Ask the Experts - What advice do you have for planning for parking related to electric cars?

What advice do you have for planning for parking related to electric cars?


Larry J. Cohen, CAPP
Executive Director
Lancaster Parking Authority

In several new garages that we are in the midst of designing, parking for electric cars has been an integral part of the process. This is especially true with the goal to obtain LEED certification points within the parking garage component of the projects. We are designing the layout to include reserved spaces that will need to accommodate electric charging stations as well. Our team is still working on putting procedures in place to limit the use of these spaces for charging (2-3 hours) and whether or not there will be a fee for the electric charge (this creates its own set of issues). The reality is that all future garages within most university campuses will need accommodation for reserved and/or discounted parking for electric vehicles, alternative fuel vehicles in addition to the handicapped spaces we already provide.


Len Bier, CAPP
Bier Associates

Planning for electric cars in public parking facilities presents challenges and requires the owner/operator to ask themselves and their consultants the following questions:
• How many charging stations do I need?
• Where should you locate the charging stations?
• Should the charging stations be all located together?
• Should the charging stations be under the supervision of an attendant or CCTV surveillance?
• What fee will be charged for the use of the station and energy consumption?
• How will the charging station fee be collected?
• If the charging station parking spaces have a high vacancy factor, how do you minimize the revenue impact to the parking facility, if the spaces would otherwise be occupied?


Rebecca White, CAPP
Director - Parking & Transportation
University of Virginia

Parking We have started reviewing available materials regarding best practices, cost/revenue/funding opportunities, design issues associated with charging equipment, and calculations of reduced emissions versus the purchased electricity fuel mix on our campus. A good web-based resource we have found is


John W. Nolan, MS, CAPP
Director of Transportation Services
Harvard University

We incorporated 19 electric stations in our first large underground garage over 10 years ago. Needless to say the market has lagged in this area. However, with the advent of new electric vehicles next year we will  incorporate three new charging stations in our newest facility and will retrofit our first garage application depending upon demand. We have not made a decision yet as to charging for such a service.


Derek Kiley
WPS North America

This innovation will be required for many locations to serve the estimated 1.6 million electric vehicles (EV) being distributed by 2011. We have already introduced a solution for Europe with an interface to parking patrons and EV stations called "Park & Recharge," many of the on-street and off-street manufacturer's have begun investigations with EV companies.