Palo Alto To Require Electric Car Charging Station On New Homes

Palo Alto, California, will now require new homes be built with electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. The San Jose Mercury News reports that the city council unanimously voted to pass a new ordinance that makes 240 volt level 2 charging stations mandatory for new home construction, due to the reduced costs associated with incorporating this feature at the time of building rather than after a home is finished.

Palo Alto has been a leader in the state when it comes to adopting green ideas as a matter of public policy. The city has a very friendly climate for solar power and other renewable energy technologies, and this latest ordinance is a continuation of that progressive approach.

"Let's figure out as a council what we can do to remove the obstacles to owning electric vehicles in Palo Alto," Mayor Greg Scharff told the source. "I think what we really need to do is make it convenient, easy and economical… The thing that caught me is how simple and easy and fairly inexpensive it is to rough-in the wiring."

The price of adding a charging station during construction can be as little as $200, which is about 25 percent of what it would cost to add once the home is completed. The challenge for the city going forward is to reduce the permitting fee for adding charging stations. One church had to pay $459 for their EV charging station permit.

This policy is a great way to encourage more consumers to purchase green vehicles, as one of the obstacles to wider integration of these products into the marketplace is that charging station infrastructure is still in a nascent stage in most areas of the country. Hopefully, more communities will follow Palo Alto's example.

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