Pittsburgh releases public electric vehicle charging plan

PITTSBURGH — The city of Pittsburgh has released a public electric vehicle charging plan for city facilities.

The plan provides a framework for the city to use Pittsburgh Parking Authority lots and garages and other city facilities to expand charging access citywide. The plan outlines goals for expanding public charging access through 2025, which will help the city meet its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from transportation by 50% by 2030, according to a news release.

Currently, the city has 35 existing public EV charging plugs, mostly serving Downtown and Oakland. By 2025, the plan aims to expand to over 200 new public charging plugs and work with stakeholders to increase the total number of public charging plugs to over 2,000 across the city. This includes at least four plugs in each Council District, and a goal to ensure every household is within a 10-minute walk of a public Level 2 charger or a 10-minute drive of a DC fast charger. Level 2 chargers take 6-8 hours to deliver a full charge, while DC fast chargers mimic a gas-station model of fueling ‚and charge a vehicle to 80% full within 20-30 minutes, the release states.

“One key recommendation outlined by the plan is to determine a sustainable financing strategy,” said Rebecca Kiernan, Principal Resilience Planner. “This means establishing appropriate pricing structures for public chargers as well as a dedicated fund to cover operational costs that allows us to invest in new chargers throughout Pittsburgh.”

Pittsburgh is one of 25 cities selected to participate in the Bloomberg Philanthropies American Cities Climate Challenge, an effort to provide resources to cities to take strong action to reduce pollution that contributes to climate change and impacts public health. As part of the Climate Challenge, Pittsburgh has pledged to take bold action to reduce emissions from its transportation and building sectors. Working with other Climate Challenge cities around the world, Pittsburgh has explored approaches to increase access to low-carbon transportation options to give residents more choice, improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“Pittsburgh’s Public Facility EV Charging Strategic Plan is a great example of how cities across the country are paving the way for EV adoption and accelerating the transition to low-carbon transportation,” said Kelly Shultz, lead for sustainable cities of the America Is All In group at Bloomberg Philanthropies. “The Bloomberg Philanthropies American Cities Climate Challenge empowers local leaders to take bold and equitable climate action that improves lives for communities. We’re thrilled that Pittsburgh continues to drive us toward that goal.”