Headlines: Palo Alto is the First U.S. City to Require New Homes to be Pre-wired for EVs

October 3, 2013 – Last week the City Council of Palo Alto, California passed a change to the building code requiring all new home construction to include wiring for 240 volt electric vehicle (EV) chargers. In addition the Council streamlined the process for homeowners to obtain permits to install EV chargers in existing homes. The cost for the roughed-in wiring in a new home amounts to about $200. Compare that to the $800 it costs to rewire an existing structure for EV chargers.

Palo Alto is home to Tesla Motors so if any city was going to develop a pro-EV policy it was bound to be the one. Currently it is witnessing record use of its public EV charging stations. So the vote that went 9-0 was no surprise.

But for those of you with an EV seeking a recharge visit Plugshare, the online application, to find one of the more than 10,000 charge stations where you can get a quick boost for your vehicle when traveling in North America.


Palo Alto EV charger


Len Rosen lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He is a researcher and writer who has a fascination with science and technology. He is married with a daughter who works in radio, and a miniature red poodle who is his daily companion on walks of discovery. More...


  • Neil Hamilton

    This sounds great until you ride your bike past a coal burning electricity generating plant, like the one I ride past in Tampa when I’m here. It blows it’s sulphuric smelling toxins right through the most expensive real estate in Tampa. How people actually live in these magnificent homes is a mystery to me. Toxins like these are usually reserved for poor people. Until the US figures out that electricity has to be generated somehow, and that electricity will only be the answer when they quit generating 60% of it by burning coal, no one’s actually figured out anything. They might as well equip their electric cars with coal bins.

    • lenrosen4

      Hi Neil, What you describe is in fact the great dilemma facing the U.S. in areas where coal is still the principal fuel for generating electricity. There appears to be no nationally coordinated strategy for replacing every coal-fired plant with a mix of renewables, microgrid and off-grid power generation. That clearly is needed but the American public has yet to catch on to this important next step and there is little political will to drive such a policy forward if the votes aren’t there.