March 29, 2023

Virginia Beach Looks to Capture State and Federal Funding to Enhance City's Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure

Step one is developing a plan, which will strengthen VB's position in the grant application process.
Man charging his electric car

UPDATE: At Tuesday’s City Council Meeting, the Virginia Beach City Council unanimously approved the new Virginia Beach Electric Vehicle Community Charging Plan (the “plan”).

On March 28, Virginia Beach Public Works presented the results of a nine-month-long electric vehicle (EV) and charging infrastructure study. The study was used to inform the development of the Virginia Beach Electric Vehicle Community Charging Plan.

The department engaged consultant Cadmus, with the assistance of the Virginia Beach Public Schools Environmental Studies Program and Virginia Clean Cities, to conduct the research necessary to develop the plan that will now serve as a roadmap to accommodate the City’s anticipated needs as it transitions from conventionally fueled vehicles to EVs.

Cadmus engaged City staff, and conducted public engagement surveys, EV deployment scenario modeling and a spatial analysis. The consultant also reached out to peer cities, gathered expert input, and identified community needs, opportunities, and challenges, including strategies for making chargers available to low- to moderate-income neighborhoods as well as communities with a low ratio of private parking spaces to households.

"We'd like to extend our thanks to the nearly 1,400 residents who participated in the online survey," said Public Works Director LJ Hansen. "We used their input extensively in the development of this plan."

The plan is built around a set of 34 recommendations and 70 associated actions – including potential short, medium and long-term opportunities – that could be implemented to support effective deployment of EV charging infrastructure in Virginia Beach.

The recommendations address six key goals:

  1. Ensure charging is available and convenient – How to make charging easier?
  2. Catalyze public engagement around EV charging – How do we increase awareness and participation?
  3. Establish municipal EV programs – How can the City lead the way?
  4. Enhance charger access at Municipal Sites – How do we expand charger deployment at municipally-owned sites?
  5. Identify sources of funding for EVs and charging infrastructure – What federal, state, and local resources can the City utilize?
  6. Prepare for the future – What issues need to be considered now for the long term

The rollout of the Virginia Beach plan comes at a time when EVs are gaining widespread adoption in both personal and fleet vehicle markets, which is expected to increase significantly in the coming years. At this time, the plan does not require the City to spend on infrastructure. Having a strategy in place is simply an important step to ensuring Virginia Beach is prepared to apply for federal and state funding programs that will support the acquisition and installation of an integrated EV charging system.

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Watch Presentation to City Council

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