Electrify Heartland Electric Vehicle Plan Nearing Completion

Utility and Government Subteams to Report Findings At Midwest Energy Policy Conference on Oct. 24

 

KANSAS CITY, Mo., Oct. 23, 2012 — The Kansas City Region is ready for electric vehicles, according to studies conducted by the Utility and Government teams of the Electrify Heartland steering committee. Electrify Heartland is a planning project for electric vehicles and charging station infrastructure covering 14 counties in Missouri and Kansas, an area with a population of 2.7 million people. Electrify Heartland will present its final report to the public on December 11.

On Wednesday, October 24, Sam Scupham of Black & Veatch Corporation and Alan Claus Anderson with Polsinelli Shughart will present their findings as part of the Midwest Energy Policy Conference at Kansas City’s Bartle Hall.

According to Scupham, project manager, renewables & energy efficiency at Black & Veatch Corporation and leader of the Electrify Heartland utility subteam, modeling studies conducted in partnership with regional utilities determined that electric vehicle penetration would have to reach 20 percent in any given neighborhood in order to create disproportionate stress on transformers that could lead to isolated power outages. Currently, electric vehicles represent roughly fourth-tenths of one percent of all new car sales.

Additionally, operators of commercial fleets contract directly with utilities for their electricity needs, enabling fleet operators and utilities alike to prepare for increased load demands and plan accordingly.

“We do not anticipate electric vehicles or charging infrastructure to create any strain on the electric utility grid in the foreseeable future,” said Scupham. “We anticipate most electric vehicle owners will charge at home using standard 120-volt or 220-volt outlets, and that electric vehicle fleet operators will work directly with utilities to provide for their power supply needs.”

Anderson, Polsinelli Shughart shareholder & advisor counsel of Kansas City Advanced Energy, reports that many communities across the country already are adopting standards for planning, zoning and inspecting public and private electric vehicle charging stations (also known as electric vehicle supply equipment or EVSE), and the Federal Highway Administration has established uniform signage for public EVSE.

The government subteam, working in partnership with city and county government officials, also has developed a series of recommendations to assist municipalities in the Kansas City Region to prepare for the growing number of electric vehicles on the road. Among their recommendations:

Establish uniform and predictable building codes. The team recommends cities and towns in the Electrify Heartland planning region adopt NEC 2011 (national electrical code standards, revised in 2011) and require new, reconstructed and renovated buildings accommodate future EVSE installation.

Streamline permitting and inspection processes for EVSE installations. Communities should be encouraged to create stand-alone permits, rather than use standard forms for EVSE installations, and each should also be allowed to create its own permitting processes. The team recommends creating an online application process that also enables utilities to access relevant information to mitigate any future issues.

Provide electric vehicle parking, but not at the expense of other drivers. The team recommends that parking spaces equipped with EVSE be placed in “second tier” locations, rather than in high-priority parking locations, and that cities and municipalities forego penalties for non-charging or non-electric vehicles parked in EVSE spaces in the near term.

Work with utilities, the Kansas Corporation Commission and Missouri Public Service Commission to address any regulatory issues raised through the widespread adoption of EVSE, and to enable utilities to establish a tariff that would enable them to recover any costs associated with infrastructure improvements for EVSE installations.

“The recommendations set forth in the Electrify Heartland planning document and related appendices will create uniform guidelines for cities and towns in the region, and ensure that development of electric vehicle charging station infrastructure does not create additional work for city planning departments,” said Anderson.

Electrify Heartland is an electric vehicle planning project managed by the Metropolitan Energy Center to create a plan for electric vehicle and charging infrastructure preparedness in Greater Kansas City; Wichita, Salina, Topeka and Lawrence, Kan.; and Jefferson City, Mo. The planning area covers 14 counties and a population of 2.7 million people. Electrify Heartland is supported by funding from U.S. Department of Energy Award EE-0005551, “Kansas – Missouri Community Readiness for EV and EVSE.”

Electrify Heartland is led by a steering Ccommittee comprised of members from Metropolitan Energy Center, Black & Veatch, Polsinelli Shughart PC, IBEW Local 124, the Kansas City Joint Apprenticeship and Training Center, Kansas City Kansas Community College and the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

# # #