Location: Birmingham, AL
Fleet Type: Birmingham Parking Authority – EV Charging

Narrative

The Birmingham Parking Authority (BPA) was established in 1972 by the Alabama Legislature to develop and manage off-street parking facilities in Birmingham, Alabama. The authority currently manages seven parking decks and three surface parking lots in the downtown area with a total 8,116 parking spaces. BPA established a goal of installing electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure to serve the growing number of Birmingham residents and visitors with EVs and as a first step towards transitioning some of its own vehicles to EVs in the future.

Andre Davis of the Birmingham Parking Authority speaks during a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Avondale Village Parking lot on October 18, 2023.

On Wednesday, October 18, 2023, BPA unveiled its first electric vehicle charging station at the Avondale Village parking lot, 109 41st Street South, in Birmingham. The Avondale Village entertainment district includes restaurants, a brewery and concert venue, coffee shops and other businesses. The Level 2 EV charging station was supported by the Alabama Clean Fuels Coalition with an 80% grant provided through ACFC’s involvement in Alabama Partners for Clean Air.

“It’s incredibly exciting for the Birmingham Parking Authority to be able to make public charging available in such a high-traffic area,” said Andre Davis, BPA Executive Director and CEO.

“This is a wonderful addition to our facilities, and a wonderful service not only for our parking patrons but for anyone in Birmingham who has a need to charge their EV or plug-in,” Davis said. “We recognize that more people are driving electric vehicles due to their environmental and fuel-saving benefits, and these drivers need convenient places to charge. What better place to charge your vehicle than a parking facility?”

Outputs & Outcomes

Outputs:

  • BPA sought and received funding for EV charging infrastructure at its Avondale Village parking lot. This project serves the parking public and also could support a transition of BPA vehicles to EV in the future.
  • A ribbon cutting ceremony was held on October 18, 2023, at the fully operational Level 2 chargers.

Outcomes:

  • Easy to access and near to the Avondale entertainment district, these chargers are well-received by the community.
  • BPA hopes to add  EV chargers at its other locations in the future.

Best Practices & Lessons Learned

Best Practices:

  • When installing EV charging infrastructure for the first time, it is important to understand what type of charging is most suitable for a specific location.
  • Involve project partners that can support project decision-making from an experienced perspective.
  • Talk to key stakeholders in the area to make them aware of the anticipated benefits of attracting customers to local businesses by offering EV charging.

Lessons Learned:

  • Get started early enough to allow a project to be completed within the expected time frame.
  • Consult with the local electric utility, especially when charging infrastructure will be serving the general public.

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BPA Fleet Story

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