Vancouver has established an electric vehicle (EV) charging system requirement for new construction – both single family and multi-family properties.
In October 2009, a new rule ( Vancouver By-law No. 9936) requires 20% of the parking spots in new multi-family developments in Vancouver to have charging ports for electric vehicles. Vancouver is reportedly the first jurisdiction in the world to implement this kind of charging station requirement for new buildings. EV advocates hope that it can serve as a model for other cities in North America. The charging stations would consist of 240V outlets giving relatively fast charging times for EVs of around 3-5 hours. The city also announced a plan to enhance public charging infrastructure around the city.
In June 2008, the Vancouver City Council adopted the Green Homes Program which included a requirement within the building by-law to require provisions for EV charging infrastructure in all new one and two family dwellings. That initial effort is outlined in a memo here. Combined, these two charging infrastructure initiatives can ease the feasibility of electric vehicle ownership in Vancouver and the policy should be replicated in cities across North America.
The mandate for charging stations in new housing units can be justified since the added cost is small and it is much more cost-efficient to do upfront than retrofitting buildings at a later time. The existence of charging stations will also help drive the demand for electric vehicles. The building will be around a long, long time and well within the time frame where it’s expected that EVs will be ubiquitous.
The chief opposition to this requirement came from developers who worried about adding additional costs to the pricetag of the buildings. However, these concerns failed to influence the city council, which estimated that the requirement would only add 0.5% to the cost of an average building and voted for it unanimously.
- Report on Electric Vehicle Charging – City of Vancouver Planning Department memo, July 2009
- Link to Full Text of Vancouver By-law No. 9936 (electric vehicle charging for multi-family dwellings) – adopted October 2009
- City of Vancouver Home Page
Selected Text of the EV Charging Infrastructure Rule:
BY-LAW NO. 9936
A By-law to amend Building By-law No. 9419 regarding electric vehicle charging in multi-family dwellings and in mixed use building with a multi-family component
13.2.1. Electric Vehicle Charging
18.104.22.168. Parking Stalls
1) Each one of the 20% of the parking stalls that are for use by owners or occupiers of dwelling units in a multi-family building that includes three or more dwelling units, or in the multi-family component of a mixed use building that includes three or more dwelling units, must include a receptacle to accommodate use by electric vehicle charging equipment.
22.214.171.124. Electrical Room
1) The electrical room in a multi-family building, or in the multi-family component of a mixed use building, that in either case includes three or more dwelling units, must include sufficient space for the future installation of electric equipment necessary to provide a receptacle to accommodate use by electric charging equipment for 100% of the parking stalls that are for use by owners or occupiers of the building or of the residential component of the building.”
4. A decision by a court that any part of this By-law is illegal, void, or unenforceable severs that part from this By-law, and is not to affect the balance of this by-law.
5. This By-law is to come into force and take effect on the 20th day of April, 2011.
ENACTED by Council this 20th day of October 2009