For a lot of people, the EV shopping experience isn’t limited to the car itself. Most charging happens at home, and most homes don’t already have a Level 2 EV charger installed. If you’re lucky, you’ve got a spare 240V outlet (the same type used for a washer and dryer) in the garage, and you can easily add a charger. There's also a chance your EV’s mobile charger is 240V compatible. A lot of buyers, though, need to hire an electrician to install a 240V outlet, which can mean adding a 240V circuit and acceptable breaker to their breaker box. That costs money, and sometimes isn’t feasible.
Now it looks as though many more new homes will be built with EV charging in mind, Quartz reports, as the International Code Council (ICC) has approved provisions to include the electrical requirements in all new homes to make them “EV-ready.” For a single-family home, that means installing the proper panels, outlets and conduits — essentially everything short of the actual charger. For multi-family buildings, the code calls for two “EV-ready” parking spots, while making more spots “EV-capable,” meaning they can be more easily retrofitted with a 240V outlet.
Not only does this make life easier for new EV buyers, it saves money, as well. It’s much cheaper to provide EV readiness when building the home than to retrofit an existing home for a Level 2 charger.
The ICC provision isn’t binding to all. ICC building codes are recommendations, and it’s up to states and municipalities to choose whether or not to adopt them. Many do, though, and it’s likely many locales will adopt the EV-readiness provision soon after it’s published in the ICC’s 2021 codes this fall.
So what does this mean for customers? Soon it will be much more likely that those buying a new home will only need to buy a semi-permanent Level 2 charger (the kind with a 240V plug), plug it into the socket, and they’re good to go. No hardwiring or retrofitting required. If their EV comes with a 240V mobile charger, it’s even easier. For the EV industry at large, it’s one fewer obstacle to the path of adoption.
Are you considering buying an EV, and have questions about the process? Be sure to check out our electric car buying guide.
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