Electric Vehicle Fall 2012 Quarterly Discussion Webinar (Text Version)
This is a text version of the video for the Electric Vehicle Fall 2012 Quarterly Discussion webinar presented on Oct. 11, 2012, by Linda Bluestein, National Clean Cities; Eric Ferron, U.S. Department of Transportation; David Sandalow, U.S. Department of Energy; Dan Davids, Plug In America; and Art James and Mike Kimlinger, Oregon Department of Transportation.
COORDINATOR: Welcome and thank you for standing by. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. To ask a question during the question-and-answer session later, please press star then 1 on your touch-tone phone. Today's conference is being recorded. If you have any objections, you may disconnect. And I'd like to turn it over to Ms. Linda Bluestein. Ma'am, you may begin.
LINDA BLUESTEIN: Thank you very much. Hi. This is Linda Bluestein. I'm the co-director of the Department of Energy's Clean Cities program. And welcome to the Clean Cities Quarterly Electric Vehicle Webinar.We focus on content that's relevant to Clean Cities coalition to stakeholders. This Webinar is going to focus on the importance of and practices for EV charging signage.
This is a topic that keeps coming up as communities plan for the arrival of more electric vehicles.
Before we start with today's program I want to spend a couple of minutes talking about resources developed by Clean Cities that we would like to share with you.
A lot of you know about Clean Cities but I want to remind everyone that there are nearly 100 Clean Cities coalitions both designated Clean Cities and those working towards designation across the country.
The coalitions form a nexus of stakeholders such as locally operating fleet businesses such as utilities and fuel providers, automotive dealerships and others participating in reducing petroleum and opening up alternative fuel markets in their communities.
In 2011 the combination of the work of the Clean Cities coalitions and other program activities reduced petroleum by more than 800 million gallons.
Coalition stakeholders are responsible for the placement of 660,000 alternative fuel vehicles on the road and had a hand in developing 70% of the 9,915 recharging and refueling sites currently available throughout the US.
By going on cleancities.energy.gov, the Clean Cities website, you can click on the map displayed and get the information on any of the coalitions.
In this case we clicked on the New Jersey coalition where we can get information specific to that particular coalition and learn about the area they cover and the composition of their petroleum displacement.
It gives you a bio of the Clean Cities coordinator and introduces you to that coalition and contact information as well as success stories that include video clips for that coalition.
The coalitions are a great resource in their communities. And if you haven't yet reached out to your local coalition we urge you to look them up on our website and contact the coordinator.
They can help you understand current market conditions for electric vehicles and other alternative fuel vehicles in their area and may be able to connect you with other people interested in working with you.
We have a newly redesigned website for alternative fuels and other petroleum reduction technologies at afdc.energy.gov.
That has many resources including state and federal laws and incentives for alternative fuels and vehicles, cost of ownership calculators, and alternative fuel station locator that includes a robust databases of places to charge your PEV that is kept up to date by more than 100 industry partners and is adding new important networking capabilities that you'll learn about later.
Again please take a look at all that is available and familiarize yourself with this redesigned site.
We have many other resources in the EV space including vehicle availability, case studies for community readiness, a permit template that has wording that has been approved by code groups.
We also have an EVSE 101 video for inspectors and installers and a five-hour video training session on these EVs that took place at our Clean Cities Stakeholder Summit last year.
On the website we also have manuals that can be downloaded on EVs and related infrastructure for consumers, fleet, station owners and electrical contractors.
This shows you the density of the alternative fuel vehicle stations listed in our refueling locator with almost 10,000 stations not including private.
And finally here is where you go to get all the great information. And if you wish to be a regular invitee to this webinar please contact Sandra Loi at NREL.
And then I'd also like to just mention that following this webinar we're also going to send out some links for you to different reports that have been done by groups.
One of them is the - a Plug-in Electric Vehicle Collaborative in California. In May 2012 the PEV Collaborative released a report called Accessibility and Signage for Plug-in Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure.
And it recommends standardized general purpose signs to identify charging stations and direct users to the station of regulatory science to designate the permissible uses of the charging facilities and to prohibit certain uses when necessary.
So we're going to get you a list of some of those reports that we found to help you as well.
Now I'd like to go ahead and introduce David Sandalow. As Undersecretary of Energy, David Sandalow helps oversee the department's renewable, energy efficiency, fossil energy, nuclear energy and electric delivery programs.
As Assistant Secretary for Policy and International Affairs he helps coordinate policy and manage international activities at the department.
Prior to being confirmed as the Assistant Secretary, Mr. Sandalow was Energy and Environment Scholar and a Senior Fellow in the Foreign Policy Studies Program of the Brookings Institution as well as Energy and Climate Change Working Group Chair at the Clinton Global Climate - excuse me, Clinton Global Initiative.
He is the author of Freedom From Oil and Editor of Plug-in Electric Vehicles, What Role for Washington?
Mr. Sandalow has written widely on energy and environmental policy including op-eds in the New York Times, Washington Post, Financial Times and other publications.
Previously he served as Assistant Secretary for State for Oceans, Environment and Science, and senior director on the National Security Council staff and Associate Director on the staff of the White House Council on Environmental Quality and Executive Vice President World Wildlife Fund.
Mr. Sandalow is a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School and Yale College.
David does not come to us with just impressive credentials. He is an experienced plug-in vehicle user and constantly brings his knowledge, ideas and enthusiasm for expanding the use of these technologies to our benefit.
Today we are so fortunate to have him bring this expertise and excitement to us in this webinar. I'll now turn things over to David who will go through the slides. Thank you.
DAVID SANDALOW: Well thank you very much Linda and thank you to everybody who's calling in from around the country.
I - last count there were 86 different people calling in and we're very grateful for that. This is the topic that's attracted a lot of interest.
And our topic today is electric vehicle signage. And I'm just going to pretty briefly put this in context and then turn it over to some of the experts around the country who've been working on this.
This is part of a larger package of initiatives that President Obama has launched related to electric vehicles and this slide just summarizes some of them.
Earlier this year the President announced the National Community Deployment Challenge which is $1 billion for a 10 to 15 community alternative vehicle programs around the country.
And that builds on an $8-1/2 million dollar program when community readiness grants run out of the Department of Energy here for accelerating the installation of EV infrastructure.
The president also proposed reforms to the Advanced Vehicle Tax Credit which I expect is familiar to many of you on this call.
One of the consistent pieces of feedback that we've received about the Alternative Vehicle Tax Credit is that transferability would make it more useful.
There's actually a pretty big body of academic literature which supports this proposition. And so we proposed allowing the transfer the credit to a dealer or financer which would allow consumers to get the benefit of the point-of-sale.
What that means in plain English is that a consumer wouldn't have to take it on his or her tax return. You know, on April 15 of the year after they buy the car they would be able to get the benefit right at the dealer.
We propose removing the cap on the number of vehicles per manufacturer and phasing out the credit at the end of the decade and increasing the maximum amount.
And the president also announced an EV Everywhere Grant Challenge as well as $650 million to further vehicle and battery technology development at the Department of Energy.
I want to talk just a minute about that EV Everywhere Grant Challenge because we've run a series of workshops which I know some of you have been at over the course of the summer. We held five or six of them pulling together scientists, engineers, business people, state and local officials.
And this is part of a broader initiative on the part of Secretary Chu and my direct boss. And, you know, Secretary Chu brings such remarkable credentials to the job of Energy Secretary, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics.
One of his objectives here has been to rally Americans behind great energy challenges. And one of them that he's particularly focused on is on electric vehicles.
And so we went out and we held workshops over the course of this summer as just part of our effort in this regard.
By the way, we also have a public request for information which is open for another couple weeks if anybody is either interested in submitting information or knows people who are, please, please direct them to that.
We went out and we talked to experts around the country about electric vehicles and on issues, really a wide range of issues, the best research and development pathways for batteries and power electronics, best deployment programs -- those types of issues.
And the topic that we're talking about today really grows out of that. And one of the consistent messages that we received in a number of different venues is that EV signage is an important issue in municipalities around the country.
We both heard that getting more signs out there will help to help drivers find the chargers that are already out there and also communicate the availability of chargers for potential electric vehicle buyers.
So it's really a double benefit from getting signage out there and that's what led to this call today.
And we wanted to both talk to you to all of you about this issue and then get feedback as well.
Here are some of the things we're doing. And particularly I want to thank not just Linda for her great work with Clean Cities but also Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency Renewable Energy, David Danielson and (Pat Davis) who's the head of our Vehicles Technology Program both of whom have really been doing tremendous work in this area.
And here's what we're doing. We're trying to raise awareness of the issue through Clean Cities. We work with other agencies such as the Department of Transportation. And we have an official for the Department of Transportation on this call who's going to talk.
We're going to convene stakeholders with calls like this and do more in that area, identify best practices, disseminate case studies and then encourage sound and strategic investments and increase signage to support the deployment of electric vehicles.
So that's what we're doing. And here are today's speakers. And I'm going - and really are very grateful for all the hard work that each of these four have put into this issue. And you're going to hear from them in a minute. And I'm going to turn it back to Linda to introduce them. So thank you very much.
LINDA BLUESTEIN: Thank you very much David. We're going to move on and let Dan Davids speak. He started his career as an oceanographer in Hawaii diving deep in the Molokai Channel in the Star 2 submersible, an EV of sorts powered by banks of lead acid batteries.
Later as a commercial pilot Dan embraced the energy efficient engineering critical to successful airplane design.
At the track he gained proficiency with the variables of drag reduction and vehicle handling as a professional racecar driver.
Dan is Board Chairman and immediate past president of Plug In America.
He is Vice President of the Adopt a Stream foundation. He has a BS in physics from Harvey Mudd College and an MBA. And he's been driving electric for over 10 years and many also say he's probably the most interesting man alive.
DAN DAVIDS: Thanks. This is Dan. Can you all hear me OK?
LINDA BLUESTEIN: Yes.
DAN DAVIDS: Great. Well thanks Linda and everyone who pulled this together and in particular David.
I know some folks from Plug In America, our legislative representatives met with you a few months ago in Washington D.C. and we brought up the issue of signage. And I'm really pleased to see how you've been helpful in drawing some attention to it. So I think this is really an excellent opportunity.
So trying to get right to signage as quickly as I can, I'm on our beginning slide there. And there's the kind of two dominant signs that I'll be talking about there.
I did note - want to draw attention to the word charging in the signage. And that's somewhat different than signs from the past that had to do with electric vehicles which were largely focused around parking.
And that differentiation we think going forward is pretty critical. So you'll notice on that red and white sign the word charging at the bottom. And that frankly really is the first occurrence of that presentation on a sign.
Let's see there's - here we go. Just briefly on Plug In America, you know, our vision is to see that, you know, all transportation needs worldwide someday would be met sustainably.
And our mission is to promote that through electric vehicles. It's clearly the biggest bang for the buck at this point in history.
We do that through our policy work as David mentioned. We had an awful lot to do with the $7500 tax credit. And we continue to work along those lines.
Another example of our work in that area would be sponsoring the multiunit dwelling legislation in - which is now a law in California around charging.
And basically we educated California about what Hawaii had done. They were first in the nation over two years ago with the law about that.
So then the next area we spend a lot of time in of course is outreach education about the environmental, national security, economic benefits of electric vehicles, not to mention the fact that they're just a lot of fun to drive.
And lastly we work with industry and stakeholders to grow the EV market. That's our latest and major push we see is doing whatever we can to keep demand ahead of supply.
There's been a little bit of a level off in deliveries by some of the manufacturers. And we want to get more butts in seats. And we're gathering the resources needed to make a major push to grow that marketplace.
The keys to our success real quickly and we'll get right into the signs, are our experience. We believe there's no other organization on the planet that has the depth length of experience and breadth of experience that Plug In America has.
We've been driving electric since well back into the 90s and some of our founders even before that with conversions.
We represent essentially the voice of the consumer. We were activist consumers in the beginning. And now we're consumers just trying to help spread the word more.
Our focus is on EVs. We don't have other activities that we're involved in.
And of course as a nonprofit we're independent. So we don't pick winners and losers. Basically if it has a plug-in on it we're for it. And let the marketplace decide which vehicles are going to be viable going forward.
And last of all, of course, we have a working board of directors. Our board long ago passed a million miles collectively driving electric. And we don't think you could find another board of directors anywhere that could match that.
So getting into signage, our recommendations are basically drawn from the experience of EV owners of millions of electric models driven.
And frankly most of this experience really does date back to California and the Zero Emissions program there in the late 90s, early 2000s.
And we did work in Washington state under an ARRA Stimulus Grant that involved a survey of those drivers and getting their input. And we learned some pretty interesting things that I think will come out in the rest of my presentation.
Of course one of the things that we learned in the grant that we did in Washington state around model ordinance and best practices was to follow federal sign design standards and practices. And that's a whole field that I've learned a lot about.
This was first published over about two years ago in Washington State and is available to everyone at this website.
PSRC stands for the Puget Sound Regional Council which was the agency that oversaw the work.
And Plug In America was the expert, EV expert on that project along with municipal planning representatives and another gentleman by the name of Jim Helmer who is on the call and who brought a perspective from the Department of Transportation experience he had in the city of San Jose.
And now that work has been further localized, adapted and updated in other municipalities. We've been actively involved in some of those and simply in an informational loop in some others. But those include Sonoma, Auburn Hills, Oregon, California.
I know Linda just mentioned the PTZ collaborative in California. Plug In America is a member of that. And I worked on the community toolkit of the recommendations that she mentioned and then of course Hawaii whose document we released and Hawaii released just about a week ago.
And that Hawaii document is probably easiest to sign on Plug In America's - oh there's the PEV collaboratives website where you can find their information as well as the Plug In America Web page that can get you to the Hawaii document.
So the biggest question that people tend to ask around on installation is what sign do I install? And I can see on their faces when they ask that they usually are people that are under time pressure.
They don't unfortunately know much about electric vehicles but they know they have to do something and they want a simple answer.
And I don't want to try and overcomplicate things. Things should be as simple as possible but no simpler, to quote Einstein.
But there isn't just one sign. Each sign, you know, has a specific purpose. And we'll go through those.
And I think if I have a goal for this presentation is to kind of give everyone the concepts and the basics behind all the work that's been done by Plug In America and others on EV signage so that you have an idea why these recommendations are the way they are.
And then of course throughout all of this the wants and the needs of EV drivers really, you know, are paramount and how that will come through I think when we talk about special signage in a little bit.
And the second goal of mine in this presentation would be: Don't reinvent the wheel.
As Linda began to show there, and as my slides show, there's lots of work that's been done in other municipalities in areas. That information is available. Much of it was funded by DOE federally. And we just need to get that information spread around.
This is a graphic of - and just one diagram that's in the EV model ordinance work in Washington State from two years ago.
And frankly some of these diagrams, this one happens to show some accessibility aspects.
Some of these diagrams actually date back to work that was done in Canada and even before that in the UK a long time ago. I - when I see images I can see the fingerprints of where they originated.
So EV charging signage, there's three types of signs. General service signs. Those are the signs that basically direct drivers to charging stations. They're also known as way-finding signs.
And in my presentation I'm trying to remove the municipal jargon and planner-ease as it were, as much as possible and try and use words that, you know, are understandable by laypeople, electrical installers, and users. Sometimes you might think of these as navigational signs.
The next type of signs are regulatory signs. Those are the signs that are actually at the charging stations themselves and brings in the issue of enforceability and trying to keep, you know, cars that aren't supposed to be parking there, you know, out of those spaces. And so we'll talk about those.
And then lastly special signage, and these are signs that do not follow those standards that are in the federal.
MUTCD stands for the Manual for Uniform Traffic Control Devices. And it's kind of the Bible nationally that the Department of Transportation and municipalities refer to.
So in general service signs the signs, the first two signs on the left have actually been around for quite a while.
The one on the far left in California dates back to the 1990s. The one in the middle may - is federal and predates that some.
And then the alternate recommended sign which is now I understand been accepted after a test period in Washington and Oregon which now has the pump changed to have the letters EV on it and have a cord on it instead of a nozzle have been - are available in the MUTCD.
And they as I mentioned provide navigational guidance. They're the standard white on blue.
The signed path to stations may actually begin at freeway off ramps and then go - well the most complicated would be from a federal highway to freeway to a state road then to a county road, to a city road and then to a private property like a mall.
And signs, you know, of exactly the same design, you know, should be used continuously, contiguously all the way along that path to get people to stations.
And so obviously that may involve coordination among multiple ownerships and jurisdictions.
I want to raise the issue of not just as David mentioned but the visibility of having those signs up, there is good for non-EV drivers to help kind of advertise that there is - there are electric vehicles in the world now.
But another reason is that the absolute last time you need to be - the wrong time you need to be looking down at your smart phone or the screen of your GPS in your car is in that last quarter mile where you're trying to actually find the parking space where the charging station is.
There's a - your head needs to be up. Your eyes need to be up. There are, you know, pedestrians, other vehicles, a lot of activity in that as you get closer to those stations. And so the signage is really critical in that area.
I know as a commercial pilot the signage on airports is something that we all deal with and it's absolutely law.
And the last thing we want is a runway incursion. That's the fastest way to ruin your career in aviation. So signage has kind of been a big part of my life for a long time.
Who funds them in the cases of these multiple ownerships and lengthy paths across different jurisdictions?
Public-private partnerships have been used. I did some looking into this over this last week at David's request. And unfortunately there really is no simple answer.
And one consistent thing I did hear is the Departments of Transportation don't have any money to put up these signs.
So ultimately it's really the property owners kind of responsibility if they want to enhance visibility of their sites in getting people to it.
And they really should I think probably kind of take the lead along with someone in their local municipality in getting all the stakeholders together to get signage in place and finding some funding mechanisms to do that.
And then that also brings up the question of which stations get way-finding signage. I mean California has had way-finding signage from back in the 1990s. Those signs still exist.
I and my colleagues use them in California. The only difference now is that when you follow those signs the actual charging station at those spaces is typically a modern station with a new type of plug that's on the cars that are shipping today.
But other than that, California really got it right more than a decade ago. But now we're talking about, you know, many more thousands of stations being out there.
And so not every publicly available station necessarily should have a way-finding signage starting at freeway off ramps or will have a, you know, just an over proliferation of signs. So that's another subject that's going to need to be kind of addressed.
There's an example of some photos I just took out in the wild of the use of the standard way-finding signs.
Regulatory signs, regulatory signs are used as I said at the charging station itself. There - there's the standards for that in the sign that said we recommended first in Washington state and then also in Hawaii.
And then in California in the collaborative document is the red and white sign. And it's designed to prevent "icing," which is EV jargon for internal combustion engine vehicles being in the space.
As you'll hear EV drivers refer to a space being iced as something they obviously do not like.
And then if you do one of the things about this red and white sign is it is enforceable. It follows these federal standards.
Many municipalities if not most across the country are moving to the international symbols that the size of that red circle with a slash through it there actually is a minimum diameter for that which I believe is 8-1/4 inches or 8-1/2 inches. This sign meets that.
And again the key insight on that one was that the purpose of the charging station site is vehicle charging, not parking. And that was quite a change from prior experience in California. So I mentioned that.
The permissive sign then could be added below the sign in green and white to further restrict things such as hourly limitations, say two hours or I've seen signs with two hour limitations, four hour imitations. That's really up to the site host to decide.
I do want to mention and give a shout out to Michigan and Auburn Hills, Michigan which certainly was aware of the sign recommendations we made. We made the red and white one, but they had a different idea, which was to leverage the ADA accessibility sign guidelines but change the symbol for the wheelchair over to the new federal symbol for electric vehicle charging.
And so they've gone with that. And frankly we've included that in the latest documentation that we published in Hawaii.
And boy, someone would have to do some sort of a double-blind study of some sort to determine which of those two achieves its goals of preventing icing and being enforceable, you know, better than the other. But we at Plug In America, we like them both.
There's an example of Auburn Hills where the general service sign using the federal logo in their image.
And here's another example thanks to (Steve Cohen) at Auburn Hills and because the question also comes up an awful lot among people of what do I put on the ground?
And it is a good idea just as with accessibility spaces to have something painted there. There may actually be requirements. I think there probably are since I don't think I've seen a handicapped space without ground stenciling.
But as far as I know in my research the ground stenciling is not something that's been enforceable element in most jurisdictions but certainly an aid in preventing icing and identifying the stations.
So lastly we get to special signs. And these are also used at the charging station itself. And when I say charging station I just want to clarify it by the way that the charging station we view at this point now as not just being that EVSE or EV supply equipment, the piece of hardware that's hung on the wall or on the post that the driver actually uses to plug into their car.
But the charging station actually encompasses everything having to do with that parking space. The sign's kind of getting to it and at the space, all of the infrastructure supplying that space, the conduits, circuit breakers everything, the charger itself. As I said that's kind of the station we think in our vernacular.
The special signs can provide additional information for drivers. And this is where as the cars started to roll out again a couple of years ago I saw an awful lot of site hosts sort of absence guidance yet from us and from California and Hawaii and other documents.
People would tend to try to put everything on to one sign and expect it to cover regulatory issues as well.
And so the three images on this slide they're all good. But if you look at the one on the far right down there that's actually an image at a Whole Foods market in Norwalk, Connecticut. And you can see that it promotes a green program that down at the bottom of the sign.
And the problem with that sign is it's not the color that drivers expect to be something that's a regulatory and it kind of has mixed purposes in there. It's promoting a green program and the likelihood of that space being iced is much higher.
So it's better for people to use special signs to go to town by putting in information about whatever they want to, their economic development goals, their green program, their funding source a sponsor -- whatever.
But don't expect those signs to carry the load and be as effective as way-finding and regulatory signs.
Let's see, so the typical signs deck at a charging station might look like this. It has the identifying sign blue and white at the top, below it and the regulatory sign making it very clear the purpose of that parking space and that it's really designed only for electric vehicle charging.
And then it may be - have further restrictions below it. And if you really want to be up to date you'd moved to this version with the - and I have seen some of these already here in Washington state with the new EV pump blue and white sign up top.
And then of course you can add in your special sign. Special signs should be if they're regulatory signs they - the guidelines are in the sign manuals are that they should be to the side or below the regulatory signs and not overly prominent.
So in summary follow, you know, design standards and practices, don't reinvent the wheel.
General services signs, you should think ease of use that you want to try and make it as easy as possible for drivers to find these charging stations.
I and my colleagues, and we consider ourselves experts, frequently talk about how we went to some facility to try and find a charging station and frankly had to give up because there was no signage whatsoever and we couldn't find it.
So but in my mind the way-finding signs think safety. Regulatory signs: Again, uniformity is key. Auburn Hills is being, you know, totally uniform with what they're doing with their sign.
And so I think in their area all the drivers are going to be expecting that sign and know what it means. And it appears that it meets enforceability standards as does the red and white one.
Special signs, they have a special, a separate informational intent. And, you know, use the prior work at other locations.
On a closing note I'll just mention that I think possible future Webinar topics around electric vehicle charging could involve things like talking about charging station accessibility and ADA.
Currently the ADA, actually there are no guidelines. ADA does apply to any kind of publicly acceptable parking spaces but there are no guidelines.
Plug-In America through our work in Washington and in Hawaii actually does publish guidelines that we think follow the intent of ADA.
And we welcome the opportunity through Clean Cities and DOE to be put in touch with the right people so that we can have people that actually know something about the driver experience and needs around electric vehicles and getting that done.
And then of course commercial business models for site hosts are spoken to for the first time that I'm aware of in a guideline document in the Hawaii document that was recently released.
And we might also then talk about things like usability. And when I see usability I'm talking about drivers having open access.
They don't have to have seven RFID cards in their pocket just to get, you know, a charge at a charging station.
So that pretty much wraps it up for me and I thank you and welcome your questions.
LINDA BLUESTEIN: Thank you Dan. This is Linda Bluestein again. And we're going to actually wait until all the presentations are done to do Q&A.
So hang on everybody for that if you have questions for Dan and others here.
Next we're going to have two people presenting for Oregon DOT talking about their experience with signage in the state.
And we're going to have Art James who joined Oregon's DOT's Office of Innovative Partnerships in 2004 as project manager.
He's been instrumental in launching Oregon's public-private initiative and key in helping establish Oregon as a leading launch site for electric vehicles.
He works with private-sector firms to create a robust market network of EV charging infrastructure in Oregon and encourage rapid adoption of electric transportation.
He also chairs the Oregon Advisory Team working with utilities and local governments to install hundreds of EV charging stations around the state.
And then also we're going to have Mike Kimlinger who is the Traffic Standards Engineer at the Oregon Department of Transportation.
Mike came to ODOT in 2008 from Alaska DOT where he was a designer in signal, signing, striping, and illumination.
He is the Oregon representative on the traffic control devices pooled fund safety.
ART JAMES: Thank you Linda. This is Art. I was on another one of your webinars a couple of months ago talking about our charging station infrastructure projects in the West Coast Electric Highway.
It's good to be invited back and there's been quite a lot of activity. I'll be able to show some pictures of some completed charging stations through that project.
Just to give a little bit of context there is currently over 1,500 EVs on the road in Oregon and these shows the various models. Probably you're all aware the most prevalent one is the Nissan Leaf.
Our department has five of those that we've deployed so we actually have a lot of real-time experiences using them.
The Ford models, the others listed there. We also have a couple of dozen Teslas on the road and recent influx of the Think City car that of come into the state.
And really Oregon has been working for some time to position ourselves as a launch site.
We were the first state to negotiate an MOU with Nissan to bring the Leaf here early in the release of those.
And the quid pro quo of that was that Oregon as a state agreed to kind of set the table for those by putting in charging stations.
We revised building codes and we talked about the need for consistent signage. This particular photograph here has one of ODOT's Leafs plugged into a brand new DC fast charger.
So at the time we had negotiated those agreements signage was kind of over the map. And here is just a small smattering of the kinds of signs that were out there.
These are largely legacy signs. We looked far and wide to try to come up with, you know, what would really work, be recognizable and be safe for the driving public.
And this was actually a fax that I received back in 2009 was the first prototype of the idea of getting away from the gas pump symbol that had been in the manual of uniform traffic control devices for a number of years.
The stakeholder group that I was working with really kind of objected to that symbol. And so we came up with this as an alternative and submitted it to federal highway administration for approval.
And I'm going to turn it over to Mike Kimlinger who's the traffic standards engineer for the state Department of Transportation. And he can kind of lead you through the process that it took to get that approved.
MIKE KIMLINGER: So we went and tried to get involved in a group that does these kinds of studies, looks at things like different sorts of symbols. That's the group I'm part of and it's called the Traffic Control Devices Pooled Fund Study.
And one of the things that is needed when you look at new symbols is a human factor study. And so they provided the access to a group they can supply that.
And through that process this symbol along with several others was evaluated in a sort of open format, open-ended questions, giving the ability for someone to say that they thought that represented what it was and came out quite well in that study.
And because of that we forwarded it to FHWA and asked for experimentation. FHWA actually re-evaluated the symbol with no lightning bolt shown on it.
And once they had finished doing that re-evaluation instead of experimentation offered interim approval.
Now interim approval is something that has some catches to it. If the signs don't prove to be well received over time they may or may not have to be changed.
This looks like it's being well received and so should be a long-term and fully approved symbol the next time MUTCD is updated.
I'd like to along that same line talk a little bit about at least one of the signs that was shown in a previous one which shows this symbol, the EV symbol with the plug on a regulatory sign and caution everyone that in order to probably get that sign accepted by the FHWA there is a similar process that we will probably have to go through.
That's pretty much it for that slide.
ART JAMES: Well I guess the thing I learned from that is - that process moves sort of at glacial speed. So it was that almost two years later that we actually got the approval from FHWA for that sign.
And this is a picture of the sign the first time it was ever erected on an interstate off ramp. This was in last March down in the Medford in southern Oregon.
And we have - they have PDFs and JPEGs of these signs -- all of these signs. So if anybody wants them they can request and we'll just send them to them.
The second sign that you saw earlier this is a regulatory sign to keep the ICE vehicles out. We developed this concurrently at the same time the Washington was working on their model ordinance signage.
It doesn't always work. What you're seeing at the bottom there is a parking garage in Salem. That's actually my electric vehicle in the middle which is a Think City car.
And none of the cars parked around it. Obviously there aren't yet any Chevy trucks or Dodge vans that are all electric so those are all ICE vehicles parked in those spots.
This is a, one of our Leafs parked at a workplace charging. And you can see various signage being used there.
These are actually couple of the completed installations of the West Coast Electric Highway now. The one on the right at Wolf Creek and the one on the bottom left is in Hood River.
And you'll see the no parking except vehicle charging prominently displayed there with the DC fast charger and a Level 2.
Also I think many of you are familiar with EV Project. This is the ECOtality project. And we've been working with them for three years now in Oregon installing signs.
They actually adopted a hybrid of both of the signs that we had developed with the plug on the top and the "no parking" at the bottom and have installed these at literally hundreds of charge sites in the EV Project area. The picture on the right is actually one of their chargers with the sign next to it.
The - this is a photo of Governor Kitzhaber dedicating the first DC fast charger. This is now over a year ago.
And you'll see these hybrid signs there. In my mind the hybrid doesn't quite - is not quite as effective as the full sized signs. They're kind of small and a little busy but that's the way ECOtality decided - elected to go on signs in their project.
Just wanted to talk for a second about the various levels of signage because this comes up in our discussion on signage too.
These are all Level 2 charging stations that have been installed in Oregon by different manufacturers. We've got the ChargePoints and the AV and Shorepower and ECOtality's.
The one on the left I just took the other day that's actually at a Walgreens. And Walgreens has installed these as I believe at every Walgreens in the nation at this point.
And they've come up with their own signage and different manufacturers they're at cause it actually says Level 2 on it.
And I have no idea what the origin of that was but again it's inconsistent and kind of not in the same playing field.
I mentioned the DC fast chargers. We've got those now installed around the state. And there's been discussion about should we differentiate between Level 1 charging which is just a 110 plug that's everywhere, Level 2 charging which is getting fairly ubiquitous at least in Oregon. There are probably at least 700 installations. And now the DC fast chargers that are being installed.
And this slide I put in this is actually a aerial photograph of the largest shopping mall in the state of Oregon.
It's Woodburn Company Store. And I put it in there because when you pull off the freeway there could be a sign there. But there are probably 1,200 parking spaces in this. And it turns out that the Level 2 charger is way at the back of the whole complex.
My personal experience was driving around for about 20 minutes to be able to find that one.
So it's clear to me that, you know, that that issue that Dan talked about in terms of getting multiple jurisdictions to, you know, agree on what the sign is and then move forward on figuring out a way deploy that that's extremely important.
And whether you put 1, 2, or 3 level on there my view on that is that's too much information because that may just confuse the driving public even more, particularly those that are not familiar with the topic area.
And I'm going to ask Mike to comment on this slide regarding the way-finding.
MIKE KIMLINGER: I guess I'll echo what was said in a previous presentation is that your follow-up or way-finding or trailblazing signage -- whatever you might call that -- should be the same as whatever your signage is that initially directs people that there's going to be an opportunity to charge your vehicle.
And that consistency is extremely important in making your way from your initial decision to the final point you need to be and that although we need to be careful about too much signage we do need to have some way-finding at some of the critical turning points in that path.
ART JAMES: So this slide basically as I said we've made a lot of progress, you know, from where we started several years ago in this but there's still some way to go. And I think, you know, we have a - we're all on board saying we need to make it consistent.
And as I said we have high resolution JPEGs of these things so don't worry about having to go out and re-create anything. Just let us know and we'll supply them. That concludes our part of it.
LINDA BLUESTEIN: Hi again. This is Linda Bluestein. Again we're going to wait for questions to do questions by email and also by phone until after all the presentations. There's just one more.
And we have Eric Ferron who is a highway civil engineer with the Federal Highway Administration.
He joined FHWA in 2007 and has been a part of the FHWA MUTCD team since 2011 to present.
He provides technical advice, assistance, and leadership to Federal Highway Administration personnel and external partners in the area traffic control devices and their applications, provides interpretation of federal laws and regulations related to the MUTCD in the areas of regulatory and warning signings, school zones, and low volume roadways. So Eric if you'd like to get started that'd be great.
ERIC FERRON: Great thank you. Yes, as mentioned my name is Eric Ferron. I am with the FHWA's MUTCD team.
I'm basically here to kind of, you know, discuss the current status of the electrical vehicles signing and I guess some future of this signing or what we need to do to move this forward.
I've got a few slides but my purpose is mostly just to answer your questions and hopefully provide some guidance as to what the next step is.
The main topics just quick list, a lot of people probably aren't familiar with the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices or, you know, we call it the MUTCD. We also call it the manual.
So I want to talk about what it is real quick, why should we care and, you know, how it applies to us especially in the realm of EV signing and once again, you know, what the next step is for including any new signs or as was brought up earlier, pavement markings, which is another good topic of discussion.
So here's my contact information. I will show it again at the end. One thing I'll put out right now and I'd like to - I'll re-emphasize it at the end is one of my main jobs is to answer questions especially with regulatory warning signage. I'm also filling in for the gentleman who does guide sites.
So please if your municipality or somebody that's going to install a sign or know a person who is and you have a question of whether it's in compliance with MUTCD or not or want some general guidance I'm more than happy to provide that to you. So please email me. That's the preferred way, call.
Also there's the website for the MUTCD. You can get the latest edition there. Also there's contact numbers from teams. There's a discussion Chat Room. There's a lot of tools out there to help you.
But like I said, one of my main jobs is to provide this service to, you know, transportation professionals, general public -- anybody with questions. So please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions.
So basically this is the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices. This is the current edition, the 2009 edition.
We are looking at revising it. We try to do it every five to six years. Right now we're shooting for 2015, 2016. It is a very long process.
We're already working on the next manual so it is a good time to provide any comments or insight or questions.
Basically MUTCD, it's been around since the 1930s. It became federal law roughly in the 1960s.
I would like to mention that it is the minimum requirement for traffic control devices.
It's main purpose is to ensure uniformity of the devices throughout the nation so for example, you know, a stop sign in Oregon is the same in Florida.
We've mentioned this earlier especially with the EV signing the importance of having uniformity and consistency throughout the nation.
One thing the MUTCD does apply to all roadways open to public travel.
Oops I apologize, I got - so just to kind of reiterate the important things. So MUTCD it covers federal regulations the covers design and usage of all traffic control devices.
It's a minimum standards, states and local agencies. You can exceed those standards, you just can't take away from them. And it does apply to all streets and highways open to the public.
I use the word traffic control devices quite a bit. Basically what traffic control devices are, they're signs, signals, markings or other devices that are used to regulate warn or guide traffic. It is placed on over or adjacent to a street highway, pedestrian facility, bikeway, or private road that's open to public travel.
Also in the case of private road it's by the authority of the private owner or private official having jurisdiction over that roadway.
So basically why do we care about MUTCD? Basically it is the law. It is incorporated into 23 Code of 23CFR Part 655.
It's a federal law. It's also we require all states to enact it into the state law if they are to receive federal funding.
One thing we talk about traffic control devices. The responsibility for the installation, operation, and maintenance of traffic control devices lies with the public agency that has jurisdiction over the roadway.
A lot of people are not aware of it but the federal government, we do not own, maintain or operate streets or highways and this includes interstates.
They're all maintained and operated by either the state, state DOT or local governments.
So the current status of EV signs within MUTCD, basically we've already seen the interim approval for the symbol and the word message sign.
One thing I'd like to put out in the MUTCD if there is not a sign that governs or covers a particular area -- and EV signs are a great example because they're something new -- states and local agencies can create their own custom word message sign.
But any time you use a symbol because of the human factors testing the use of symbol is strictly regulated in the MUTCD.
And so that's where we authorize the word message sign but when you start using the symbols it would require either a - probably request an experiment or an official interpretation from the MUTCD team which I'll show you how to do that a little bit later.
So we talked about the EV symbol sign. An interim approval was published by the Federal Highway Administration April 1, 2011.
Basically what this means is it's to be used only on general service signs, basically the wayfaring signs we talked about.
The purpose of the interim approval basically is to allow the use of the sign until a new edition of the MUTCD comes out.
In order to use that though, we do require that you request the use of the sign from that - from the Federal Highway Administration.
The information is located on our website and we will then provide you a letter saying, yes you're allowed to use this sign until the next edition of the manual. Then everybody can use it.
One thing, you know, the purpose of this was to provide agencies with some way of directing users to electrical vehicles charging station.
One thing with this symbol, the symbol was approved, this EV symbol for the general service signs. But per the manual it cannot be used for regulatory warning signs.
So I do want to caution you that if you want to use it especially for parking signs to put the symbol on a parking sign the way the manual's written right now you cannot do it.
But if you wanted to send a request experiment to me or to the MUTCD team we'll look at that and look at a way of maybe - because we do want to do these request experiments because what it does it allows us to add these to the MUTCD.
We can't arbitrarily just add a sign or symbol we have to have a justification through a request experiment or a national committee which I'll talk about them later also.
So if you want to add a traffic control device or signs to MUTCD there's basically two ways to do it. One is through the National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices or we call it the National Committee.
What it is, it's an organization that's made up of state local consulting and other traffic engineers and industry professionals whose purpose is to assess - assist excuse me, in the development of the standards, guides or warrants or traffic control devices.
The national committee recommends to FHWA proposed revisions and interpretations of the manual of uniform traffic control devices and other national standards.
They're also instrumental in the development of the next manual.
And I will say right now that the Regulatory Warning Signs Committee is looking at various parking signs for EV signing.
But especially listening to the Plug In America presentation, I think there's a great opportunity to share some information. Because some of the stuff that Plug In America has done, I think would be very beneficial to what the committee's working on.
So if anybody's interested in working with the committee or wants a point of contact please contact me and I will make sure that information gets forwarded on to them.
Also their website is located here on the slide. It's real simple. It's www.ncutcd.org. Like I said, it's an excellent organization.
The other way to add to the Manual Uniform Traffic Control Device is through an interim approval, which we discussed especially with the charging symbol signing.
Also before we can actually incorporate anything, we have the request to experiment. The whole process is outlined in Section 1A.10 of the manual.
But basically what it is, it's the request must be made by the agency with the jurisdiction of the roadway.
So if somebody wanted to experiment with the electric vehicle charging sign, they need to contact, you know, either the state DOT or the county or somebody that owns that section of roadway where you want to put the sign.
And the request experiment basically needs to incorporate a statement indicating the nature of the problem, a description to the proposed changes to either something in the manual or if it's something new, illustration, any supporting data, especially the - some of the stuff that's Oregon has done and, you know, Plug In America if we can combine some of that information and put into request to experiment or, you know, even referencing the full front study or everything else.
It really helps with us looking at this request to experiment.
Also basically we need assignment. Basically one thing we can't do is or we've got to make sure that the device is not protected by a patent or a copyright time period and the locations for the experiment.
And the main - the important thing is a detailed research or evaluation plan of how we're going to determine that this proposed device or sign is beneficial and the best way of gathering information and how we're going to analyze the data.
And then finally an agreement to restore the site of the experiment to a condition that complies with the manual if the experiment is terminated.
And basically requirement is that we get a semiannual progress reports and, you know, a final report showing the benefits or, you know, the outcomes of the experiment.
One thing I'd like to emphasize though is currently in regards to EV signs we do not have any request to experiment ongoing right now.
Or like I said the national committee is working on the parking signs but we really have not received anything from the national committee concerning EV signage.
So I would highly recommend if somebody's got some signs out there that they really think are really beneficial and would warrant national attention please contact me and we can start working through this process for the request experiment.
And I'm also here to help you through that process putting it together. You don't have to send it to me blindly. Please contact me and we can talk about what we look for with each request to experiments.
So basically before I move on to any questions I just wanted to repost my information up here.
Like I said if you have any questions on regulatory signing or warning signs or even guide signs relating to any sign or to EV signage please contact me. We're here to help. And we can definitely help you with your design sign. And thank you. That's all I got.
LINDA BLUESTEIN: Thank you very much Eric. This is Linda Bluestein again, just letting everyone know that today's Webinar is recorded and also will be in our Webinar archives under the Clean Cities website in the toolbox.
And we'll post some information about that along with the list of information that you'll get, the list of reports on signage that we're going to provide.
Now we're ready to take calls from on the phone and also by email. So if we could get started with that Sandra and operators, I appreciate it.
COORDINATOR: Thank you. If you'd like to ask a question over the phone lines please press Star then 1. Please un-mute your phone and record your name clearly when prompted. That will be needed to introduce your question. Thank you and one moment please.
LINDA BLUESTEIN: Thank you.
COORDINATOR: We are getting a few, just one moment.
LINDA BLUESTEIN: OK. We can take one by email if...
SANDRA LOI: OK
LINDA BLUESTEIN: You want to begin?
SANDRA LOI: Sure, this is Sandra Loi at the National Renewable Energy Lab. We have - we do have a few questions coming in over the Web.
One of the first ones we have here is I've been asked - this is from the requester. I've been asked by many stakeholders in the San Diego area where is the best place to find EV signs?
Without promoting any particular retailer or selling PEV signage is there an objective website that I can direct people?
LINDA BLUESTEIN: That's a good question. Does Dan or Art have any information on that?
MIKE KIMLINGER: Do you want - this is Mike Kimlinger with Art. And every commercial sign shop will be able to reproduce any of the signs in the MUTCD. And they'll know how to find the particulars for producing those signs so any of your standard sign shops.
LINDA BLUESTEIN: OK, great.
DAN DAVIDS: And Dan at Plug In America. We do have a small supply. We're not in the sign business but we do have a small supply of the red and white sign which is available on our website.
And people have found that planners and such in various municipalities find it very useful sometimes to have a physical copy of that with them when they going into different meetings.
But my colleagues from Oregon are correct. You can have - my experience in this it varies from municipality to municipality.
Some larger municipalities actually have their own sign shops and are adamant about making them themselves. Others use kind of standard suppliers but as was mentioned can make anything that's in the manual.
ERIC FERRON: This is Eric Ferron. Also the FHWA produces the standard highway signs book especially for the EV symbol.
It's got the approved symbol in there. It's a complete layout sheet which even has the dimensions for any radii in length and width. I would highly recommend using that if you're going to use the symbol.
SANDRA LOI: Great. And, you know, as a follow-on question to that kind of along the same lines we did receive a another question from (Cindy Bosco) asking where can we find vendors that offer EV parking space stencils that are directly applied to concrete or asphalt?
LINDA BLUESTEIN: I'm not sure, Dan you had a picture I think of one of those in there but...
DAN DAVIDS: Yes that was Auburn Hills. I might - my colleague Jim Helmer who's worked on these projects with me is available. Jim do you have an answer on that?
LINDA BLUESTEIN: Well if not we can contact Auburn Hills and see how they did it.
DAN DAVIDS: Yes.
ERIC FERRON: One - this is Eric again. One...
LINDA BLUESTEIN: OK.
ERIC FERRON: ...comment there's some specific requirements with pavement markings. One they shouldn't be yellow like that with the symbol.
I think the standard highway signs book has a layout for the symbol for pavement markings. I'll have to double check. I'm not sure.
But I would definitely before you use the pavement marking symbol contact us and we can give you some probably some helpful tips on colors on what to do and what not to do so...
LINDA BLUESTEIN: Oh good, that's great advice.
SANDRA LOI: Thank you. Any calls from the phone lines (Fran)?
COORDINATOR: Yes we do have a few.
Sandra Loi: OK.
Coordinator: Jill Brandt, your line is open first.
Jill Brandt: Hi. I guess two quick questions for me. One is just wondering with the kind of example, the stacked signage if there's any concern about the aesthetics of it for a potential host partner?
It just it kind of seems like a lot a signage for asking a host and just kind of if there's any thought into the aesthetics of it?
Dan Davids: Dan here. I'm with you on esthetics, but my experience getting out in the field and looking at things is it's really not any different than existing parking signage that does have various restrictions on it.
So but I hear you completely. One of the problems with too many signs up there is it becomes confusing and can present then enforceability issues because the, you know, the communication aspect, human factors aspect of it are kind of risk when you put up too much stuff.
Anyone who's ever tried to deal with street side parking where there's certain days when you can't park and because a street cleaner or whatever comes by sometimes those things are really difficult to interpret.
Linda Bluestein: Mike do you have any comments on that at all from your experience?
MIKE KIMLINGER: Well I guess I would probably echo similar things is that what we find when we do signage is the major concern of the local municipalities and even the property owners is enforcement.
And the only way you can enforce is if you have regulatory signs. And the only way that that works is if you're following the MUTCD.
So you might want to do something that looks more pleasing or has a different feel to it. But if you don't stick with what is a standard approach to signage you will have issues down the road.
And so I think that what we're hearing from Dan is absolutely correct that if you want to identify the location, put up the restriction, say when you can use it you're probably doing the very best job you can.
LINDA BLUESTEIN: Thank you. We have other questions...
Dan Davids: That's it - Dan here. That's kind of my problem or concern with the ECOtality hybrid sign. Because as was pointed out when you try to take two, the content of two 12 by 18 inch signs and divide another 12 by 18 inch sign in half and cram the two others onto the one you may be saving yourself some, you know, sign production costs and you may be thinking that it's more aesthetically pleasing to just have one sign up there but you run into serious noncompliance lack of uniformity issues.
And the image where that Art showed of the five stalls being iced if you looked closely those were hybrid signs those were in front of those - all those stalls. So I don't - I think it was said pretty clearly that that sign does not meet standards.
LINDA BLUESTEIN: OK. Do we have another question Sandra?
SANDRA LOI: (Fran) do we have any on the phone?
COORDINATOR: Yes we have three more presently. So our next is from Barry Carr. Your line is open sir.
BARRY CARR: All right thank you very much. I don't recall who said this but it got brought up during the presentation that there's an effort underway to try to make the tax credits or incentives payable to the auto dealers so it could immediately come off the price of electric vehicles.
LINDA BLUESTEIN: OK Barry, that was David Sandalow.
BARRY CARR: OK. So David my question is I'm kind of in that business always calling out auto dealers. A lot of them don't show a profit. They're not set up to show a profit or partnerships.
So is there some thought going into how to best handle that when they aren't going to be able to accept the tax credits?
DAVID SANDALOW: That's an interesting point. And this is David. And I know there's been some discussion of that on Capitol Hill. There's some legislation pending on this topic.
I know Senator Stabenow, Senator Merkley has actually also been very interested in this topic.
And I'm not aware of mechanisms to address the specific point that you're talking about.
So if anyone on the call has ideas or suggestions along those lines, you know, I'd encourage you to inject them into the conversation or send them our way -- very interested to know about that.
BARRY CARR: OK, thank you.
DAVID SANDALOW: Thank you for that.
LINDA BLUESTEIN: Thanks Barry. We'll follow-up.
DAN DAVIDS: Yes I think the notion there...
LINDA BLUESTEIN: (Unintelligible) another call?
DAN DAVIDS: ...is to - Dan here Plug in America. The notion there -- and our legislative folks are pursuing this -- is to perhaps go beyond just transferability to an actual rebate at point of sale which I think I think would solve that issue.
COORDINATOR: Thank you. Our next now from Bill Barker, your line is open.
BILL BARKER: Thank you. I'm getting pushback from garage operators that depend on the revenue from the garage.
They don't want to reserve spaces for EV vehicles but they're willing to compromise to have the - to limit the hours that an EV could be charging in those spaces.
For example maybe during the day there's no EV charging. But at night because of nearby residents who might own EVs they could state the hours that EV charging could be there and to keep those spaces from icing as you say.
That's one of my questions. Another is in the case of an airport parking garage where someone may be gone for days have you figured out a way to sign that?
DAN DAVIDS: Again Dan here. The airport situation and again the guidance if you read the Washington and Hawaii and other documents are to try and match the charging level to the need of the particular, you know, parking area.
So for instance long term parking at an airport there's no reason those can't just be Level 1 and lots and lots of level 120 volt simple GFI outlets can be installed, you know, pretty easily. We have those at Sea-Tac Airport in Seattle.
And then perhaps for your shorter term parking or maybe your cell phone lot and that kind of thing putting Level 2 or even, you know, DC, a fast charger. But this standard signage would apply in either case.
BILL BARKER: How about the hours for limiting EV charging?
DAN DAVIDS: Yes I would say this is a good problem to have. We want more EVs on the road. And there wasn't time on this call to get into some of the aspects that you're talking about where you have, you know, one of the things that comes up is you have multiple EV drivers.
You can EV drivers of different types of vehicles like plug-in hybrid electric vehicles versus EVs and which one really quote, needs the charge since the plug-ins actually have gas backup as it were.
So the - anyway there are guidelines that Plug in America has put together around etiquette for, you know, removing the cord from one person's car and putting it into another one.
If you see that their charge has finished, I mean, all these kinds of things have to do with how many vehicles can be, you know, in a lot and reserved for electric vehicle charging.
So we aren't quite there yet to where there's another EVs out to where we've seen a lot of these problems. And they're going to have to the worked through.
But I do like your idea and we have heard of some lots doing that where, you know, clearly in kind of non-business hours a lot could revert to kind of its more normal parking rules.
BILL BARKER: Thanks.
LINDA BLUESTEIN: Do we have another...
SANDRA LOI: We do. And if you have a request press Star then 1. At this time my last is from David Almeada. Your line is open.
DAVID ALMEADA: Yes this question is for Undersecretary Sandalow. I was wondering if he could describe a little bit more about how the national committee deployment challenge is going to be linked in with the existing efforts that have been funded through the Clean Cities program?
DAVID SANDALOW: Thanks for the question. So that is - it's legislation that's pending before the Congress. And if we get the funding that we hope are going to get then we would institute the program through the Department of Energy and probably through our Vehicles Technology Program.
And the - I guess the exact contours of how it would relate to Clean Cities is something that we would work out. It's something we haven't defined at this point.
But it would be a - I think the idea would be a competitive solicitation for funding and open applications.
DAVID ALMEADA: Great thank you.
DAVID SANDALOW: Thank you.
LINDA BLUESTEIN: Do we have some by email Sandra...
SANDRA LOI: Yes.
LINDA BLUESTEIN: That we can read? OK.
SANDRA LOI: Sure, sure do. Another one I have here is how dense should way-finding signs be? How many on average should be deployed with each cluster of EV chargers?
LINDA BLUESTEIN: Either Dan or Mike I don't know who would be the best to answer that but any opinions there? Mike do you have anything?
MIKE KIMLINGER: This is Mike.
LINDA BLUESTEIN: OK, sorry.
MIKE KIMLINGER: This is Mike Kimlinger. And I think that there probably isn't a single choice or number that's going to work as deployment.
You're going to have way-finding that's needed from as little as the first turn off of the interstate to as far as several thousand feet or even miles I suppose depending on what a jurisdiction chooses to do.
One of the things that you can do is add a plaque giving some indication of how far people need to go to the bottom of the signing which may help you reduce the number of signs you need, and arrow saying 500 feet or 1000 feet and then at the end of that link you might put a turn arrow in or some other weigh finding signing.
So it's going to depend entirely on what the context and location of the final destination is.
ERIC FERRON: This is Eric. One thing we try to encourage the states to do is that each state should have its own guide signing program.
So you may want to check with your state DOT. Each one might be a little different. But I know some of the states have some pretty good rules of thumb they use as far as guide signing and some recommendations.
Another thing to take into consideration too is if you're approaching an intersection if there's a lot of existing signs adding one more sign may just increase the sign clutter and reduce the visibility of all signs.
So if you have an area where a lot of people may get lost or there's a lot of turns you may want a few more signs to help guide people. It - a lot of it basically does just depend on that site specific condition.
SANDRA LOI: OK, great. Another question here is does anyone have any innovative ideas and how we can encourage more signs to be deployed?
For example, has anyone looked into what models have been used to deploy other way-finding signage to hospitals, gas stations, and the like?
LINDA BLUESTEIN: Was that something that Oregon looked at?
ART JAMES: This is Art. Not specifically. I don't, you know, the Dan's presentation included public-private partnerships and that's really what we do.
But we haven't had anybody come forward really with a proposal on that. Mike do you know - can you think of anything?
MIKE KIMLINGER: One of the things that may help people is to talk to your state DOTs about how to they do logo signing or tourist oriented direction signing?
These are types of signing that have a pretty long track record of using trailblazing or way-finding signage, the densities that are needed, the kinds of locations where you would put them, the sort of message you might include in a plaque at the bottom under an arrow or that kind of thing. And many states have guidelines for that type of signing.
It's unusual that you would use way-finding signing for any other things off the interstate for more than a few thousand feet because other than destination like cities you typically wouldn't except for some small businesses. And that's what that Tourist Orientated Direction Signing, TODS might get you.
DAN DAVIDS: Yes and Dan here. I would just add in kind of an overarching observation of mine is that the communities - and we're very early on in this.
But the communities that have a heavy- heavily involve their planning function. And again Auburn Hills comes to mind here also Wenatchee, Washington, through their Economic Development Office where you find someone or a group of people who are a champion of getting EVs deployed.
And so they've, you know, adopted not just model ordinances and address signage and other issues around it but they've also wrapped it all into a policy of their jurisdiction around promotion of these vehicles.
And so you kind of can turn to them because they're thinking about a lot of these issues already and trying to, you know, blend it all into a cohesive whole.
And so but unfortunately there are places where the planning function isn't that strongly involved. And I just really would promote, I know in California the governor's office is reporting directly to him. Their Office of Planning and Research is heavily involved and Plug In America's advising them on EVs.
LINDA BLUESTEIN: I think we have time for a couple more questions. Go ahead Sandra.
SANDRA LOI: There was a question about if there is a website that exists that has recommended EV signs for download of high resolution images of the signage? Is that something that's available and out there that we can share with folks?
LINDA BLUESTEIN: I think Dan you mentioned something like that.
DAN DAVIDS: Yes. I mean there are - the intent of the documents out of Washington and Hawaii and test collaboratives in California wasn't actually providing the high-res images of the signs.
But I know that, you know, people like I think Art and his colleague mentioned in Oregon they've actually deployed some. And so I think they've got some high-res images.
That might be something that, you know, Clean Cities could coordinate as a more central repository for these images to be or the MUTCD folks.
LINDA BLUESTEIN: Yes we'd be happy to...
DAVID SANDALOW: Yes David, Sandra we'll take a look at whether we could do that. That sounds like a great idea.
LINDA BLUESTEIN: Right.
SANDRA LOI: Great, thank you. This may be for Eric. Who needs approval for the - I don't know if you already answered this but who needs approval for the interim approved EV pump sign? Is it the state or municipality or the private party?
ERIC FERRON: I was just typing a response. It is...
SANDRA LOI: Oh, OK.
ERIC FERRON:...the agency that owns that section of roadway. So if it's a state highway it needs to be the state DOT. If it's a municipality it needs to be that municipality.
SANDRA LOI: OK.
LINDA BLUESTEIN: Eric I guess I have one question for you. Is there a central place that people can go to find the person or the office with the state that they would have to work with for the state DOT?
ERIC FERRON: For the - I know for the federal side or MUTCD website has all that.
LINDA BLUESTEIN: OK.
ERIC FERRON: I'm trying to think of - I don't - I can't think of a repository for the states. If they want to contact me though I can find out for them...
LINDA BLUESTEIN: OK.
ERIC FERRON:...because we have an internal list of MUTCD people at the state level.
LINDA BLUESTEIN: OK. That would be really helpful.
ERIC FERRON: Yes.
LINDA BLUESTEIN: If you could make that public that would be even more helpful maybe.
ERIC FERRON: Yes the problem is it's maintaining it because it changes as people...
LINDA BLUESTEIN: OK.
ERIC FERRON: ...change jobs and all that. So we have a hard time keeping it updated internally.
I do know if you go to your - Google your state DOT Website you - most websites have that information in there. You just have to look...
LINDA BLUESTEIN: OK.
ERIC FERRON: ...for it.
LINDA BLUESTEIN: Great.
ERIC FERRON: But like I said if they want to contact me I'd be more than happy to point you in the right direction.
LINDA BLUESTEIN: OK. OK maybe one or two more questions Sandra?
SANDRA LOI: OK so this one is for Art specifically. Can you explain the process of getting signs installed on off ramps and local streets? Who do we work with?
It might be similar to what we were just talking about but Art did you want to give your input on that?
ART JAMES: Well in a previous webinar I had talked about our infrastructure projects. And we actually use grant funds to pay for the signs that we put in on the West Coast Electric Highway installations.
And then it was ODOT staff that actually produced the signs and installed them. And there's a whole lot of regulations about where you install them and how you install them in - particularly when it relates to the interstate.
And so the people that are best equipped to do that are the folks that do it all the time. In some cases they had to actually replace some other signs in order to incorporate this sign into it and there's a lot of science the goes into that.
But we were very fortunate we received funding both through the Department of Energy and also the Department of Transportation for two different infrastructure projects that are - one is actually now completed and one is well underway.
SANDRA LOI: Great.
LINDA BLUESTEIN: Maybe just one more question.
SANDRA LOI: Fran is - there - are there any on the phones?
COORDINATOR: Actually I have one more.
SANDRA LOI: OK. Let's go ahead...
COORDINATOR: Max C., sir your line's open now.
MAX C.: Yes sorry I had to join the call late so I don't know if you covered this already or not. But we've installed some chargers in a parking structure and unfortunately some of the cords - we installed six Level 2 charges and then seven outlets.
And two of the outlets caused the cords to go right across a walkway. And we were curious as to whether anyone's come up with any sort of solution to how to address this or signage in order to warn passersby as far as...
LINDA BLUESTEIN: It's a good question. We didn't address it. I don't know if anybody has any...
MAN: I know it's definitely in the guideline documents that Plug In America has been involved in in producing the various municipality.
But you never want to create a barrier or trip hazard. And we have seen installations where these sorts of things have happened.
I know one municipality has had a practice of putting wheel stops, saving on wheel stops by putting them, having them span two parking spaces. So the right front wheel in one space catches the wheel stop and the left front wheel of the car to the right catches the space.
And, you know, maybe that's worked till now, you know, if we're just regular parking. But now you've got users going to be exiting their vehicle walking to the front of the car and you've created a trip hazard with this wheel stop there. And that's just a lawsuit, you know, waiting to happen as are the cords across things.
So I would, you know, that planning department, you know, permit people should never - they should get involved and, you know, correct those trip problems before they happen.
LINDA BLUESTEIN: Great. Thank you.
ART JAMES: Yes this...
LINDA BLUESTEIN: Go ahead.
ART JAMES: ...this is Art. I think that's - actually that came up in some of our early discussions. And I believe that's also an ADA violation if you have something that's blocking or making it so you can't move freely along a sidewalk.
MAN: Absolutely correct.
LINDA BLUESTEIN: So this is an area signage and ADA compliance that, you know, truly are important to people who are rolling out electric vehicle infrastructure.
And we will have more information coming out through Clean Cities both through additional webinars that we can design and other forums.
And we'll also make sure that we follow-up on our website with case studies information if we can find downloadable high resolution signage. We'll try to get that incorporated somehow on our website.
So we'll keep in touch if you're interested in keeping in touch, making sure you're on our continuous webinar list.
Please contact Sandra Loi. She will send out additional information after this webinar to all attendees.
We really thank you for your time today. I want to thank all the great speakers that we had.
I want to thank David Sandalow for taking time out to work with us on this signage webinar. It was largely his idea and I think it was a great one.
And I want to thank all the speakers Dan and Art and Mike and Eric who spent a good deal of time putting presentations together and answering your questions.
Thank you so much and you will get notification about our next webinar.
DAVID SANDALOW: This is David. Linda thank you everybody on this call. Greatly appreciate it. This is the start of a big movement happening here. So thanks for everybody's interest and attention. Look forward to working with all of you on this. Thanks.
MAN: How about availability of the slides?
LINDA BLUESTEIN: The slides will be archived along with the information from the webinars which will be recorded. And they'll be on the Clean Cities website under Toolbox and you'll be able to look those up and listen to this or look at a transcript or the slides.
And Sandra will follow up with additional information. Thank you very much everybody. Goodbye.
COORDINATOR: This conference is now concluded. All lines may disconnect. Again thank you very much.