system within the current transportation network. As the professionals who plan, design, build, and maintain the nation’s transportation system, civil engineers should help establish nationally accepted standards detailing the electrical needs associated with new highway infrastructure construction. Future infrastructure planning and construction should incorporate the ability to expand compatible EVSE and accommodate future technology.
As the percentage of EVs increases each year, it is important that, at a minimum, reliable road infrastructure keeps pace with this trend. EV road infrastructure must be provided that allows any user, regardless of socioeconomic status, housing type, or geographic location, to access a system that is fair and equitable.
ASCE Policy Statement 566
First Approved in 2023
Other ASCE policies pertaining to EV infrastructure are:
PS 417 - Justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion
PS 496 - Innovative financing for transportation projects
PS 537 - Complete Streets
PS 548 - Connected and autonomous vehicles
PS 557 - SMART Cities
PS 563 - Renewable energy policy
PS 484 - Electricity generation and transmission infrastructure
PS 489 - Energy policy
PS 299 - Infrastructure investment
PS 362 - Comprehensive pollution management