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Green Building News

A Charger in Every Garage

Palo Alto, California, votes to change the city's building code to require new houses be pre-wired for an electric car charger

Rough-in wiring for electric car chargers will be required in new houses in Palo Alto, California, after a unanimous vote by the city council.
Image Credit: Angela Costanzo/NREL

The city council in Palo Alto, California, has voted unanimously to require that new houses built within city limits be equipped with rough-in wiring for an electric car charger.

According to The San Jose Mercury News, councilors also agreed to streamline the permitting process for chargers and come up with other strategies that would encourage the use of electric vehicles.

“Let’s figure out as a council what we can do to remove the obstacles to owning electric vehicles in Palo Alto,” the newspaper quoted Mayor Greg Scharff as saying. “I think what we really need to do is make it convenient, easy and economical.”

Schraff said the electrical work would add about $200 to the cost of a house, one-quarter the cost of doing the work as a retrofit.

As Green Car Reports noted, Palo Alto is a wealthy Silicon Valley community where average houses cost more than $1 million, so the pre-wiring won’t be much of a strain for most homebuyers.

Palo Alto also is home to Tesla Motors, which produces luxury plug-in cars.


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