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Benefits and Implementation Challenges of Urban Mobility Electrification

Close-up of a charging cable plugged into an electric vehicle. The image of the charging vehicle is overlaid on an aerial view of a city with skyscrapers. A river runs through the city.

EV charging infrastructure expansion to date has mostly been concentrated in cities and along major highways. The 50 most populous metropolitan areas accounted for 80 percent of new 2019 U.S. EV registrations, even though they only house 55 percent of the U.S. population.

As of 2022, 158 communities in the U.S. were served by shared e-scooters, 35 were served by dockless bikeshare, and 61 docked bikeshare systems were in operation, many of which now deploy e-bikes. Also as of September 2022, about 5,500 zero emission transit buses were on the road in the U.S., and more than 13,000 electric school buses were on order, delivered, or operating. Urban residents, businesses, and communities are well-positioned to realize the significant economic, environmental, and health benefits from electric mobility.

This section describes the benefits that electric mobility can provide to individual electric mobility users and to urban communities as a whole, with additional consideration of the unique benefits of electric micromobility and electric transit. It also discusses key challenges in implementing electric mobility charging infrastructure in urban areas along with emerging solutions for overcoming these challenges.

As emphasized in Electric Mobility Infrastructure Planning for Urban Areas, urban planners should work to ensure these benefits are equitably distributed across the community.


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