Accessibility refers to the ease of communities to access and use e-mobility options, regardless of skin color, language, technological access, income, ability, and geographic location (e.g., urban or rural). Truly accessible programs accurately respond to the present needs of community members without imposing solutions upon them.
Lack of access to dependable charging infrastructure can be a significant barrier to widespread adoption of e-mobility solutions. Drivers need adequate access to chargers, whether at home, work, or a public location. Home charging is low cost and convenient for many, but public and workplace charging options are critical for longer-range travel, higher-mileage drivers, and communities without access to home chargers.
Robust community charging should be considered a necessity in areas with a high concentration of multi-unit dwellings and areas where home charging is limited. In urban areas, public charging is often offered by corporations and large chains, but it’s disproportionately located in wealthier areas. This phenomenon leaves charging deserts in areas with renters and for those in multi-unit dwellings. The development of incentive programs for neighborhood-level, peer-to-peer charging infrastructure, spearheaded by community members, offers a strong solution to combat the concentration of public charging in wealthier, inaccessible areas. These grants can be made available to local small businesses, places of worship, community centers, and schools. Given the inherent limitation, state agencies and local municipalities should invest resources to prioritize this deployment in multi-unit dwellings and other public areas.
EVHybridNoire believes that clean transportation should be accessible to all communities. In order for that to come to fruition -this innovative technology must be inclusive of all types of drivers. Americans with disabilities are not frequently engaged in the proliferation of clean transportation; despite the fact that disabled drivers are 61 million strong and wield nearly $500 billion in disposable income. They must be considered, and prioritized, in this new mobility frontier. Auto manufacturers and charging infrastructure companies must examine the needs of these consumers and work collaboratively with this segment and disability advocates to determine what it will take to engage them, address their mobility needs and accelerate EV adoption. At present, EV options and research on best practice for this demographic is limited. For EVs to truly be attainable and used by all communities, this gap must be addressed.
At EVHybridNoire, we believe accessibility must be prioritized as part of e-mobility policies and programs. Our policy recommendations include the following: