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All new buildings in San Francisco must be electric vehicle ready

Staff Writer |
Mayor Edwin M. Lee and Supervisor Katy Tang introduced new legislation for electric vehicles.

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The plan will make plug-in electric vehicle (EV) charging more widely available in San Francisco’s residential, commercial, and municipal buildings, and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution.

The 100 percent EV Ready ordinance requires all new residential and commercial buildings to configure 10 percent of parking spaces to be “turnkey ready” for EV charger installation, and an additional 10 percent to be “EV flexible” for potential charging and upgrades.

The remaining 80 percent of parking spaces will be “EV capable,” by ensuring conduit is run in the hardest to reach areas of a parking garage to avoid future cost barriers.

Existing buildings in San Francisco were not built to charge significant numbers of EVs, and while retrofitting is possible, it can be cost-prohibitive.

A 2016 report revealed that including electrical infrastructure for EV charging in new construction can reduce costs by 75 percent or more, while making buildings more responsive to growing market demands.

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.

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