Assessment Report and Development of Resources: Local Government Zero-Emission Vehicle Multi-Modal Ecosystem
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The objective of this project is to support local governments in creating equitable, multi-modal zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) ecosystems (ZEV readiness). This work will help prepare communities for all classes of ZEVs, e-mobility, and associated infrastructure and support effective, equitable implementation.
In developing the assessment and resources, the contractor will examine the state of both planning and implementation for ZEV readiness at the local government scale and identify opportunities to improve and support implementation success.
Once the contractor has identified opportunities and developed recommendations, they will confer with the California Air Resources Board (CARB), the Department of Economic and Business Development (GO-Biz), and the California Energy Commission (CEC) to prioritize development of additional resources, templates, and guides that will be made available on the GO-Biz ZEV website to support local jurisdictions and other interested stakeholders.Local governments will be able to easily access these tools and resources to develop and implement their own ZEV readiness plans or roadmaps with varying levels of complexity or simply make progress on implementation where possible, depending on available local capacity.
This project will also inform and build out the ZEV and vehicle-miles-traveled (VMT) reduction modules of CARB’s Climate Action Sensitivity Tool (CAST) which is currently under development. This CAST tool would estimate the jurisdiction-specific greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction magnitude of priority strategies using the best available research and CARB’s VMT policy impact tool. The results provide a GHG reduction range for each strategy and a cumulative range by strategy area. Local governments can use CAST to determine which combinations of strategies and level of implementation are necessary to meet their own local targets and support the state’s climate goals. ZEV adoption priority strategies are: 1) convert local government fleets to ZEV and 2) create a jurisdiction-specific ZEV eco-system to support deployment of ZEVs statewide. VMT Reduction Priority Strategies include actions such as 1) reducing or eliminating parking minimums, 2) adopting and implementing complete streets, 3) increasing access to high quality transit, 4) implementing parking pricing or transportation demand management pricing strategies, 5) enabling mixed use, walkable, compact infill development; and 6) preserving natural and working lands.
California has ambitious goals for ZEV deployment and accompanying infrastructure to support those vehicles. Executive Order B-48-18 established a goal of 5 million ZEVs on California’s roads by 2030 and the installation of 200 hydrogen stations and 250,000 ZEV chargers (including 10,000 DC fast chargers) by 2025. More recently, Executive Order N-79-20 requires that 100% of in-state sales of new passenger cars/trucks must be zero-emission by 2035 (as well as drayage trucks), and 100% of medium-and heavy-duty vehicles must be zero-emission by 2045, for all operations where feasible.
The number of ZEVs on California’s roads is now more than 1 million, with a goal of 8 million ZEVs by 2030. Although California has made progress in deploying charging infrastructure and preparing and implementing ZEV readiness plans, much remains to be done to equip local governments to prepare for and implement ZEV readiness. Local jurisdictions need to consider the mobility needs of their community as they plan for ZEVs holistically, while reducing vehicle-miles traveled (VMT) in the context of a multi-modal transportation system.
For the state to successfully accomplish its ZEV goals, it is crucial that local jurisdictions prepare for an equitable multi-modal ZEV ecosystem and continue to build on existing plans and ZEV readiness actions including planning for and installing affordable and accessible EV charging stations and hydrogen fueling stations, permit streamlining, building code updates (i.e., adoption of voluntary California Green Building Standards Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) codes), electric grid strategies, zoning codes and ordinances, education and outreach, technical assistance, transportation pricing strategies, EV signage, incentives, parking policy updates and workforce training. Community engagement in assessing transportation needs and strategies to reduce VMT are foundational to ZEV planning and implementation. State agencies have invested in ZEV readiness planning and implementation over the past decade and continue to do so.
The CEC through its Clean Transportation Program funds EV charging stations, hydrogen fueling stations and ZEV readiness planning and implementation agreements. It also develops charging infrastructure models and partners with CARB on hydrogen refueling assessments as well as addresses equity through its Senate Bill 1000 report.
GO-Biz has developed many online resources found on their ZEV webpage, including the ZEV Market Development Strategy, ZEV Readiness for plug-in electric and hydrogen vehicles, ZEV Funding Resources, and ZEV Infrastructure Progress along with many guides, best practices, fact sheets and resources. GO-Biz supports local jurisdictions with permit streamlining for ZEV infrastructure and has resources such as the Electric Vehicle Charging Station Permitting Guidebook, the Updated Hydrogen Station Permitting Guidebook and the Permitting Olympics and Scorecard.
CARB funds Clean Transportation Incentives that aim to accelerate the development and deployment of clean feasible mobile source technologies and improve access to clean transportation for all classes of vehicles. For example, the Clean Mobility Project and the Sustainable Transportation Equity Project include equitable zero-emission car-sharing, vanpools, bike-sharing, ride-hailing, on-demand shuttles, and micro-transit options along with associated investments in infrastructure. Local jurisdictions will be better positioned to leverage these funds if they develop ZEV Readiness plans or roadmaps.
III. Scope of Work
The contractor will develop an assessment report that will inform the development of resources that local governments can use to support ZEV Readiness. The contractor will review the following types of documents or resources in the development of the tasks:
- Light-, medium-, and heavy-duty ZEV readiness plans and blueprints
- E-mobility plans/blueprints and transportation needs assessments;
- CARB’s Draft California Assessment of Light-Duty ZEV Regional Readiness Planning Report;
- Regional Plug-in Electric Vehicle Coordinating Council resources (e.g., ZEV Readiness Plans and Blueprints);
- General Plans and Climate Action Plans
- Community transportation needs assessments
- ZEV-related funding opportunities
- Utility ZEV resources
- Vehicle miles traveled reduction strategies
- ZEV community engagement strategies and guidance documents
- Workforce development for the ZEV industry
- Other relevant documents or literature
Task 1 – Assessment Report
The contractor will assess the state of ZEV readiness across California’s communities and identify best practices, exemplary resources, existing gaps, and opportunities. This assessment will be based on reviewing the resources noted above and other relevant literature. The contractor will also conduct interviews, focus groups, roundtables, and/or surveys of regional and local jurisdiction staff, and other relevant organizations (e.g., The Greenling Institute, utilities, CALSTART).
As part of this report, the contractor will provide answers to the following questions:
- What communities in California have achieved or have made significant progress toward ZEV readiness?
- What aspects of ZEV readiness planning and implementation have been successful and why? What has not proven to be successful and why?
- What lessons have regions learned as they share ZEV readiness planning and guidance with cities? What assistance do cities need to establish ZEV readiness and VMT reduction strategies?
- What are the characteristics of regions or communities that would require the customization of ZEV readiness plans and actions (e.g., urban, semi-rural, climate differences, regions that encompass tourist destinations such as the Lake Tahoe area)?
- What are the opportunities to expand ZEV readiness into underserved communities and better integrate ZEV readiness with multi-modal transportation planning?
- What are ZEV readiness planning and resources gaps in the state (e.g., regions, rural areas, cities, underserved communities and other gaps including types of plans such as medium- and heavy-duty ZEV readiness plans/resources or e-mobility plans/resources?
- What are some ways to address the gaps to inform the development of ZEV city and regional plans? These could include best practices, templates and guidance documents addressing equity considerations, community transportation needs assessments, community engagement, public-private partnerships, and VMT reduction strategies. What resources are the most important for supporting a ZEV ecosystem? How can the CAST tool strategies be refined or broadened based on these findings?
- How can these resources help with updating existing plans and implementation efforts or with future rounds of funding?
- What kind of data is needed to support these ZEV readiness efforts?
The contractor will also develop recommendations for local governments based on their research and consideration of these questions.
Task 2 – Resource Development
Based on the findings in the Assessment Report, the contractor will develop a suite of resources tailored for local government to support them in the development of an equitable, multi-modal ZEV ecosystem. These resources will be designed to post on the GO-Biz ZEV website and will be developed in close consultation with GO-Biz, CEC and CARB staff.
The resources will:
- Support local governments ZEV readiness resources including guidance, templates, fact sheets, maps, contacts and other helpful information;
- Resources will be framed in a guidance document tailored to meet the needs of various types of regions and jurisdictions (e.g., urban, rural, semi-rural, tourist oriented, etc.)
- Be easy to navigate and designed with equity and accessibility in mind (ie., the resources should help to integrate members of disadvantaged communities into the planning and implementation process)
- Provide supportive resources that can be adapted to the varying capacities of local jurisdictions (e.g., options for in-depth planning and implementation and choices for minimum or moderate levels of ZEV readiness planning and implementation).
- Be tested for effectiveness with a sample of local jurisdictions and refined according to surveys and feedback;
- Be updated two to three times, as appropriate, after development. Updates will include new or improved resources, guides, templates, fact sheets, maps, contacts and data and any helpful design improvements.
The project pre-proposal must include but is not limited to the following deliverables:
During Active Contract Period
- Work with CARB staff at the beginning of the project to create a 1-page plain-language outreach deliverable for the public describing the project’s goals, process, and planned deliverables (available in multiple languages, template will be provided).
- Quarterly Progress Reports and meetings; The progress reports will include plain-language summaries that can be posted publicly. A progress report template will be provided.
- Monthly consultation calls with CARB and key stakeholders.
Prior to Contract Close
- All data, analyses and analytical tools generated through the course of this project
- Draft and final assessment report
- Draft and final set of resources
- Seminar or alternative (e.g., workshop or community meeting) public presentation of main findings
- Additional deliverables to be determined in consultation with CARB staff
It is anticipated this project will be completed in 36 months from the start date (start date is estimated to be in Spring of 2023). The estimated budget for this project is up to $300,000.
- Responsiveness to the goals and objectives outlined in the pre-proposal solicitation (20 points)
The pre-proposal should explain—in adequate detail and clear, understandable language—how the proposed project satisfies the project objectives:
- The state of both planning and implementation for equitable, multi-modal ZEV mobility at the local government scale;
- Evaluation of the level of ZEV readiness in a range of communities and identification of enabling plans or policies that helped those communities achieve success;
- Identification of opportunities to improve ZEV implementation success;
- Identification of best practices as well as ZEV planning gaps (e.g., related to geography or equity or links with VMT reduction and multi-modal mobility);
- Identification of key feature of plans, priority policies, and strategies to improve ZEV readiness, common barriers to implementation or expansion in underserved communities, VMT reduction strategies, and data requirements for the development of templates and guidance documents that complement and build on work done by the GO-Biz, CEC, CARB, Plug-in Electric Vehicle Coordinating Councils (PEVCCs), Air Districts, Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPO), utilities and others;
- Identifying opportunities and developing recommendations to improve planning and implementation outcomes and overcome common barriers, especially for expansion of ZEV readiness to underserved communities and integration with VMT reduction and multi-modal transportation systems.
- Policy relevance/benefits to the state (15 points)
The pre-proposal should explain how the proposed project is relevant to and provides benefits to the state. Reviewers will assess if the pre-proposal describes how the project will provide data, information, and/or products to CARB, and how those project outputs will help CARB accomplish its mission. Findings from this project will help local governments in the planning and implementation of a multi-modal ZEV ecosystem and with VMT reduction strategies. This work supports existing GO-Biz, CEC and CARB ZEV readiness efforts.
- Work experience and subject matter expertise (20 points)
The pre-proposal should demonstrate that the proposers have the work experience or subject matter expertise required to successfully carry out the proposed project as described. Additionally, the pre-proposal should describe how the project will build upon previous relevant work that was funded by CARB, other regional, state, and federal agencies. The proposer should have knowledge of:
- State, regional and local ZEV policies, plans and programs, including ZEV readiness plans and implementation efforts;
- Vehicle-miles-traveled policies and strategies;
- Executive Orders B-48-18 and N-79-20 (objectives and requirements)
- AB 1236 and AB 970 (objectives and requirements);
- SB 150 (objectives and requirements)
- SB 743 (objectives and requirements)
- An understanding of the common challenges associated with establishing a multi-modal ZEV ecosystem.
- Expanding expertise (10 points)
The pre-proposal should explain how the project team expands expertise such as by incorporating multidisciplinary expertise or perspectives, including members from various public universities, non-academic institutions, or community-based organizations, or providing opportunities to build skills and expertise for individuals from underrepresented groups. Reviewers will consider if key personnel contributing significantly to the project (i.e., a principal investigator, co-principal investigator or co-investigator, contributing 25 percent or more of their time to the project) have not worked with CARB in the past five years.
- Explanation of technical or methodological approach (20 points)
The pre-proposal should clearly explain the logic and feasibility of the methodology and approach to the project, spell out the sequence and relationships of major tasks, and explain methods for performing the work. The pre-proposal should include a clear description and plan for how each task will be completed.
- Level and quality of effort and cost effectiveness (15 points)
The pre-proposal should describe how time and resources will be allocated and demonstrate how this allocation ensures the project’s success. Pre-proposal reviewers will evaluate, for example: if the objectives of the project can be met given this allocation, if there is adequate supervision and oversight to ensure that the project will remain on schedule, if time and cost are appropriately divvied up across different project tasks and stages, etc.
 GO-Biz Zero-Emission Vehicles, https://business.ca.gov/industries/zero-emission-vehicles/
 Executive Order B-48-18, https://www.bomacal.org/executive-order-b-48-18-emission-vehicles/
 Executive Order N-79-20, https://www.gov.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/9.23.20-EO-N-79-20-Climate.pdf
 California Energy Commission Clean Transportation Program, https://www.energy.ca.gov/programs-and-topics/programs/clean-transportation-program
 GO-Biz Zero-Emission Vehicles, https://business.ca.gov/industries/zero-emission-vehicles/
 CARB Low Carbon Transportation Investments and Air Quality Investment Program Funding Plans, https://ww2.arb.ca.gov/our-work/programs/low-carbon-transportation-investments-and-air-quality-improvement-program/low-1
 The October 2020 Draft California Assessment of Light-Duty Zero-emission Vehicle Regional Readiness Planning provides a background and assessment of ZEV readiness efforts in California based on interviews with regional ZEV leaders. It includes an extensive Appendix with interviewees, lists of all ZEV readiness grants and awards, background information on barriers to ZEV uptake and implementation, utility and community choice aggregation ZEV infrastructure planning, and regional charging infrastructure models and approaches as well as a wide range of ZEV planning resources.