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Residential Electric Vehicle Ordinance

The City of Carlsbad’s Climate Action Plan seeks to increase the amount of zero-emission vehicle1 miles traveled by 2035. In pursuit of this goal established by the Climate Action Plan, the city has adopted an electric vehicle ordinance which requires the installation of electric vehicle chargers or prewiring in certain projects requiring a building permit.

Why did Carlsbad pass this ordinance?

In 2011, as part of the Climate Action Plan development process, the City of Carlsbad conducted analysis of citywide greenhouse gas emissions, which showed that 39 percent of the city’s greenhouse gas emissions come from cars and trucks. In 2015, the city adopted its Climate Action Plan which included a goal to increase the amount of zero-emission vehicle miles traveled from 15 percent to 25 percent of total vehicle miles traveled by 2035. This ordinance supports this goal by providing zero-emission vehicle parking and electric vehicle charging in new construction and major residential renovations. The measures included in this ordinance align with the requirements of the California Green Building Code and have been proven to be cost-effective when compared to a later retrofit.

Who is required to comply with this ordinance?

All new residential construction and major additions and alterations need to include electric vehicle charging capabilities as part of their project.

What are the requirements of this ordinance?

The electric vehicle ordinance applies to certain projects requiring a building permit, and requires some amount of electric vehicle charging capabilities, as summarized in the table below:

 

Project Type

 

Type

 

Requirement

New
Residential
Construction*
 
 One- and two-family dwellings and townhouses with attached private garages
 Must have one parking space per dwelling unit be electric vehicle ready
  Multi-family projects (three or more dwellings)

Must have 10 percent of parking spaces, or a minimum of one space, be electric vehicle capable.

50 percent of the electric vehicle capable spaces, or a minimum of one space, must be equipped with an electric vehicle charging station.

 Residential
Additions and
Alterations
 One- and two-family dwellings and townhouses with attached private garages whose project includes an electrical service panel upgrade or a permit valuation ≥$60,000**
 Must have one parking space per dwelling unit be electric vehicle ready.
 Multifamily project (three or more dwelling units) performing a major renovation2 and has a permit valuation of ≥$200,000

Must have 10 percent of parking spaces, or a minimum of one space, be electric vehicle capable.

50 percent of the electric vehicle capable spaces, or a minimum of one space, must be equipped with an electric vehicle charging station.

 *For all residential projects where common or visitor use parking is provided, 5 percent of the total number of common or visitor parking spaces provided, but in no case less than one, shall be equipped with electric vehicle charging stations and shall be available for use by all residents.
**Projects with a permit valuation ≥$60,000 but do not include an electrical service panel upgrade must meet these requirements to the maximum extent that does not trigger a panel upgrade.

 Key Terms

EVSE Capable: Installation of “raceway” (the enclosed conduit that forms the physical pathway for electrical wiring to protect it from damage) and adequate electrical panel capacity to accommodate future installation of a dedicated branch circuit and charging station(s).

EVSE Ready: Installation of dedicated branch circuit(s), circuit breakers, and other electrical components, including a receptacle or blank cover needed to support future installation of one or more charging stations.

Electric Vehicle Charging Station: One or more electric vehicle charging spaces served by electric vehicle charger(s) or other charging equipment allowing charging of electric vehicles.

When does this ordinance take effect?

The ordinance takes effect on April 11, 2019. Projects that meet the ordinance criteria and have not applied for a building permit by the effectiveness date will be subject to its requirements.

Additional Resources

  • Carlsbad Climate Action Plan - The City of Carlsbad has developed a Climate Action Plan to help the city meet state goals for reducing greenhouse gases and the community’s goal of promoting a sustainable environment.
  • City of Carlsbad Electric Vehicle Ordinance Cost Effective Analysis - This cost effectiveness analysis supports and justifies the proposed local ordinance by demonstrating that the building industry, building owners and occupants will not be unduly burdened because of the ordinance.
  • Plug-In San Diego - Provides advisory assistance for multifamily housing properties and workplaces with charging equipment siting and works broadly to increase public awareness of EV benefits
  • Power Your Drive - Power Your Drive provides low-cost electric vehicle charging stations for apartments, condos and workplaces to increase charging accessibility and promotes making the switch to an electric vehicle.
  • Clean Vehicle Rebate Project - Clean Vehicle Rebate Project provides rebates to individuals, nonprofits, government entities and business owners for the purchase or lease of zero-emission and plug-in hybrid light-duty vehicles.
  • Electric Vehicles: Tax Credits and Other Incentives - A database within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy website providing information about federal and state tax credits and other incentives.
  • Climate Action Plan Ordinance Landing Page 

1  A zero-emission vehicle is a vehicle that emits no tailpipe pollutants from the onboard source of power. Zero-emission vehicles include electric vehicles, fuel cell vehicles, and plug-in hybrids, when in electric mode.

2  Major Alterations: Alterations and additions where interior finishes are removed and significant site work and upgrades to structural and mechanical, electrical and/or plumbing systems are proposed. Significant site work as used herein means site alterations that: require a grading permit pursuant to Carlsbad Municipal Code Chapter 15.16; rehabilitate or install 2,500 square feet or more of landscaping; or repave, replace or add 2,500 square feet or more of vehicle parking and drive area.