All New Apartments, Hotels And Commercial Buildings In Palo Alto To Be EV Charging Ready

JUL 7 2014 BY JAY COLE 17

Palo Alto - All Wired Up!

Palo Alto – All Wired Up!

From that place that first mandated all new home builds to come pre-wired for electric vehicle charging stations, comes a similar directive for new multi-unit residences and commercial buildings.

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The Palo City Council, in blisteringly quick fashion, adopted a new ordinance (via an 8-0 vote) to require that all new apartments, hotels and commercial buildings to now come with electrical hook-ups in place for the “easy installation” of electric vehicle charging equipment and/or the equipment itself.

Palo Alto Online reports the ordinance came into being on June 16th, and passed with little discussion, after it was put forth by a special Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment Task Force the city put together.

The new regulations as it relates to build-types are:

  • Multi-family residentialone charging outet and/or one EVSE for each housing unit, plus install electric wiring for 25% of visitor spaces
  • Hotels – all new builds have to accommodate EVs at 30% of public spaces.  This accommodation can be either a 120V outlet or actual charging equipment, but all parking must have at least 1 in every 10 spaces set up to include installed EVSEs
  • Commercial Development25% of all spaces to accommodate plug-in vehicles, with at least 5% of all spaces to have charging equipment installed

As a matter of the additional financial burden to the property owners, city officials says the new law with increase costs by less than 1%.

Palo Alto Online reports that Peter Pirnejad, director of development services for Palo Alto, estimates that typical 30,000-square-foot commercial building would cost around $7.5 million, with additional charging infrastructure costs coming at a very specific $64,170.   As for a 30-unit residence – $81,000 (versus $9 million in costs for the build overall).

What lead to this decision to be so pro-EV?  City planners point to California’s overwhelming adoption of plug-in vehicles, as well as owning 35% of the nation’s EVs.

…well, that and there is a little company called Tesla Motors headquartered in the city.  Estimates put EV ownership at around 5% in Palo Alto today.

Palo Alto Online

Categories: Charging

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17 Comments on "All New Apartments, Hotels And Commercial Buildings In Palo Alto To Be EV Charging Ready"

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A stitch in time saves nine.

I would also stipulate that every new house should have solar panels as standard. Min 3Kwh. Just like have water pipes etc.

If not, at the very least wiring to accommodate solar panels and inverter.


Then you want to aim all these “required” solar PV panels to the west because the real peak demand o the grid is late afternoon to evening. And in some summer months, well after 5pm.

Minimum 3 kW 😉 3 kWh won’t last you a day of the year 😛

In any state or country where you get a lot of sun all year round solar PV’s should be mandatory at a minimum limit.

5 kW per house and 3 kW per apartment minimum would do wonders.

This needs to be adopted nation-wide.

120V plus in every garage can offer a minimum of 40-50 charged miles per overnight stay if you arrvive by 10pm and leave by 8am. But if you must have a standard, just enforce 240V and 50A dryer-style NEMA outlets. Many L2 systems such as Clipper Creek can be plugged into such a plug – but don’t require every home to have an EVSE installed. Plugs are much cheaper as a base electric wire-pull.

I cannot possibly agree more! This is an incredible move, and absolutely should be adopted nation wide. Bring it on!!!

I also agree with the comments around solar – builders should be at least required to allow interested people to have it installed during construction and be rolled into the primary mortgage. I am struggling with this right now – building a new home – had 2 dedicated 220V circuits installed in the garage, and want to have solar installed and done in my main loan – however the builder will not allow third party installs prior to closing. That leaves me trying to come up with alternate financing immediately after closing.

Regardless of the good intent by the City Council, notice how easily they vote to increase costs on businesses? 1% here, 1% there. Tax increase here, tax inrease there. It’s a wonder that businesses make any money at all.

If anything the Council should have offered tax rebates to intall the outlets. Incentives are better than fiats.

or both

You make it sound like taxes were something bad. Look at the greater good instead.

Companies will have the same margins, the price is always payed by the customers in the end. But the big difference is that if you enforce it like this then you get each outlet for a much much much lower cost than of each person or property owner would later on add charging stations and outlets one by one.

So in the long run this saves the taxpayers money AND improve their lifes. Which is the gain of every well used tax.

“You make it sound like taxes were something bad.”

They are something bad for a wealthy Frenchman/woman. They have to pay a whopping 75% tax on earnings over 1 million euros.

Haha… Poor bastards. How should anyone be able to survive on €500 000 (one million after let’s say 50% tax) + 25% of everything above per month?

I mean, if you can barely buy 5 Teslas a month something must be wrong with the system. 😉

That tax should be global. And start lower. I mean after the first €100 000 a month that 75% tax could be applicable.

Oh, it’s for €1 million a year in income. Then it’s already at a good level. Kudos to France. 🙂

Meh. Less than 1% to the purchase price is trivial. And it is not like they are constantly adding new things like this. And this will more than pay for itself in terms of cleaner air for the city, reduced noise, electricity sales, etc.

This is good in that I once talked to a City official in one of the local planning departments about sidewalks. He said that when you build a new road or a new building the coast to add sidewalks to it $45.00 dollars a foot. But to go back and add sidewalks to a existing road or building is $200 to $150 dollars a foot.

This same rule applies to new buildings and parking lots with EV’s hook ups. In that most likely it would be only a few hundred dollars to add chargers to new buildings being built much like a building has to be wired for dryers and washing machines. The costs do however skyrocket when you have to take a existing building and spend thousands of dollars to add a 220 volt system to it.

So over all with this new law they are taking a finical thing of new and future home owners.

At some point this type of building is going to be a no brainer. Just like building to earthquake specs in CA or fire sprinklers in commercial buildings. While it may feel like a tax I think that when those buildings are done the EVSE’s are going to be another perk to buyers like stainless steel appliances.