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The impact of electric vehicles on municipality policy Iv-Infra Innovation Policy Sustainability


The number of electric vehicles on the roads is increasing rapidly. And technology is also developing continuously. The increased driving radius of electric cars is making electric vehicles more interesting for more and more car drivers. It wasn’t so long ago that municipalities received just the occasional request for a public charging station, whereas now people are queuing up for the limited number of available public charging stations. The rapid transition from cars with combustion engines to electrically-powered vehicles necessitates that municipalities make modifications to their current policy. How, as municipality, should you shape this policy? And what is the impact of the significant increase in electric vehicles on municipality policy?

Updating existing policy

Iv-Infra has recently examined and updated the Municipality of Heemstede’s existing policy for applying for a public charging station. A survey of various municipalities revealed that other municipalities were also preparing to update this policy. Because the easier it is for car drivers to charge an electric vehicle, the more you can stimulate people to drive electric.
When updating the policy, policy rules are abolished, modified or added. Generally these are not very exciting changes. For example, enabling a non-resident of the municipality to submit an application for a charging station, based on an employment contract of a minimum set number of hours per week. Any awarded charging stations can also be used by residents. It is also necessary to formulate policy to determine when capacity expansion is needed at a specific location. But the most rigorous change being introduced by municipalities is that parking demand is no longer used as a determining factor. The policy adopted by many municipalities, that an application for a public charging station can only be honoured if parking demand permits this, is no longer tenable.

Charging station coverage

When updating policy, Iv-Infra first makes an inventory of potentially suitable locations for charging stations within the municipality, independent of demand. The aim of this is to achieve a uniform basic coverage in the municipality. This ultimately results in a grid scenario of existing and potential charging stations. Applicants who meet the policy rules and live within a radius of a set number of metres around an existing charging station will be referred to that charging station. The current charging station use will be checked with the owner and/or operator to determine whether capacity expansion is needed. If that is the case, preference will be given to a location outside the grid, ensuring that the municipality’s charging station coverage becomes increasingly intricate. If there are applications in which there are no charging stations within a radius of the set number of metres, where possible a designated location from the basic grid will be used.

Future policy changes

However, a transition phase is needed as it is currently not possible to convert an unlimited number of parking spaces. What other policy changes can be expected in the future? Municipalities have shown interest in recent developments that integrate charging stations in lampposts. Municipalities are also investigating other policy changes, such as using policy to stimulate ‘social charging’. This means that once a vehicle is fully charged, it is moved to a standard parking space. A possibility for managing such social charging is to establish paid parking for fully-charged electric cars.

In Heemstede, applications for charging stations for electric vehicles are currently being evaluated in accordance with the updated policy. Iv-Infra formulated and described the policy rules in a careful and ‘smart’ way. The previous policy was open to interpretation in many respects. Since the new policy, the number of objections to traffic decisions has fallen significantly.

Would you like to know more about electric vehicles? Jacqueline will be pleased to share ideas with you about this matter. Contact her via 088 943 3200 or send an email.
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