Palo Alto to require new homes be wired for electric car charging

By on September 30, 2013, 4:00 PM
electric cars, palo alto, ev charger, wiring, pre-wired, charging station

The Palo Alto City Council recently voted in favor of a proposal that would require all new homes built to be wired for electric vehicle charging. The changes would add roughly $200 to the cost of a new home which is about four times less than what it would cost to retroactively install a charger in an existing home according to Mayor Greg Scharff.

The mayor set out to figure out a way as a council how to remove the obstacle of owning electric vehicles in the city. Part of that plan is to make it convenient, easy and economical which is what having charging stations pre-wired in homes would do.

The council, which voted 9-0 to pass the proposal, said the city was on the leading edge two years ago with regards to pushing chargers but since then, they haven’t managed to keep pace with the recent surge in demand for electric vehicles.

Of course, not everyone was singing the praises of an electric vehicle future. Greg Schmid said nobody is making money on it and he wondered out loud whether in the long run they are not inhibiting the growth of popular usage of electric vehicles because they are mandating leading-edge places where it’s free. As such, he said there was no incentive to create networks through the community.

Looking at the bigger picture, the initiative could kick off a trend in other areas that could help accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles – especially in less affluent cities.




User Comments: 18

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RzmmDX said:

Are the plugs universal though?

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

The changes would add roughly $200 to the cost of a new home which is about four times less than what it would cost to retroactively install a charger in an existing home according to Mayor Greg Scharff.
As long as the wall outlet is all that is installed. And to be honest, the outlet could be used for more than charging stations, if a charging station is not going to be used.

Are the plugs universal though?

The charging station itself can be purchased only when needed, which would eliminate any differences in proprietary plug designs.

1 person liked this | St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

It probably just includes an additional dedicated electrical loop, with high-current plug (universal) and dedicated circuit breaker.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Regardless of how they do it, I think it is a great idea. By the time you sign the house note, you wouldn't notice a difference either way. But if the house is already equipped for a car charging station, it would definitely save you the bother later on.

Another concept would be friends or family. You may not need the charging station but your visitors might could use a charge while visiting. So even if the charging station is not needed personally, there could be someone you know who would some day.

Guest said:

IMO electric cars are not the future. Pitiful range combined with long charging times? No thanks. Hydrogen fuel cells are the way to go.

St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

E

IMO electric cars are not the future. Pitiful range combined with long charging times? No thanks. Hydrogen fuel cells are the way to go.

Electric cars will be fine when/if there is a cell storage breakthrough.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

IMO electric cars are not the future. Pitiful range combined with long charging times? No thanks. Hydrogen fuel cells are the way to go.
You may be right, but I will not hold my breath waiting for hydrogen fuel-cells.

[link]

Royalgok said:

E
IMO electric cars are not the future. Pitiful range combined with long charging times? No thanks. Hydrogen fuel cells are the way to go.

Electric cars will be fine when/if there is a cell storage breakthrough.

I tend to agree with the Guest here. We've built up our lives over the conventional 'drive, fill-up, drive some more' paradigm. Hydrogen fuel cells are comparatively more expensive now but Honda showed that it could be done through the FCX Clarity. What's more it fits the current lifestyle. It'll take years for people to get used to charging, since no matter how much innovation goes into battery tech, there's only so much that could be done in terms of charging times - they'll never be as quick as filling up with fuel.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

The number of fuel cell vehicles Honda can put on the road is significantly limited by the number of hydrogen stations the company can use.

WOW, I didn't realize there were so many fuel cell vehicles readily available.

List of fuel cell vehicles

wujj123456 said:

E
IMO electric cars are not the future. Pitiful range combined with long charging times? No thanks. Hydrogen fuel cells are the way to go.

Electric cars will be fine when/if there is a cell storage breakthrough.

I tend to agree with the Guest here. We've built up our lives over the conventional 'drive, fill-up, drive some more' paradigm. Hydrogen fuel cells are comparatively more expensive now but Honda showed that it could be done through the FCX Clarity. What's more it fits the current lifestyle. It'll take years for people to get used to charging, since no matter how much innovation goes into battery tech, there's only so much that could be done in terms of charging times - they'll never be as quick as filling up with fuel.

Well, how about Tesla's idea of battery swap? All you need is a charged battery on the road. It doesn't matter where and who charges that for you, right? This battery swap idea could actually work, better than fuel stations if it's faster.

Royalgok said:

The number of fuel cell vehicles Honda can put on the road is significantly limited by the number of hydrogen stations the company can use.

WOW, I didn't realize there were so many fuel cell vehicles readily available.

List of fuel cell vehicles

Agreed. Hydrogen stations are the limiting factor. There are a few in southern California and Japan but they need to be more widespread for the fuel cell idea to be viable.

E
IMO electric cars are not the future. Pitiful range combined with long charging times? No thanks. Hydrogen fuel cells are the way to go.

Electric cars will be fine when/if there is a cell storage breakthrough.

I tend to agree with the Guest here. We've built up our lives over the conventional 'drive, fill-up, drive some more' paradigm. Hydrogen fuel cells are comparatively more expensive now but Honda showed that it could be done through the FCX Clarity. What's more it fits the current lifestyle. It'll take years for people to get used to charging, since no matter how much innovation goes into battery tech, there's only so much that could be done in terms of charging times - they'll never be as quick as filling up with fuel.

Well, how about Tesla's idea of battery swap? All you need is a charged battery on the road. It doesn't matter where and who charges that for you, right? This battery swap idea could actually work, better than fuel stations if it's faster.

+1. Another very efficient way of transferring energy from the fossil fuel to the wheels is to use the fuel to charge up the electric motors which actually drive the car. The Fisker Karma and the Chevrolet Volt use this technology. The Karma was a very cool idea, but unfortunately it's no longer in production.

Arris Arris said:

Can't we just use microUSB? :P

Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

IMO electric cars are not the future. Pitiful range combined with long charging times? No thanks. Hydrogen fuel cells are the way to go.

300-400km isn't pitiful when you are only doing a work loop of 40-50km per day. It's more than adequate for a substantial amount of the demographic. Charge overnight only takes a few hours as well if you have a decent rated socket.

mojorisin23 mojorisin23 said:

TESLA is the way of the future!

Guest said:

How is it that no one considers where electricity comes from. The US already faces an overburdened infrastructure and now lets just add to it by making plugins mandatory on a house. Perhaps some research into how that kilowatt was generated is in order. If electric cars ever hit mainstream can you imagine all those dead batteries hmmmm seems to me the only true fuel savings whether it be gas or electric is dont use so much

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

Can't we just use microUSB? :P

Yeah. You could just plug it into the cars 12 V output or cigarette lighter.

Guest said:

More government meddling into our daily lives. Some people may not even own a car, let alone a golf-cart car.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

More government meddling into our daily lives. Some people may not even own a car, let alone a golf-cart car.
How exactly is this considered meddling? As a home owner it effects you very little and gives you more options, if you ever decide you would want them.

Was it also meddling, when they decided to make installing meter loops, light switches and receptacles in every room? I often wonder how people thought about electricity being added to their homes, before it was installed in all homes. Did they or did they not consider it meddling, when learning electricity would be installed in all homes? Then the next question, how long did it take for everyone to actually use the service available to them?

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