Tesla Motors’ Hometown to Require All New Homes be Wired for Electric Car Charging Stations

Electric vehicles may not be grabbing headlines the way they did a year or so back, but that doesn’t mean they’ve gone away.

In fact, Tesla Motors’ hometown of Palo Alto, CA believes so strongly in the future of electric vehicle technology, it’s in the process of passing a new city ordinance that will require all new residential buildings to be wired for electric vehicle charging stations.

With a population of just over 64,000, Palo Alto has more electric vehicles per capita than any other city in U.S.

Palo Alto mayor Gregory Scharff says, “We believe electric vehicles are the future. You create no greenhouse gas emissions and that’s the future of automobiles.”

As cutting edge as Palo Alto’s proposed ordinance may be here in the states, it’s a belated move compared with Vancouver, Canada which passed a similar law last year.

Palo Alto’s City Council approved the new ordinance last week and the city planning department is expected to put the final touches on the law within the next three months.

Mayor Scharff, who coincidentally owns a Tesla Model S all-electric auto, says, “We want to make it as easy as possible for someone to own an electric vehicle.”

He says the process of wiring a new home to accept an electric vehicle battery charging station is equivalent to wiring it for an electric stove or clothes dryer, and requires no specialized equipment of knowledge.  He’s quick to point out that wiring a new home for a charging station is far less expensive than performing a retrofit.

Scharff says, “It’s a nominal cost to do it when you’re building the house and more expensive as a retrofit.”  The cost of wiring a new home, he says, is about $200. He says that performing a retrofit can cost between $500 and $1,000.  He says that retrofitting of his home for a charging station cost about $800.

Scharff says Palo Alto is committed to becoming carbon neutral and has plans to eventually require that charging stations be available in every commercial and residential building in the city.

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