City to consider requiring EV infrastructure in new residential construction
According to Palo Alto Online three members of the Palo Alto city council, including the mayor and vice mayor, stated in a memo that they are in favor of moving toward requiring new residential construction to install electric vehicle (EV) friendly infrastructure. Basically, this just means installing a 240-volt outlet in the garage. According to a local EV advocate it is much less expensive to build the equipment in than to retrofit later. City resident Sven Thesen has installed a curb-side charging station at his home. According to Thesen “It costs about $200 to make a house EV-ready and anywhere from $1,000 to $2,000 to retrofit later on.” When one considers that an electrical service panel is often installed on an external garage wall it is easy to see that the cost of installation of a 240-volt breaker and outlet is fairly inexpensive when compared to the cost of doing the installation later. The city is also looking into streamlining the permitting and inspection process to retrofit EV charging stations into existing homes. As we have written before (found here), the EV residential infrastructure permitting process is being streamlined and improved all over. This serves to improve processing time and reduce costs.
In addition, the city is proposing that new hotel construction also provides EV charging capabilities, with the possibility that this requirement could extend to existing hotels. Palo Alto sees itself as a forward looking EV friendly city. With the nearby Google headquarters in the adjacent Mountain View community, Palo Alto likely wants to make sure that all of those highly paid Googlers have no interest in looking elsewhere for housing.