EV Charging Stations – What about Electric Charging Stations? Are they subject to kiosk regulations?

By | October 17, 2021
EV Charging KIosk ADA

EV Charging Kiosk Station ADA

Short Answer —  Yes

Long Answer — Technically all of the regulations mandated today apply to any form of unattended self-service. In the case of some there may not be a touchscreen per se but interaction with the terminal whether via mobile or transponder still shares those regulations. Accessing a large smart city interactive screen with a mobile phone proxy is interaction without any direct physical touching of the terminal for example. In the definition of a kiosk we point out how legal sanctions often become part of the defining process. For example, in normal like we may not consider a burrito a sandwich right? However, when it comes to nutrition and food safety the FDA considers a burrito the same, legally, a sandwich. Sounds silly for sure but it illustrates equivalents.

One of the biggest challenges for EV Charging Stations is simply location. They tend to be on existing curbs or sidewalks where there are no ramps.

  • that which the DOJ has basis to file interest (typically using ADA2010)
  • and that which you still might be sued for (hot coffee wasn’t regulated until suit was brought e.g.)

We think the more relevant current laws will be regarding mounting and placement. The USPS Postal Buddy kiosks are perfectly accessible, however, they were sometimes installed in less-than-accessible locations/areas. The usual height dimensions were fine.

Here are the specific regs that come into play (as referenced in the KMA Code of Practice) 305 – Maneuvering and More ADA2010 306 – Depth and Clearance ADA 2010 303 – Changes in level ADA2010 (generally not permitted) Protruding Objects ADA2010 [refers to 307] [Suggestion] Kiosks must be visually and tactilely identifiable to users as accessible (e.g., an international symbol of  accessibility affixed to the front of the device General Reach Ranges — ADA2010 – [reach ranges specified in 508 Guidelines and Operable Parts and included in 407.8 — refer to those] Operable Parts — ADA2010 [refer to Section 508 for complete most current]
305.7.1 Maneuvering Clearance in Alcove ADA2010
403 Clear Width — ADA2010
404 Maneuvering Clearances — ADA2010
902.3 Work Surfaces, Countertop, Table Top, Voting

Under Section 508 review 402 – Closed Functionality — Section 508 Final Rule 407 – Operable Parts — Section 508 Final Rule

And for reference Audio is more often than most the largest litigated accessibility issue.

Touchscreen Enabled

  • Those with touchscreens are subject to the same regulations an interactive kiosk or ATM are subject to.  Reach, audio and tactility are the main ones. WCAG 2.0 for the interface elements.

Do American with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 requirements apply to NEVI Formula Program projects?

Answer: Yes. EV charging stations must comply with ADA and Section 504 requirements and be accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, including those using wheelchairs or other assistive equipment. Key considerations include safety and ease of use. Specifically, designs for EV charging stations must ensure adequate space for exiting and entering the vehicle, unobstructed access to the EV charging stations, free movement around the EV charging stations and connection point on the vehicle, and clear paths and close proximity to any building entrances.

You can also use NEVI funds to retrofit existing stations to accessible.

EV Charging Stations and the U.S Access Board October 2021

The ADA Standards do not currently include provisions for electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, but we recommend that access be provided to a “reasonable number,” as noted in our Parking Guide.  This is consistent with guidance from DOJ on addressing access to elements and spaces not scoped in the standards:

“What if ADAAG has no standards for a particular type of facility …? In such cases, the ADAAG standards should be applied to the extent possible. Where appropriate technical standards exist, they should be applied. If there are no applicable scoping requirements (i.e. , how many features must be accessible), then a reasonable number, but at least one, must be accessible.” (See DOJ’s ADA Title III Technical Assistance Manual, III-5.3000 Application of ADAAG).

We also recommend that electric vehicle chargers comply with criteria for operable parts in the ADA Standards (section 309), including a connecting accessible route, clear floor space, operating characteristics, and location within accessible reach range.

Requirements for operable parts do apply to fuel dispensers (i.e., gas pumps).  They include a couple exceptions specific to gas pumps (a higher height is allowed for those located on existing curbs, and gas pump nozzles are exempt from the 5 lbf max.).

ADA Parking Guide Chapter 5_ Parking Spaces

Installation Considerations: an outdoor installation requiring more than 7 amps is subject to next level building code regulations.