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Electric Vehicle Wiring Required by new Palo Alto, California, Building Code

New Homes in Palo Alto, Now Pre-Wired for LII Electric Vehicle Charging Stations
New Homes in Palo Alto, Now Pre-Wired for LII Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

If California is the electric vehicle center of the United States, then Palo Alto, at the heart of Silicon Valley, is the electric vehicle center of California, which explains some new building code regulations recently passed by the City Council.

Building codes may vary, depending on where you live and what kind of building you are planning on building. Buildings in areas prone to earthquakes have to be built to withstand a certain amount of ground shaking, a measure of protection for the residents. The same goes for buildings where the likelihood of someone installing an electric vehicle charging station is high, and in Palo Alto, California, the likelihood is very high.

Anyone who’s considered buying an electric vehicle will know that the charging system is a critical facet of electric vehicle ownership. Installing an LII electric vehicle charger can be fairly cheap, as little as $500, depending on which charger you get and if the building has the proper wiring. Of course, you could spend a couple thousand dollars on a charger, which would increase the base price of the installation, but nothing like if you have to retrofit the house to handle the to handle the increased load. Estimates range as high as $3,000, not including the charger, to make sure that the building circuits will be able to handle the load properly.

On the other hand, if the building is originally built with these circuits in place, it may add a couple hundred dollars in construction costs. If the future owner of the house buys an electric vehicle and wants to install an LII Charger, installation could be as easy as hanging the charger on the wall and plugging it in. In a recent ruling by the Palo Alto City Council, building codes require that any new construction will require electric vehicle charger compatible wiring to be part of the plans, which will save perhaps thousands of dollars in retrofitting costs, as well as add value to the building when it becomes ready for sale.

Image © giantquesadilla Foter CC BY-SA

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