Home Builders Oppose Car Charger Mandate
Bill Ward, Executive Vice President
Home Builders Association of Illinois
Legislation has been introduced in Springfield that would mandate electric vehicle car chargers in all new or renovated residential and comHomemercial construction beginning in 2021. HB4281 creates the “Electric Vehicle Charging Act,” sponsored by State Representative Robyn Gabel (D-Evanston), and would require a charging station for every parking space in a single-family home.
Multi-family housing will be required to have all parking spaces to be “electric vehicle capable,” meaning that there would be electric panel capacity with a dedicated branch circuit and a continuous raceway from the panel to the future electric vehicle parking space. 20% of the parking spaces must be “electric vehicle ready” meaning that the charger is installed and ready for use.
The National Association of Home Builders estimates that each charging station will cost a consumer $1042, which means that a three-car garage attached to a single-family home would be an additional $3126.
The chargers must include a fully wired circuit with a 208 to 250 volt, 40 amp electric vehicle charging receptacle outlet, including the conduit, wiring, and electrical service capacity necessary to serve the receptacle.
The House Committee on Energy & Environment approved the measure at a hearing held last week on a partisan roll call. Opponents to the bill (like HBAI) were not called upon by the Committee Chair to testify in opposition to the bill.
Proponents for the bill state that the time is now to prepare Illinois for increased use of electric vehicles. But broad popularity for these vehicles remains hidden as just 1.8% of all vehicles on the road are electric powered.
HB4281 also mandates that the electrical chargers must be installed by licensed electrical contractors. Illinois does not currently license electricians or electrical contractors even though it has been considered in previous Assemblies.
The Home Builders, in coordination with the Illinois Association of Realtors, are drafting alternative language that would amend the Illinois Energy Efficiency Building Act, rather than creating a whole new Act. The language would require builders to have one parking space to be “capable” but not necessarily “ready.” Multi-family housing would also have “capable” parking spaces that could be made “ready” if needed.
The bill’s sponsor has indicated that she would consider proposed changes to HB4281 prior to final passage in the House.
It should be noted that the 2021 Energy Conservation Code prepared by the International Code Council has a mandate for one “ready” charger station in each new home. The Illinois Energy Code Advisory Council will consider incorporating this mandate in 2021, along with other changes made that differ from the 2018 code.