Chicago approves EV charging ordinance for new buildings - Smart Energy Decisions

Regulation  -  March 23, 2020

Chicago approves EV charging ordinance for new buildings

The Chicago City Council Zoning Committee approved March 16 an ordinance requiring all new commercial buildings with 30 or more parking spaces and new residential buildings with five or more units to have at least 20% of the parking spaces be “Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment-Ready.”

This regulation is intended to encourage the widespread adoption of electric vehicles throughout the Chicago area. By installing EV charging infrastructure on the front-end, buildings can save money that would be associated with a more costly retrofit project later on.

“This is a progressive ordinance that would land the city of Chicago at the top of all cities in the nation in terms of planning for the future of electric vehicles,” Downtown Ald. Brendan Reilly, who is the chief sponsor of the ordinance, told the Chicago Sun-Times. “It’s coming whether you like it or not. And the great news is that it’s a tremendous benefit for the environment and weans us off our dependence on fossil fuels, which is good public policy both locally and internationally.”

A previous version of the ordinance that was approved in the fall included less-stringent rules that these new buildings simply be “capable” of handling EV equipment, rather than the new, more specific mandate that spots be “ready” for the equipment. 

The ordinance’s effective date has been pushed back from the original July 31 and will now be enforced starting Oct. 31.

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