Op-Ed by Melissa Everett, Ph.D. and Seth Leitman

Seeing the banks of electric vehicle chargers popping up at convenience stores and parking garages around the Hudson Valley of the State of New York, a person might start thinking there is a transformation in the making. The market supports this. Worldwide EV sales in 2012 were under 100,000, while in 2016 they reached 800,000; the largest market is here in the US. New York is part of a multi-state partnership to scale up EV use, with a state commitment to at least 825,000 cars on the road by 2030.

Tesla Model S P90D at Kingston NY fast charging

But before the marketplace gets too heated up, our communities need to get EV planning right.

Are town planners figuring out where chargers are needed, where they belong and how to pay for them?

Are building and zoning codes dealing with design, siting and construction of charging stations so they are safe and accessible?

Or will EVs be another opportunity for local land use and planning controversy and confusion – like large-scale solar has been in some communities?