CHALLENGE:

Multifamily and Neighborhood EV Charging Program

Montgomery County is seeking a solution to make it easier for residents that live in multifamily buildings, common ownership communities, such as condominiums and townhomes, or neighborhoods without private garages and driveways to access affordable EV charging close to home.

Goals & Objectives

To be successful, a solution will:

  • Provide a streamlined, easy to understand, affordable solution that expands home EV charging access for multifamily communities and neighborhoods without off-street parking.

An ideal solution will:

  • Help a community coordinate installation, use, maintenance, and payment of charging, even if they aren’t represented by a commercial entity.

  • Promote the program to suitable condominium associations, multifamily property owners, townhome communities, and neighborhoods with limited off-street parking.

  • Provide or identify vetted, knowledgeable contractors to install and maintain equipment.

  • Install chargers with no cost or minimal cost to community and property owners.

  • Apply for incentives from local utilities and state agencies.

  • Arrange for financing with Montgomery County Green Bank or other local financial partners.

Responses Due: July 25, 2022

Montgomery County, MD

Challenge Background

In 2021, Montgomery County developed a Climate Action Plan that identified actions to meet the County’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2027 and 100% by 2035. Road-based transportation accounted for 42% of emissions; therefore, a key part of the County’s climate strategy involves transitioning to zero-emissions transportation, including electric vehicles (EVs).


One of the biggest barriers to increased EV adoption is lack of access to at-home EV charging options. Current estimates are that 80% of EV charging takes place at home. However, residents that don’t have access to private garages and driveways have a higher barrier to accessing the benefits of electric transportation. To encourage a broad and inclusive transition to EVs, the County needs to support ways to charge EVs at home or close to home.


Montgomery County, Maryland is interested in expanding access to electric vehicle (EV) charging for residents of multifamily apartment buildings, condominiums, and townhome communities, and single-family neighborhoods with limited off-street parking. The County is seeking information from organizations that have knowledge about EV charging about program approaches and technical solutions that could help property owners, and renters expand charging access at home.


Additional Background

  • This challenge arose from the County’s climate goals of expanding private EV adoption for those who need or choose to have a single-occupancy vehicle to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, the County receives frequent questions from residents living in multifamily communities about how to access charging.

  • Rental housing accounts for 33% of all housing in the County. In 2016, there were 390,000 housing units, and 53.3% of units were multi-family.

  • Many single-family detached homes are so-called “garage orphans”, without access to a driveway or garage parking.

  • Commercial charging projects require an electrical and construction permit from the Department of Permitting Services.

  • The County also allows residents to apply for a permit to install charging in the public right-of-way.

  • There are incentives offered by local utilities and the state of Maryland providing up to $40,000 in combined incentives per commercial-scale project in some cases.

  • The Montgomery County Green Bank provides affordable financing for EV infrastructure projects that promote energy efficiency and sustainability, decreasing the up-front cost burden and providing a bridge to receive incentives.

  • EV owners without home charging often rely on Level III DC Fast Charging, which can be significantly more expensive than at-home charging and can degrade the performance of the EV battery over time.

  • Multifamily buildings face barriers to installing charging, including:

  • High first costs

  • Complicated process to find a trusted, knowledgeable contractor

  • Complications around locating chargers in places with shared parking

  • Hard to forecast ongoing costs, including maintenance charges and demand charges from utilities

  • Residents that are not represented by a commercial entity (HOA / Property Owner / Association) are not eligible for commercial rebates from utilities and the state but are eligible for residential incentives.


Key Stakeholders

Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection

Montgomery County Department of Permitting Services

Montgomery County Office of Common Ownership Communities

Montgomery County Department of Housing and Community Affairs

Montgomery County Housing Opportunities Commission

Maryland Energy Administration

Montgomery County Green Bank

Electric utilities serving Montgomery County

Instructions and Disclaimers


This is a Request for Information (RFI) only, and does not constitute a commitment, implied or otherwise, that Montgomery County will take procurement action in this matter. Montgomery County will not be responsible for any cost incurred in furnishing the information requested. The RFI is intended to inform the County’s exploration of various approaches to creating a multifamily EV charging program and to try to ensure all aspects of creating and operating such a program are considered.


Montgomery County is seeking information and input from individuals and groups with experience with electric vehicles, installing EV charging equipment, providing EV charging services, coordinating financing and incentives for charging projects, and working with multifamily property owners and renters on similar projects.


Respondents are requested to fill out the Challenge-Response form by Monday, July 25, 2022. Select respondents may be invited to provide a demonstration of their services in July 2022.


This RFI was developed through participation in the CivStart State and Local Government Innovation Program. CivStart is a registered 501(c)(3) that specializes in facilitating challenge-based procurement for local governments and technology start-ups. Challenge-based procurement is a model of procurement built for technology and software procurement that utilizes design-thinking to focus on the root-causes of the challenge, rather than over-specifying a solution. The process provides benefits such as: increased vendor competition, lower barriers for smaller and diverse-led companies, significant time and cost savings for local governments, better and more integrated service, and a more robust ecosystem of vendors (as documented in NASPO Case Study on MN Challenge-based Procurement - Innovation Begets Innovation: How Challenge-Based RFPs Have Been a Winning Solution for Minnesota). Respondents are not required to coordinate or enter into any formal agreement with CivStart in order to respond to this RFI.

Questions

Proposers who have questions should send these to challenge@civstart.org. All responses to questions will be posted on the Challenge page on CivStart’s website at: civstart.org/projects.

Challenge ID:

24031-001

Proposals/Solutions

Respondents are requested to fill out the Challenge-Response form by July 25, 2022. Select respondents may be invited to provide a demonstration of their services in July or August 2022.