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December 24, 2013 > Electric vehicle charging ordinance

Electric vehicle charging ordinance

Submitted By SCC Public Affairs

The County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors approved a Plug in Electric Vehicle (PEV) Charging System Ordinance which requires pre-wiring for electric vehicle charging systems in new buildings in the unincorporated areas of Santa Clara County.

The ordinance applies to new single family residences, multi-family dwellings, and non-residential buildings. Three types of PEV chargers are currently available: Level 1 charger, using 120 volts of electricity and charge a vehicle in 5-20 hours; Level 2 charger, using 240 volts of electricity and can charge a vehicle in 4-7 hours; and Level 3 charger, which transfers 400-500 volts directly current to vehicle batteries, and can charge a vehicle in as short as 15 minutes.

Under the ordinance, new residential developments are required to pre-wire for Level 2 chargers at the time of construction; new large multifamily buildings and non-residential buildings with more than 100 new parking spaces are required to install Level 2 chargers in at least 1% of the parking spaces.

For a typical single family home, the installation of pre-wiring during construction is estimated to cost up to $200. In contrast, the same pre-wiring that would be installed after the building is constructed could cost up to $2,000 due to the need to tear up walls or other improvements.

For more information on Santa Clara CountyÕs PEV Ordinance, visit

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