In a major win for local air quality and equity, Salt Lake City has adopted a new policy to increase electric vehicle (EV) charging for new multi-family housing properties. We applaud Salt Lake City for its leadership in creating equitable access to EV charging for those living in apartments and condos. The ordinance includes requirements for EV-ready infrastructure in new multifamily properties:
- A minimum of 20% of required on-site parking spaces must be EV-ready.
- EV-ready parking spaces shall have electrical conduit and sufficient electrical capacity for the future use of a minimum 200 volt electric vehicle charging station. Note: “EV-ready” parking spaces do not require an installed charging station.
- A minimum of 20% of required Accessible (ADA) parking spaces must be EV-ready.
Why is this so important?
Electric vehicle adoption is on the rise. Experts project that around 50% of passenger vehicle sales in the US will be electric by 2030. Nearly every major automobile manufacturer has made commitments to increase EV production, and as this happens, the costs to own EVs are decreasing. As EVs become more affordable, especially with recent federal investments such as the $4,000 Used Clean Vehicle tax credit, it is important to ensure sufficient charging options for those who want to own an EV.
Municipal EV-readiness ordinances are also a big win for equity. The US Department of Energy reports that that around 80% of charging happens at home, but unfortunately, renters and those who don’t live in single-family homes are unlikely to be able to charge at home, presenting a significant barrier to EV adoption. And to top that off, 2022 saw a record high in multifamily housing development in the US, with Utah being no exception to the surge of new multifamily construction. As of September 2022, there were more than 24,000 housing units under construction across the Wasatch Front. Ensuring that charging infrastructure is included in all new multifamily properties enables more of our community to access the benefits of driving an EV.
Collectively cleaning the air
Cars, trucks, and motorcycles are responsible for about 40% of annual pollution along the Wasatch Front. By making the switch to clean EVs, we can tackle a big part of Utah’s air quality problem. As EV adoption increases, the expansion of our charging infrastructure becomes increasingly important. For the transition to EVs to happen equitably, everyone who wants to drive an EV must have access to charging – including, and especially, those living in multifamily units.
A model for other local governments to follow
Utah Clean Energy has been following the development of this ordinance over the last couple of years, and we appreciate the thoughtful and thorough stakeholder input that the Salt Lake City Sustainability Department has conducted. By adopting this ordinance, Salt Lake City will join at least 40 other cities with similar ordinances in preparing their multifamily housing infrastructure for the future.
We hope to see other local governments across Utah deploy similar ordinances and support an equitable transition to an electrified transportation sector, while preparing their infrastructure for an exciting, innovative future.