States and utilities need to take intentional steps to ensure the coming wave of vehicle electrification is accessible to everyone, especially those in low- and medium-income households and communities of color, a new report shows. Urban settings present challenges for EV infrastructure — “If everyone lived in a single family home with off-street parking in a garage, it’d be an easy nut to crack,” Peter Heuter, author of the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy report, told Earther — but absent policy intervention, EV charging would likely follow patterns of other infrastructure, like public transportation stops and bike lanes, that disproportionately benefit whiter, wealthier neighborhoods. Of the 36 states covered by the report, just 6 require utilities to invest in EV charging infrastructure for lower-income communities or communities of color.

“If you’re not tackling these kinds of issues head-on now, especially during the planning stages for a lot of these utilities, we’re going to have a point where in five to 10 years, electric vehicles are going to be relatively affordable and everywhere, but for other reasons, low-income communities and communities of color are not going to have the same number of chargers per person as wealthier communities,” Huether said. (Earther)