WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Department of Energy has introduced two online tools designed to help communities better prepare for widespread adoption of plug-in electric vehicles (EVs). 

DOE has developed a template to help local governments design permits for residential EV charger installations and accelerate the approval process. DOE has also released a training video to provide inspectors and electricians with a guide to facilitate inspections and installations of home EV chargers.

These tools are designed to encourage cities to develop standardized permitting and inspection procedures and help local officials streamline their processes. They also aim to create more favorable conditions for EV businesses, including infrastructure providers and installers, to thrive as more plug-in electric vehicles come to the market. 

According to DOE, this effort will not only speed the adoption of EVs that reduce  reliance on foreign oil, it will help EV drivers save energy and money by charging at home.

Currently, many cities lack a standardized permitting process specific to EV charger installations. DOE's new permitting template can be adapted by local governments to develop their own residential charging station permits. 

Creating a set of standard permit guidelines specific to charging helps inspectors and installers by simplifying the process and helping them know what to expect, DOE said. Clarifying and streamlining the permitting process should also make it faster and simpler for EV owners to work with certified electricians to install their home chargers without compromising safety. 

The template includes consistent, specific requirements based on the National Electric Code (NEC) Article 625, which addresses voltages, wiring methods, markings, and means of disconnecting. The template also contains diagrams illustrating typical EV charging configurations. The template can be found on the Alternative Fuel and Advanced Technology Vehicle Data Center's EV deployment website. 

The second tool DOE released is a new video titled, "Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Residential Home Charging Installation," a half-hour overview of the EV charger installation process geared toward electrical contractors and inspectors. The video addresses issues that contractors and inspectors should understand before installing home chargers. The video also provides an introduction to various types of EV charging equipment, with experts demonstrating their use. Coupled with the new permit template, the video provides an introduction to home EV chargers and the requirements for installing them. The video is available on Clean Cities TV, a hub for DOE's alternative fuels and advanced vehicle technology videos.