Palo Alto looks to require electric vehicle circuitry in new homes

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Hoping to play a bigger role in the electric vehicle revolution, the Palo Alto City Council embraced a proposal Monday night that would require new homes to come pre-wired for chargers.

Council members were unanimous in their support for the building code change, which was floated in a colleagues’ memo by Mayor Greg Scharff, Vice Mayor Nancy Shepherd and Council Member Gail Price.

The city council also backed related proposals to streamline the process for obtaining a permit for a charger as well as develop strategies to further encourage electric vehicle use in Palo Alto. The council’s Policy and Services Committee will oversee the various efforts.

“Let’s figure out as a council what we can do to remove the obstacles to owning electric vehicles in Palo Alto,” Scharff said before the 9-0 vote. “I think what we really need to do is make it convenient, easy and economical.”

Shepherd added that the memo was spurred by a recent phone call from Sven Thesen, an Evergreen Park resident who has installed a curbside charger in front of his home for public use.

“The thing that caught me is how simple and easy and fairly inexpensive it is to rough-in the wiring,” Shepherd said.

The cost is often under 00 for a new home, or four times less than what it runs to install a charger at an existing home, Scharff said.

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“Palo Alto looks to require electric vehicle circuitry in new homes”