Location: Kansas City, KS

Fleet Type: Light-duty Electric Vehicles

 

Narrative

Metropolitan Energy Center (MEC) began working on the Streetlight Charging pilot project (EVST) in a partnership with Kansas City, Missouri (KCMO). The project was developed to install limited electric vehicles (EV) charging on the streetlight systems to demonstrate and test the benefits of curbside charging for plug-in EVs at existing on-street parking locations. The City was interested in testing how increased access would affect EV adoption rates and began the program in 2019.

The project was funded by the DOE through a competitive application grant. Working with NREL and multiple utilities, MEC developed the project with KCMO, installing 23 charging stations at predetermined locations. This marked a successful achievement for electrification citywide and nationwide, and did so in an accessible manner to different communities and overlooked demographics.

Outputs and Outcomes

As of March 27th, 2023 all of the charging stations have been installed at the designated street light systems around the city, making public charging stations more accessible in locations that previously had no infrastructure. The outputs of the project left the city with 23 new Street Light Charging Stations, the first of their kind and an important step in the road to electrification. These installments helped spur fleet electrification for the city of KCMO, and a ramp up of EV purchases across the city.

The outcomes of the project are still being studied: data is being collected on usage rates and meetings are held with communities to hear about how it has changed their attitudes towards EVs. The success of the EVST project has not just been heard from community members, but also demonstrated in action as one member purchased an Electric Vehicle as a result of the installations. “One of the coolest things to see was a new Tesla parked down the street from the charging station at 72nd & E Indiana. According to Carl, the resident purchased it just a few weeks ago after the charging station was put in last month!” said Miriam Bouallegue, Program Manager at MEC.

Best Practices & Lessons Learned

This project was the result of team collaboration from both MEC and KCMO, site selection that took into account community feedback, and an eagerness for change. This is still very new technology for a lot of people, and working on the project with the city allowed for a positive learning experience and firsthand involvement in the deployment process of EV and EVSE technology. One lesson learned is that site selection can be difficult for streetlight chargers, and must meet numerous code requirements and be in line with other utility aspects.

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Kansas City Fleet Story

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