Description: Local building codes and practices can be updated to include specifications for electric vehicle charging infrastructure types, electric service requirements, as well as installation recommendations for various building types. Additionally, updates to local zoning and parking codes can ensure that publicly available electric vehicle charging infrastructure meets federal and state accessibility provisions and establish reasonable restrictions or incentives for their use in certain areas.

Essential Resources

  1. Sample Building Code Amendments for Plug-In Electric Vehicles

    This excerpt from Ready, Set, Charge California's Guide to EV-Ready communities contains examples of building code amendments pertaining to EV charging station installation sand energy/storage management systems. The two are grouped so that local agencies can consider aligning the goals of sustainable transportation, energy efficient buildings, and reduced emissions.

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    Source: Ready, Set, Charge California!. A Guide to EV-Ready Communities . Available at

  2. Example Building Codes for Plug-In Electric Vehicle Charging

    Local governments can use building codes to advance plug-in electric vehicle adoption in a way that ensures safe, cost-effective installation of charging equipment. This document contains building code template language, including excerpts from CALGreen, local government examples, and a model building code adapted from City of Lancaster’s Municipal Code.

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    Source: California Governor's Office of Planning & Research. Example Building Codes for Plug-In Electric Vehicle Charging .

  3. Pre-Wiring for Plug-In Electric Vehicles Ordinance in Santa Clara County, CA

    In December 2013, Santa Clara County adopted an ordinance requiring either pre-wiring or the installation of charging systems for Plug in Electric Vehicles (PEV) in new buildings in unincorporated areas. The ordinance requires that new buildings install conduit and ensure electrical panel capacity to enable the future installation of Level 2 Electric Vehicle Charging Equipment. For new non-residential and multi-family residential buildings that install more than 100 new parking spaces, the Ordinance requires the installation of a Level 2 Plug in Electric Vehicle Charging system to 1% of the parking spaces.

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    Source: County of Santa Clara. Ordinance No. NS-1100.118. Available at

  4. Plug-In Electric Vehicles Ordinance in Palo Alto, CA

    The City of Palo Alto's Plug-In Electric Vehicle Ordinance goes beyond the California Building Code to require that all new multi-family developments, office buildings, and hotels provide the needed circuitry for easy installation of electric vehicle supply equipment.

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    Source: City of Palo Alto . Ordinance No. 5263. Available at

  5. California Building Code Requirements for Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment

    California AB1092 requires that the California Building Standards Code be amended to require pre-wiring for electric vehicle charging in multi-family dwellings and non-residential places like businesses, and shopping centers. At least 3 percent of parking spaces in multi-family dwellings have the wiring to allow charging station installation, and at non-residential buildings, at least 10 percent of parking spaces should be designated for "low emitting" cars, like electric vehicles.

    Source: California Legislature. Assembly Bill No. 1092. Published 9/28/13. Available at

  6. Plug-In Electric Vehicle Parking Code Example

    The California Vehicle Code (CVC) provides local governments the authority to place traffic control devices in their jurisdictions (including county highways) to guide, warn and regulate traffic as necessary to carry out the provisions of the CVC and local traffic ordinances. Traffic Operations Policy Directive 13-01 includes several plug-in electrical vehicle signs and pavement markings for communities. These signs that restrict parking to PEVs, or limit the amount of time a vehicle can be parked, must be supported by local codes to become legally enforceable. The following example is adapted from the City of Santa Monica’s Municipal Code.

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    Source: California Governor's Office of Planning & Research. Plug-In Electric Vehicle Parking Code Example.

  7. Zoning Example for Installation of Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure

    The goal of zoning for plug-in electric vehicles charging stations should be to ensure that charging is an allowed land use in as many types of zoning districts as possible, as either an accessory or a principal use. A template for zoning electric vehicle charging stations is provided. This template is adopted from City of Lancaster’s Municipal Code.

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    Source: California Governor's Office of Planning & Research. Zoning Example for Installation of Plug-In Electric Vehicle Charging Stations.

  8. Zoning Ordinance for Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure in Coupeville, WA

    This municipal ordinance clearly lays out allowances and permitting requirements for electric vehicle charging station in various zones within the City of Coupeville, WA. Level 1 and 2 electrical vehicle charging stations are allowed in all commercial or public/quasi-public zones. Level 3 rapid charging stations are allowed outright in public rights-of-way. Level 3 rapid charging stations are allowed within a commercial or public/quasi-public zones with the approval of an administratively issued conditional use permit.

    Source: City of Coupeville. City of Coupeville Municipal Code 16.12.075. Published 3/27/12. Available at