Georgia’s goal to become the electric mobility capital of the United States is fast becoming reality. At last count, 186 companies, including major automakers, are investing $31 billion in e-mobility and supporting 380,000 jobs in our state. As manufacturers roll out electric vehicles, Georgia’s National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Deployment Plan will make our state a great place to own and drive them.
The Federal Highway Administration’s five-year National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program provides funding to states to strategically deploy electric vehicle charging stations and to establish an interconnected network to facilitate data collection, access and reliability. For at least the first two years of our NEVI plan, the Georgia Department of Transportation will focus on building out our state’s Alternative Fuel Corridors (AFCs) to NEVI standards by installing 150 kW DC fast chargers less than 50 miles apart and within 1 mile of the designated AFC.
Catalyze the market and let it grow
Although we have not implemented a federal law like NEVI before, we are confident Georgia’s plan will succeed because it is a customer-driven plan based on the best thinking and experiences available.
Our implementation strategy is to catalyze the EV market through competitive solicitation, award contracts to developers that know how to install and manage charging equipment and let the program establish roots and grow on its own. To achieve that goal, the Georgia NEVI plan had to lay groundwork for developers to generate a profit, which meant locating charging stations in areas with demand potential.
Using GDOT’s traditional metrics of daily travel times and daily vehicle volumes were a good start, but for Georgia to create a true customer-driven plan we needed to integrate private-sector knowledge of the EV market and charging customer preferences.
Integrating private-sector research and insights
To develop that plan, we partnered with technical, financial, and real estate advisors to leverage their knowledge of the EV market, infrastructure requirements, commercial properties, and risks among the various market segments. Their expertise informed our plan in the following areas:
- Locations. Our private-sector partners helped us identify potential sites where drivers would be inclined to stop to recharge their vehicles and engage with local businesses to support economic development. They also shared research about site hosts, their motivations for participating, and their appetites for risk.Based on what we learned, GDOT is targeting approximately 30 urban and rural locations where research indicates potential customer demand exists for EV charging, but where private-sector interest could be strengthened with the support of a public subsidy. The plan indicates that sites with market potential include:
- Gas stations
- Convenience stores
- Big-box retailers
- Large shopping centers
- Large grocery stores paired with other retail
Traditional gas stations, truck stops and travel centers have indicated they welcome EV charging as an opportunity to expand their service lines and create new revenue streams. Retailers, restaurant chains and offices reported an understanding of the benefit of providing charging stations as an added convenience for customers, tenants and employees while at the same time continuing to support sustainability.
- Coverage. We added two new alternative fuel corridors to our existing AFCs, which allows us to extend coverage and advance our goal of a comprehensive statewide network. Our selections - US-441 on the eastern side of the state and US-82 in the south and southwestern part of the state - connect to tourist destinations and provide the opportunity to install and operate EV chargers in rural areas and along hurricane evacuation routes, giving EV owners an additional level of comfort in emergencies.
- Funding. We anticipate awarding the Georgia NEVI sites on an individual basis to one or more developers, each with a separate agreement. Proposals assured us the EV market is willing to provide the 20% local match necessary to unlock Georgia’s approximately $135 million NEVI funding.
Based on market interest and the feedback we received after issuing a Request for Information earlier this year, we are confident there will be private-sector interest in Georgia’s NEVI program.
GDOT is proud to be a part of this transformational time in Georgia’s history and to support Governor Brian Kemp’s vision of e-mobility for all. Once we fulfill our federal obligations, we have the opportunity to expand Georgia’s EV network to other corridors and to consider other market segments and end-use case such as destination charging and community charging hubs.
GDOT understands and values the expertise our external partners provide, and we anticipate future private partnerships as we make Georgia the e-mobility capital of the U.S.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Director of Planning
Georgia Department of Transportation
Miller is the Executive Director at the State Road and Tollway Authority, Georgia Regional Transportation Authority, and Atlanta-Region Transit Link Authority. Ms. Miller is also the Director of Planning at the Georgia Department of Transportation, serving on the Executive Leadership Team alongside Commissioner Russell McMurry. Previously, Ms. Miller worked as Deputy Assistant Secretary and Senior Advisor at the U.S. Department of Transportation. Ms. Miller holds a Master of Business Administration in Global Commerce from Georgia Tech, a Master of Public Administration from Georgia State University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Community Nutrition.
Deputy Director of Planning
Georgia Department of Transportation
Markham serves as the Deputy Director of Planning for the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT). Prior to GDOT, he worked at the Georgia Department of Economic Development, where he served as the Director of the Center of Innovation for Logistics supporting Georgia companies involved in logistics and transportation. Matt holds a bachelor’s degree from Hampden-Sydney College and a Master of Public Administration degree from Georgia State University.
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