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Bill requiring EV charging capabilities in new single and multi-family dwellings clears House committee

Eli Chen
Delaware Public Media

A Senate bill that would require all newly constructed single-family and multi-family residential dwellings to have electric vehicle charging capabilities clears a House committee.

House Sponsor State Rep. Krista Griffith says the bill is a modest proposal to ensure Delaware has the minimum in terms of infrastructure for electric vehicles. She clarifies it does not require charging stations to be installed, just a conduit to fit a charging station in the garage or a parking spot in the driveway.

Griffith notes vehicle manufacturers are preparing to fully electrify production in the next 10 to 20 years, and that Delaware is woefully unprepared for that.

“So let's not look back in ten years and say, ‘geez why didn’t start this or require when these homes were being built?’ Let's do it now where its cheaper and we’re getting ready for the infrastructure," Griffith says. "Because often the other side of the argument is complaining that we are not ready. So here’s a bill to make us ready.”

State Rep. Richard Collins opposed the bill, calling it government interaction in what should be a private sector matter. He argues it would be far better to let consumers handle fitting their homes with charging stations if and when they buy an electric vehicle.

Collins took issue with the bill, claiming electric vehicle chargers are known to catch fire, which Griffith disputes.

“Let’s make sure that we have facts to back up our statements," Griffith says. "And one fact I have is data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, which shows that gasoline-powered cars are involved in about 1530 fires per 100,000 vehicles sold. Compare that to electric vehicles which just saw 25 fires per 100,000 sold.”

Collins also questions the cost of fitting the infrastructure, but Griffith says it is two to four times more expensive to retrofit charging infrastructure than to include it when first building a home.

The bill now heads to the House for consideration. It already passed the State Senate, so House approval would send it to the Governor’s desk.

Rachel Sawicki was born and raised in Camden, Delaware and attended the Caesar Rodney School District. They graduated from the University of Delaware in 2021 with a double degree in Communications and English and as a leader in the Student Television Network, WVUD and The Review.