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Electric Vehicle Readiness Requirements Expanding

Electric Vehicle Readiness Requirements Expanding in Tacoma


Dec. 10, 2019



Tanisha Jumper, Media and Communications, tjumper@ci.tacoma.wa.us, (253) 591-5152

Megan Snow, Media and Communications, msnow@cityoftacoma.org, (253) 591-5051


Electric Vehicle Readiness Requirements Expanding in Tacoma


The Tacoma City Council voted to pass Ordinance 28640 expanding and aligning the City’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure and readiness with the State of Washington’s adopted changes to state building codes.


The ordinance consolidated and incorporated new provisions into the City’s building code. Prior to this change requirements had been in both the land use and building code chapters causing unnecessary confusion for builders, construction delays and lack of adoption of the technology.


“This change helps streamline the City’s requirements, while aligning them with the State’s updates that are expected to go into effect in 2022,” said Council Member Ryan Mello. “It is important that as a City we are planning for the changing transportation landscape and recognizing the environmental and equity benefits of electric vehicles – saving users money, improving our air quality and reducing our impact on climate pollution from combustion engine cars.”


The adopted code will require new multifamily buildings with 10 or more parking spaces or those that add 10 or more parking spaces to install the infrastructure for electric vehicle charging in a minimum of 20 percent of the parking stalls.


“Electric vehicles are cleaner and fueling them costs less than 25 percent of the cost compared to fueling combustion vehicles,” said Kristin Lynett, Office of Environmental Policy and Sustainability. “We want to make sure that our multifamily residences are ready for tenants who want to invest in an electric vehicle, because the data shows that they are predicted to be 14 percent of the U.S. market by 2025 and the vast majority of drivers prefer to charge their vehicles at home and work.”


The City projects that post-construction installation of electrical infrastructure can cost up to five times more than during construction.


“This is about making access to charging infrastructure convenient for everyone in Tacoma,” Mello added.


More information about the City’s permitting process is available at TacomaPermits.org.