Becoming Electric Vehicle Ready

Cities have tremendous influence over how and where infrastructure is built and serve as a critical and necessary partner in the transportation electrification market transformation. Great Plains Institute, which facilitates Drive Electric Minnesota, has identified five principles for what constitutes an electric vehicle (EV) ready city:  

  1. Policy: Adopt policies and plans that support electrification of transportation and acknowledge EV benefits
  2. Regulation: Implement development standards and regulations that enable public and private sector EV use
  3. Administration: Create predicable, transparent, and well-documented administrative processes for installing EV charging infrastructure
  4. Programs: Develop public programs to overcome market barriers to EV use and installation of charging equipment
  5. Leadership: Demonstrate EV viability in public fleets, facilities, public transit, and alternative transportation modes

For more information about these EV principles, click here. By focusing on these principles, a city can prepare itself in all capacities to be ready for electric vehicles.  

The Great Plains Institute compiled a list of resources below to guide local governments on their quest to become EV-ready. Some resources serve as examples based on what other cities have done, while others are more comprehensive and can be used as a guide. If you have any questions on how to utilize these resources, please do not hesitate to email us.

Policy Resources

Comprehensive Plan Best Practices

Comprehensive plans are a great way to encourage EV adoption in communities because they set long-term goals to work toward. The Great Plains Institute developed the guide linked below to provide resources to local governments as they craft comprehensive plans. Drawing examples from the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metropolitan area as well as several Greater Minnesota examples, it provides relevant guidance for cities across the Midwest.

Download Transforming Minnesota’s Electric Vehicle Market→

St. Louis Park, MN’s Comprehensive Plan

The City of St. Louis Park’s comprehensive plan incorporates several EV initiatives, including a kick-start project to install EV charging infrastructure in public parking lots and increasing EV adoption to meet the city’s goal to reduce vehicle emissions by 25 percent by 2030 (p. 4-37).

Download the St. Louis Park Comprehensive Plan→

Regulation Resources

Summary of Best Practices for Electric Vehicle Ordinances

Local governments can make a big impact in electrifying transportation through zoning ordinances. This summary guide, developed by the Great Plains Institute, is designed as a reference for local governments looking to develop EV zoning standards or development regulations. The examples are not intended to constitute recommendations, but rather to show the breadth of choices made by communities across the United States to integrate electric vehicle supply equipment into development regulation.

Download the Summary of Best Practices for Electric Vehicle Ordinances →

City of Golden Valley, MN’s Planned Unit Development Ordinance

One way that local governments can encourage transportation electrification for the private sector is by developing supportive planned unit development (PUD) ordinances. As an example, the City of Golden Valley requires that all applications for PUDs provide at least one amenity or combination of amenities that total five points (c.12). Applicants receive one point for including electric vehicle charging stations if the stations are installed in at least five percent of the required parking spaces.

Download the City of Golden Valley Planned Unit Development Ordinance →

Administration Resources

New York’s Residential Electrical Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Permit Process

Having a standardized, consistent, permitting process reduces time spent on acquiring permits and conducting inspections for both developers and city staff. Best practices for streamlining residential EVSE include labeling it as minor work, using online permitting applications, self-inspections, and publishing installation guidelines (p. 2).

Download New York’s Residential EVSE Permit Process →

Programs Resources

Electric Vehicle Charging Guidance

Looking to add one or more charging stations in a public place, to a fleet, or workplace, but unsure of where to start? This dynamic page is for you. It’s designed to provide guidance to local governments on types of charging stations, where to install it, and things to think about before installation.

View EV Charging Guidance Page →

Case Study: DC Fast Charger Collaboration along Minnesota’s North Shore

The draw of a popular tourist destination and an enterprising partnership created a win-win situation for electric vehicle drivers and Minnesota communities from the Twin Cities to the Canadian border. Learn how city-utility collaborations can make these projects feasible.

Download Minnesota’s North Shore Case Study→

Case Study: Red Wing DC Fast Charger

Businesses in the City of Red Wing, MN are a prime example of the forward-thinking needed to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicle infrastructure. Read about Red Wing’s experience and get some tips about how to implement something similar in your community.

Download Case Study→

Leadership Resources

How to Electrify Your Fleet: Lessons from Cities

We analyzed results that several cities received from FleetCarma studies of their respective fleets and identified three major takeaways to help other fleets on their journey to electrification.

Download How to Electrify Your Fleet: Lessons from Cities→

Available Electric Vehicle Models in the United States

Thinking about adding an electric vehicle to your fleet? This resource is a great place to start. It contains all the electric vehicles available in the US, including information about the vehicle’s range, price, safety, and performance information.

View Available Electric Vehicle Models in the US→

Elk River, MN’s Green City Fleet Guide

Information compiled from Elk River draws on the city’s experience integrating electric vehicles into the city fleet. This fleet guide is an excellent starting point for fleet managers who want to learn about the benefits of electric vehicles.

Download Elk River’s Green City Fleet Guide →