San Francisco Considering New, Serious EV Parking Rules

MAR 6 2017 BY MARK KANE 32

Chevrolet Volt in San Francisco

San Francisco‘s mayor Edwin M. Lee and Supervisor Katy Tang have introduced new legislation concerning charging infrastructure in new residential, commercial, and municipal buildings. The idea is to make them 100-percent “Electric Vehicle Ready”.

An “EV Ready” ordinance has already been passed by the City of Fremont and the City of Oakland.

Once approved, “EV Ready” rules will require new buildings to have charging capacity for assigned parking spaces:

  • 10 percent of parking spaces need to be “turnkey ready” for EV charger installation
  • an additional 10 percent need to be “EV flexible” for potential charging and upgrades
  • the remaining 80 percent of parking spaces will have to be “EV capable,” ensuring that a conduit is run in the hardest-to-reach areas of a parking garage to avoid future cost barriers.

According to press release, existing buildings in San Francisco were not built to charge significant numbers of EVs, and while retrofitting is possible, it can be cost-prohibitive. On the other hand, preparing new buildings for charging station installations could lower later costs by 75 percent or more.

“The Rockwell is an example of a new residential building in San Francisco that proactively installed EV infrastructure to meet consumer demand.  Partnering with ChargePoint, an electric vehicle infrastructure company, the Rockwell designated 15 percent of all its parking for EV charging. Nearly all of those EV charging spaces are in use now.

To spur greater adoption of electric vehicles, the State of California has been offering incentive programs and rebates to first time EV buyers or lessees. Governor Jerry Brown has a goal of 1.5 million Zero Emission Vehicles, including plug-in EV’s, on California roads by 2025. California building codes now require 3 percent of parking spaces to be designed to serve electric vehicles. Nationally, EV sales are increasing 35 percent annually, and as of November 2016, more than 250,000 EV’s have been sold statewide.

San Francisco’s legislation was an outcome of a grant from the California Energy Commission, also received by the Cities of Oakland and Fremont, to research opportunities to expand EV infrastructure in new construction. Bay Area cities have played a unique role when it comes to being test-beds for electric vehicle innovations, due to their EV market share, proximity, and job training programs, such as the Automotive Hybrid and EV Technology certification offered at San Francisco City College.”

“The three Bay Area cities are working collaboratively together to build an EV network to drive further adoption in the region. The City of Fremont was the first to pass an “EV Ready” ordinance, followed by the City of Oakland. Today, San Francisco joins them in setting the stage for an electric vehicle future.”

Mayor Lee said:

“San Francisco is working towards smart, long-term investments and policies that reduce pollution and make sense economically. We are committed to continuing our leadership on fighting climate change. By improving access to electric charging citywide, San Francisco is accelerating our transition to a clean-energy transportation future.”

Supervisor Katy Tang said:

“I am proud to be co-sponsoring this important legislation to make electric vehicle charging more accessible to drivers, while keeping costs reasonable for developers and building owners. San Francisco should be leading the charge and encouraging more San Franciscans to choose clean vehicles. While some may question whether climate change is real, San Francisco is taking steps to ensure that we have a sustainable future.”

Mike McCone, Vice President of Oyster Development said:

“We support the Mayor and Supervisor Tang’s legislation requiring new developments to be more EV ready, not only for the environmental benefits, but because the adoption rate of electric vehicles is strong in San Francisco and steadily growing. At Rockwell, our newest San Francisco residential development, based on market demand we installed chargers in 15 percent of the parking spaces and have allowed for expansion.”

Debbie Raphael, Director of the San Francisco Department of Environment said:

“This legislation is not only smart and reasonable planning, but it is also an investment in our green economy. The Bay Area is home to one of the largest markets for electric vehicles, and with this ordinance and the collaboration of Fremont and Oakland, we are laying the groundwork, quite literally, for a regional clean vehicle future.”

Tyson Eckerle, deputy director for Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure at the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development said:

“I applaud Mayor Lee and Supervisor Tang’s ambitious goal of dramatically increasing the number of electric vehicle charging stations. In order to meet the Governor’s goal of putting 1.5 million zero emission vehicles on the road by 2025, California needs to increase the availability of charging stations and San Francisco is serving as a model for cities committed to a zero emissions future.”

Source: Office of the Mayor

Categories: Charging

Tags: ,

Leave a Reply

32 Comments on "San Francisco Considering New, Serious EV Parking Rules"

newest oldest most voted

Major = Mayor?


Yes. I Googled it; Lee is indeed the current mayor.

Grammar Nazi alert!


This had nothing to do with grammar.


This should be the model for laws everywhere


No, it doesn’t go far enough. There should be one EV charge point per rentable unit in all NEW buildings. The EV adoption rate is growing but it needs all the help we can reasonably provide.


Boy, I am soooo in favor of this charging infrastructure, but being a devil’s advocate for a moment, how many gas pumps do you see in parking garages or apartment buildings? I can see staunch ICE people getting pretty peeved because of all the ‘special’ attention to charging (fueling) EV’s and not ICE vehicles in parking garages, etc…


There are practical, health and safety concerns for putting a gas pump in every parking garage.

1) Gas fumes in a parking garage are dangerous
2) Gasoline storage tanks regularly need serviced
3) If the tanks aren’t buried then they take up space and could be vandalized
4) If they are buried, they need to be exhumed periodically. It may not always be practical to bury a huge gasoline tank in a residential building.
5) Filling up gas tanks requires a gasoline tanker truck to have access to the building.
6) There are many additional health and environmental concerns for having gasoline stored in a residential building. (What if the tank leaks?)


@waiting I think you make a good argument but I think it boils down to “time to refuel” 5 minutes vs 5 hours, notwithstanding the gas pump-in-the-residential-garage issue.


I dunno. I get both the “pay it forward” argument, and the argument that it’s cheaper to do up front than later, but I’ve also witnessed, first hand, the ire of people having to spend thousands against their will. That’s just on a simple home, its garage wiring and air tightness testing.


Thousands? For a 120 V outlet in new construction? I know I tend to underestimate costs, but that seems ridiculous.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven

I wish NYC had such a law, instead of the greenwashing law for new construction it enacted a couple of years ago at the behest of lobbyists for Big Real Estate Developers (by far the most powerful special interest group in NYC), which requires nothing more than including a raceway (large conduit) or two down to the parking garage.

Cost of Manhattan land = $200,000,000
Cost to construct building = $300,000,000
Cost to install raceway = $3,000
Cost of lobbyists = ?

Sy Kongho

What exactly do these terms mean: “turnkey ready”, “EV flexible”, “EV capable”? Do they come with a KW or Amperage lower limit? Or can they be satisfied with a normal 110 V line?

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

That’s all political BS speach for “just put some sh!it there so I look good passing this bill”.

At minimum there should be a 14-30R or 10-30R socket and wired to the panel.


I think 120 V and 12 A should work for most, but not everyone. That’s a reasonable minimum, but more would be better.

We are talking San Francisco here, a very EV centric area. Most of the state should have more relaxed rules.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

They need to also have laws that have strong teeth on dedicated EV parking/charging spots that get ice’d.

SF is is pretty bad, maybe because of tourists but I see charge spots ice’d there all the time.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven

What’s it called when a Mirai or Clarity HFCV block or parks in a dedicated EV charging spot? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

The charging spot was H’ed?
The charging spot was H2ed?
The charging spot was HFCVed?
The charging spot was MIRAIed?
The charging spot was FOOL-CELLed?
The spot was HINDENBURGed?

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

“The spot was HINDENBURGed?”

Ding ding ding ding!!!!!

Winner winner Chicken dinner!!!!

Four Electrics

New buildings in San Francisco? There are none. SF is so anti new development that this promising regulation will not change much.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

It’s all political BS speach for “just put some sh!it there so I look good passing this bill”.


Based on SF real estate prices, it seems only the very rich and the very poor can live there. The very rich will be able to afford to install chargers, the very poor won’t have EV, instead sleeping on the streets.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven

Many low-wage earners in the Bay area sleep in their cars and RVs. If they bought inexpensive, used EVs, they could sleep in them and hopefully snag some free charging.


Leave it to you to come up with a clever solution. You just came up with housing solution for SF. Rich live in homes (houses, condo, apt), poor live on the streets, middle class live in EV!

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

“Rich live in homes (houses, condo, apt), poor live on the streets, middle class live in EV!”


¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven

Did they stop building new buildings after the “Leaning Tower of San Fransisco” fiasco?

While his policies might be polarizing, at least Trump knows how to build buildings/skyscrapers that don’t sink and lean.

Get Real

Do I detect some jealousy by the NYers about SF’s new EV charging standards?

But Trump has built almost nothing for decades, literally everything in his “empire” is just him licensing his name to other developers’ projects ( and almost all of them are built with foreign steel/materials btw!).



But more than that, the idea that El Trumpo has ever gotten his hands dirty actually building anything himself, or that he’s qualified to perform construction engineering and soil tests, qualifies as “alternative facts”. At best, El Trumpo knows how to hire qualified construction engineers and contractors, or more likely how to delegate those tasks to others.


This is awesome for the like 2 new buildings that go up in SF every year…


Seattle has done something like this, and also new housing must be built with a minimum of obstructions on south facing roofs so that future solar can be easy to install.


Something needs to be done about enforcement when an ICE parks in an EV spot. Doesn’t matter how many EV spots you have if asshats have complete disregard for signage and rules that rely on the honor systems.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

I said similar above.

The fine for the ice should be the total cost (product cost and installation cost with wiring etc….) of one of the EVSE’s that’s designated for that spot.

Or set it their car on fire.



Genius and every city should follow this as a minimum really


This rule is a joke. A six gauge wire for every parking spot.