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Notice of Request for Information - District of Columbia EV Charging Challenges

Wednesday, June 26, 2024


This Request for Information (RFI) is issued by the District Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) to allow interested parties in the District of Columbia to identify potential solutions to building an efficient and reliable electric vehicle charging system for the DC Government vehicle fleet.


The District of Columbia has committed to an aggressive transportation decarbonization plan through fleet electrification. Guiding these decarbonization plans is the District’s Transportation Electrification Roadmap (TER). The TER, created in 2022, sets forth a number of objectives for the District’s transition towards a fully electrified transportation system. In December 2023, the District signed on to Clean Cars II requiring that all new cars sold in the District is zero-emissions by 2035. Starting in 2026, the District of Columbia Government will only procure electric vehicles across all classes except where no workable electric option is available. In September 2021, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) announced its transition to a zero-emission bus fleet by 2045.

There are approximately 4,777 fleet vehicles in the District currently, including 535 heavy duty school bus and other school van transit vehicles and the District is committed to electrifying all of them. Of these, the District has electrified 405 total fleet vehicles thus far.

Concurrently with all of the District’s work around transportation electrification, DOEE is also expanding building electrification. While necessary, the increased load on the local grid infrastructure creates challenges for ensuring a stable grid without interruptions as much of the District is covered by a low-voltage network. To avoid costly grid upgrades, much of this work will need to be paired with technologies that can efficiently balance the electrical demand. Additionally, the District Government is interested in avoiding electric demand charges and generally ensuring that its fleet management activities support its climate and clean energy goals.


DOEE is seeking responses to this RFI to further inform future plans for electrifying the entire District Government fleet. DOEE understands that there are significant barriers to expanding fleet electrification without first addressing issues like electricity demand constraints, charging costs, and ensuring a resilient grid in the face of climate change. With these responses, District agencies can develop more effective applications for federal funding and ensure the solutions they advocate for address all the existing challenges to electrification. For example, the US Department of Energy will be releasing a funding opportunity for managed charging at truck depots/hubs and truck stops that alleviate grid capacity challenges.[1] Responses to this RFI may inform the type of application created to address truck electrification in the District and serve as a model for future grant applications.

Potential Respondents

DOEE would like to hear from organizations that have experience with or insights into decarbonizing and electrifying vehicle fleets at scale. Potential Respondents to the RFI may include but are not limited to:

  • EVSE manufactures,
  • EVSE installers,
  • EVSE maintenance providers,
  • Fleet software management developers,
  • Property owners,
  • EV manufactures,
  • Non-profit organizations, and
  • Any other private entities.

RFI Questions

  • What technologies exist to balance the electricity demand for buildings and onsite EVSE?
  • What solutions exist to reduce or eliminate electric utility demand charges associated with electric vehicle charging?
  • How can the District avoid increasing marginal greenhouse gas emissions related to expanded fleet electrification and charging usage?
  • How can the District pair grid balancing technologies needed for fleet charging with support for residents in disadvantaged communities experiencing high energy burdens?
  • What software systems have been created to manage EV fleets and provide charging and use insights?
  • How can the district prioritize the types of vehicles to electrify first?
  • What role should battery storage have in supporting fleet charging operations and how can these storage systems be managed?
  • How can the District support climate resilience within its fleet electrification plans.
  • What training programs exist for EV fleet operations and management?
  • What is the optimal ratio for charging ports to electric vehicles and does this ratio change depending on the level of charging or the types of electric vehicles?
  • How, if at all, should fleet EVSE support publicly accessible charging access?
  • What grid upgrades does the District need before it can reliably sustain an all-electric fleet?
  • Is there any other relevant information you would share based on the goals the District has set for itself around fleet electrification and addressing climate change?

Additional Area of Interest

DOEE is also interested in how it can effectively deploy charging stations on-site at affordable housing properties. This would ensure that infrastructure is equitably deployed to all residents in the District. Additionally, providing charging access on these properties ensures that these residents can take advantage of more grid-friendly, and therefore affordable, EV charging options.


  • What incentives should exist specifically for affordable housing properties to deploy more on-site EV charging?
  • How can chargers be deployed effectively without significantly increasing the costs to build and maintain the housing properties?
  • What are the benefits and drawbacks of installing Level 1 versus Level 2 charging at these types of properties?
  • What other considerations should be given to deploying EV chargers to affordable housing buildings?


Respondents should submit their responses to these specific questions, as well as any other relevant information by email to [email protected]. The subject line of the email should state: DOEE EV Charging RFI Response – [Primary Respondent Name].

Any questions by prospective Respondents concerning this RFI shall be sent by email to: [email protected] The subject line of the e-mail should state: “DOEE EV Charging RFI Questions”.

DOEE may choose to reissue this RFI again at a later date to gather further input.