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California Moves to Make Electric Car Charging More Accessible

SB454 and AB1092 aim to make it to access electric car charging for residents of multi-family dwellings and to charge at public charging stations regardless of membership requirements.

Published: 15-Sep-2013

A pair of laws currently on Gov. Jerry Brown's desk could greatly improve electric vehicle charging infrastructure in the state. California AB1092 require changes in the building code so that new multi-family dwellings are required to wire for electric car charging infrastructure, and SB454, the Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Open Access Act, would simplify access to EV charging stations.

Home charging is the most convenient way to charge an electric car, but apartment and condominium dwellers usually don't own a parking space, so they're at the mercy of landlords and home owners associations to get chargers installed. Existing state laws (SB209 and SB880) prevents those parties from outright blocking EV charger installation, but that wasn't enough.

AB1092 requires that the California Building Standards Code be amended to require "infrastructure" for electric vehicle charging in multi-family dwellings and non-residential places like businesses, and shopping centers. The code amendment would occur sometime after Jan. 1, 2014. The law, as worded, doesn't outline specifically how these changes will work, but it does require that the California Green Building Standards Code be used as the starting point. Those voluntary standards require that at least 3 percent of parking spaces in multi-family dwellings have the wiring to allow charging station installation. At non-residential buildings, such as office buildings, at least 10 percent of parking spaces should be designated for "low emitting" cars, like electric vehicles.

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