A steering committee tasked with considering the future needs of electric vehicle charging stations for the City of Lawrence has come up with a plan that will take the city from its single public charging station at the Lawrence Library to up to 80 charging stations by 2030.
The committee was comprised of representatives from the city, the Lawrence Redevelopment Commission, business owners, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Planning Organization and the Metropolitan School District of Lawrence Township. They worked with industry leaders starting in spring to come up with the plan, which was released in November.
According to the plan’s introduction, community input was welcome and solicited throughout the process.
“In addition to modeling and analysis, we engaged with the community to understand their thoughts, support and hesitations regarding electric vehicles and the city’s role in providing charging stations for the community,” the document stated. “Online surveys were disseminated to Lawrence’s residents and business owners, flyers distributed at the 4th Fest Parade, 4th Fest and Lawrence Farmers Market, and stakeholder meetings were held.”
Key themes gleaned from that input included concerns about the infrastructure needed to provide EV changing stations, the cost to private developers, local ordinances, the feasibility of an electric school bus fleet and equity when selecting sites for future charging stations.
According to the document, the committee considered that input as well as other practicalities, such as a site’s proximity to adequate power, accessibility to major roads, and proximity to neighborhoods and amenities such as grocery and retail stores.
“Of the identified sites, five were chosen as the initial locations for investment,” the document stated. “Two locations are on public property, one is located in a redevelopment area called the Trades District, and two others (are) in privately owned shopping centers.”
The locations are:
- Pendleton Pike between Hull Street and Bragdon Street.
- North Franklin Road and East 52nd Street.
- North Post Road and East 56th Street.
- Pendleton Pike and Oaklandon Road.
- Fall Creek Road and East 79th Street.
The plan also noted that zoning and permitting regulations will need to be established, and suggested the city develop how-to-guides for developers and property owners who want to install EV charging stations.
The plan notes that while interest in electric vehicles has waxed and waned over the years, their popularity has grown significantly since 2016.
“With the growth in EV models on the market has come an exponential increase in EV sales and ownership,” the document stated. “In the five-year period from 2016 through 2021, electric vehicle ownership grew by more than 500 percent. 2022 experienced a 55-percent increase from 2021 in EV sales despite total car sales dropping by 8 percent in that same time frame. A strong first quarter in 2023 saw EV sales increase 60 percent compared to the same period in 2022.”
For a copy of the entire plan, visit cityoflawrence.org/news/2023/11/06/charging-lawrence-electric-vehicle-charging-stations-plan.