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State Senate moves forward with EV charging requirement for new homes

Eli Chen/Delaware Public Media

Senate lawmakers pass legislation requiring new single-family homes or multi-family housing developments permitted after 2025 to include parking spaces for electric vehicle charging.

State Sen. Sarah McBride says new state regulations requiring every new car sold in the state by 2025 be electric necessitate the move. She argues residential parking spaces are the most efficient place to locate charging infrastructure.

GOP Senators counter that requiring charging infrastructure in private homes is overreach, and investments in it could be rendered obsolete by changes in zero-emissions vehicle technology.

But McBride notes major car manufacturers’ plans to transition production to electric vehicles make additional charging infrastructure critical and adding charging infrastructure to homes after they’re built will be more expensive and less safe.

The bill does not require single-family homes to include a charging cord — only a conduit that can be used to charge a car. It would require new multi-family developments to add complete charging infrastructure to five percent of parking spaces and set aside ten percent of spaces to be "charging capable," meaning they include the conduits and space needed to add charging stations.

“The worst case scenario – if I’m wrong, if Toyota is wrong, if General Motors and every other manufacturer in America is wrong about where we’re going," McBride said, "is that you will have a conduit in a home that will allow you to put a refrigerator, a freezer, a whole host of other uses in a garage.”

The bill passed on a party-line vote and now heads to the House.

Paul Kiefer comes to Delaware from Seattle, where he covered policing, prisons and public safety for the local news site PubliCola.