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Webinar: Designing for Accessible EV Charging Stations

May 18, 2023

The Joint Office of Energy and Transportation (Joint Office) hosted a webinar on the Access Board’s design recommendations for accessible electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. The U.S. Access Board is an independent federal agency that issues accessibility guidelines under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other laws. Webinar panelist shared information and provided technical assistance to help in the design and construction of EV charging stations that are accessible to and usable by people with disabilities. U.S. Access Board Transportation Systems Engineer Juliet Shoultz discussed accessibility guidelines and best practices. 

Juliet Shoultz, U.S. Access Board

Key takeaways  

  • It is important to differentiate terminology between charging spaces and parking spaces. Charging spaces require drivers with disabilities to exit their EV, traverse to the charger, and carry the connector back to their EV charging inlet. An accessible parking space can be easily used if the vehicle is oriented with the access aisle. 
  • EV charging equipment must comply with technical requirements for ADA and Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) accessibility standards regarding floor and ground surfaces, clear floor or ground space, reach ranges, operable parts, accessible routes, and other provisions where applicable. 
  • An accessible charging space is recommended to be at least 11 feet wide and 20 feet long with an adjoining access aisle at least five feet wide. 
  • There is a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to consider how EV charging accessibility requirements will be finalized. 
  • Even though the ADA standards, the ABA standards, and the Section 508 Standards do not explicitly mention EV charging stations, there are components within those standards that are applicable today.