New residents of Palo Alto, California looking to have a home built for themselves will soon have an interesting new requirement: their house must be wired up to support an electric vehicle charger. According to Palo Alto Online, the city's council adopted a change to its building code last Tuesday that, once fully drafted and adopted in the coming months, will require all new single-family homes to be wired in a way that will easily accommodate a charger. The chargers will reportedly add on about $200 to the cost of a new home — far less expensive than the $1,000 or $2,000 that retrofitting a home would cost.
Commercial charging stations should become easier to set up too
The city's council wants to make Palo Alto one of the leading locations for electric vehicles. That's something that its many tech-friendly businesses should appreciate — especially Tesla Motors, which is headquartered in the city. The home charging requirement won't make Palo Alto more drivable for electric vehicles overnight, however, since it only applies to new homes. But the mandate also included another measure that could quickly help. Palo Alto Online reports that the mandate should also streamline the process for companies looking to establish electric vehicle charging stations, which could lead to more popping up.
The ordinances will still need to be voted on again to be officially adopted, but they were accepted last week with a unanimous vote. A memo written by Palo Alto Mayor Greg Scharff seems to be what spurred the action, reports Palo Alto Online. In the memo, he writes that the city must review its ordinances in order to make sure that electric vehicles are properly being encouraged because of their sustainability. He reportedly spoke more to the matter during the council's meeting, "It's incumbent for us to find out what are the obstacles to owning electric vehicles and to get rid of those obstacles."
Update: Clarified that the requirement is presently limited to single-family homes only, not other types of dwellings.