April 5, 2023

City Council Approves Virginia Beach’s First Plan for Electric Vehicle Charging

This formal strategy strategically positions Virginia Beach to apply for federal and state funding.

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 29, Virginia Beach Public Works presented the results of a nine-month-long electric vehicle (EV) and charging infrastructure study and the Electric Vehicle Charging Plan born of its findings. 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.

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 involve the City spending any money. 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 EV charging infrastructure.

Cadmus' research efforts entailed engaging City staff, conducting public engagement surveys, EV deployment scenario modeling, spatial analysis, outreach to peer cities and gathering expert input. The study also included an analysis of the community's 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.

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

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Jina Gaines Templeton

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