Electric vehicles are quickly becoming standard. In a decade, they’ve gone from a niche vehicle to the most influential auto trend in the United States. Concurrently, millions of drivers are switching to electric cars and local governments are promoting electrification as a solution to air pollution. Some cities and states (like California) are now adding car charging infrastructure to new building codes. Whether your region currently requires EV infrastructure, or you’re planning for the next trends, here’s what you need to know about the three main types of EV charging codes and make ready infrastructure for buildings and new developments.
Three Types of Building Codes
Type 1: EV Capable
“EV Capable” is the simplest type of building code for electrical vehicle supply equipment (EVSE). To meet this code, a building must have electrical capacity for future charging. A developer would install the electrical capacity and raceway (enclosed conduit) to the parking lot, thus reducing the amount of groundwork required later.
Type 2: EV Ready
“EV Ready” building codes include the electrical capacity and the raceway, but they go further to complete the electrical work. An EV Ready property will have panels, circuits, circuit breakers, and a junction box that is ready for the EVSE. The majority of the EV installation work is done, and the property is ready to install their new commercial charging stations as needed.
Type 3: EV Installed
“EV Installed” building codes include all the electrical work and the charging stations. This code and EV readiness step serves the EV drivers who will most immediately want to charge at the property, but it is not as common as EV Capable or EV Ready requirements.
EV Building Codes and Your Property
The most expensive part of the EV charging installation is not the equipment itself, but the electrical work. For older buildings, trenching for the raceway or upgrading a panel/transformer can be costly. That’s why the best time to start planning for future charging stations is before you need them. Forward-thinking governments creating codes and property owners planning for future installations can reduce future costs by installing the requisite raceways and junction boxes now, even if charging stations are not yet required at a location.
There are also immediate cost savings to installing charging stations. While trenching for a conduit run may be expensive for one or two stations, the cost efficiency increases as you add more stations. After all, a single electrical panel holds many circuits. If code requires two stations, but you have the parking availability for 10, you can add additional circuits and reduce your costs later down the road. There are also rebates, grants, and other incentives available in many states to help reduce the cost of installation. Some utilities will pay for the electrical upgrades, as long as the property owner buys the charging station.
If you’re thinking of installing charging stations in 2021, now is the perfect time to get started. Click here to request your quote for smart charging stations today!