The Lowdown on EV-Ready Building Codes

CodeWatcher electric vehicle charging

To get the ball rolling on EV-ready building codes, SWEEP’s blogger Matt Frommer offers sample codes for residential and commercial.

Often, codes are only thought of through the lens of health and safety. Energy efficiency codes are usually given lower priority. Even if they aren’t, they’re usually met with disdain from the affected building community. When it comes to multifamily buildings, some compassion probably needs to be utilized, as the tenants don’t have the same level of freedom as their single-family counterparts.

For example, imagine you just bought a new condo, and since you want to save the planet and save money, you’re also thinking about buying a new electric vehicle (EV). You check your new parking lot for an electrical outlet, only to find that there isn’t one. You ask the property owner about installing an EV charging station in the parking lot for communal use, but after reviewing the building plans together, you discover that the property does not have the electrical capacity and pre-wiring infrastructure to support an installation. You’re concerned that without access to home-charging, you won’t have a place to charge your new EV, and so you surrender and buy another gas-powered car.

This exact scenario is one of the major challenges for many consumers thinking about buying an EV. The good news is that it’s solvable, and has been overcome by several communities with EV-ready building codes. SWEEP’s Matt Frommer has penned a blog that includes sample codes for both residential and commercial, and he maintains a list of 18 U.S. locations and 1 Canadian municipality that have passed an ordinance or inserted EV language into their local codes. It’s an insightful and recommended read.