Navigating EV Infrastructure Ordinances: A Developer’s Guide

11 August, 2023

In today’s evolving landscape of environmental sustainability and responsibility, electric vehicles (EVs) have taken center stage as a viable and eco-friendly mode of transportation.

But with the adoption of EVs gaining momentum quickly, the need for accessible and efficient charging infrastructure has become paramount. As a result, owners and developers across the nation are increasingly being required to integrate EV parking spaces into their projects.

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Not merely parking spots, these spaces must be “Make Ready,” equipped with the utility infrastructure necessary for an EV car charging provider to install charging stations.

Having led Bohler’s effort to stay ahead of changing legislation, I understand the intricacies of EV infrastructure ordinances and how developers can not only comply with regulations but take advantage of opportunities that enhance their projects and contribute to a sustainable future.

That is, once they’re familiar with the mandates and know how to leverage available incentives and employ strategic approaches.


Understanding Compliance

Complying with these ordinances goes beyond allocating designated parking for Make-Ready EV charging purposes. It requires thinking strategically about the location of these spaces.

It may be advantageous to locate the spaces near the entrance or exit to the site near the roadway, where the charging stations would be most visible and easily accessible to users. This allows for quick entry and exit while minimizing the internal circulation impact. Locating spaces close to the available utility infrastructure in the property frontage may cost less as well.

Conversely, depending on the use, developers may consider locating the spaces near a building. This could be attractive to the end user on site to entice the visitor to shop, eat, or explore while their vehicle is charging.

Collaborate with your design team to determine the optimal location of these spaces based on the site’s operations.

Leveraging the Benefits

Zoning relief. In some cases, the EV spaces provided will allow the site to comply with the code, even if the physical space count is less than required. EV Make-Ready spaces can count as twice the space count, up to 10% of the zoning requirement, depending on site-specific applications. This means that a developer with an under-parked site may be able to avoid a parking variance.

Hands-off installation and maintenance. Once the EV parking spaces are approved and “Make-Ready,” the developer or owner may choose to self-operate or lease these spaces to one of the many car charging station providers in the market. There are many providers and agreement options, including a completely “hands-off” approach, where the vendor manages all installation and maintenance of the charging stations.

Phased build-out. EV spaces do not have to be built all at once. Per the ordinance referenced above, a phased build and installation of charging stations over a defined timeline may be recommended.

Preparing for Tomorrow

To prepare for the boom of EVs, future-proofing your site’s infrastructure is critical. We recommend setting the foundation early on by incorporating the necessary conduits and engaging potential providers to ensure they have what they need for future charging station installation. For industrial facilities, consider providing charging capability at loading docks for electric trucks. 

Failing to plan ahead and building insufficient power infrastructure can result in significant parking lot excavation or reconfiguration of equipment inside the building later on.

Dale Koch, Associate, Melville, NY

The biggest risk of failing to plan ahead during initial construction includes insufficient power infrastructure, which can result in significant parking lot excavation, as well as reconfiguration of equipment inside the building to accommodate more electrical panels.  

By considering these infrastructure requirements early on, you not only future-proof your site, but also contribute to a sustainable and forward-thinking infrastructure that is ready to handle the transportation demands of tomorrow. 

Moving Forward

EV legislation is complex and varies across states and municipalities. Bohler’s experience means we can help developers evaluate the potential impacts of their specific ordinances in due diligence, resulting in a faster project start.

Ready to take on EV infrastructure? Contact a land development specialist near you. 
About Ben Crowder, PE
Principal Ben Crowder, PE

As Principal and Branch Manager for Bohler’s Ridgewood, NJ office, Ben is leading a team of ambitious site civil engineering professionals who help developers across the state accomplish their most ambitious land development goals. He holds nearly 15 years of experience managing, designing, and permitting projects across all commercial, industrial, and residential market sectors. Together with his team, Ben leverages creative design solutions and strategize entitlements to keep projects on track.

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