News Release News Release The City of Palo Alto
Communications Department
250 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301


PRESS RELEASE 06/27/2014
Subject :

City of Palo Alto Expands Electric Vehicle Ordinance for Residential and Non-Residential Construction
Contact : Peter Pirnejad, Development Services Director    (650) 329-2349
Palo Alto, Ca.–The Palo Alto City Council passed an ordinance on June 16 to require EV-ready infrastructure for all new commercial construction, including multi-family dwellings, mixed-use facilities, and hotels. 

The first phase of the ordinance, enacted during the first quarter of 2014, requires all new single-family residences to be EV ready.  The purpose of the expanded ordinance is to provide comprehensive EV charging capabilities throughout other land uses in the city to encourage the use of electric vehicles and to develop infrastructure to support a growing market. 

"Through the hard work of the Electric Vehicle Task Force, we were able to propose an aggressive yet feasible ordinance that requires Electric Vehicle infrastructure in all new multi-family, commercial, and mixed-uses" said Development Services Director Peter Pirnejad.   “The ordinance reflects Palo Alto's vision to support and promote the use of Electric Vehicles.”

The ordinance was created as a partnership between the Development Services Department and the Palo Alto EV Task Force, under the direction of City Council.  The Palo Alto EV Task Force is comprised of City officials, EV enthusiasts, EV charger vendors, entrepreneurs, and environmentalists.

The non-residential EV additions to the ordinance will require a three-tier combination of Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE), EVSE ready outlets, and EVSE ready circuitry for new multi-family and commercial construction.  The highest tier requires an “EVSE” parking space that contains fully installed EV plug-in equipment capable of charging at 30A or higher at 208 or 240 volts. The second highest tier requires an “EVSE-ready outlet,” such that little or no additional work is required to install a charger. The third tier requires “conduit only” and is identical to the requirement the City Council adopted for new single-family construction.  These various requirements are applied to all new multifamily, commercial, mixed-use, and hotels in Palo Alto.  For more information about the specific requirements, click here.

On April 24, 2014, the City of Palo Alto was named the 2014 Most Electric Vehicle Ready Community at the Charged & Connected Symposium at SAP in Palo Alto. 

“This award confirms that the Council’s vision of being an EV friendly community is being realized” said Development Services Director Peter Pirnejad.  “The growth of electric vehicle ownership in Palo Alto   highlights that we are a model for other cities to consider.”