Skip to Main Content


Blink is committed to sustainability.Learn More

New Building Code Standards Will Require Wiring for EVSE

Posted 12/21/2020

Your next home will probably be able to charge your car. As electric vehicle sales soar, local governments require builders to include EVSE-ready infrastructure in their new builds. Updated U.S. building codes are about to change drastically as soon as early 2021. Quartz reports that homes that typically feature one or two 240-volt plugs will now be ready to install Level 2 chargers. All homes will be required to be “EV ready”, with the ability to charge electric vehicles built into building blueprints.

Building Codes

The International Code Council (ICC) creates building safety standards and codes builders follow. Their new codes indicate “New construction shall facilitate future installation and use of Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) in accordance with the National Electrical Code (NFPA 70).” These new codes are applicable to private homes, multi-family residences, condos, and apartment buildings. The ICC is a non-profit trade association and its codes are embraced by governmental bodies, construction companies, and all 50 states, though states generally take up to six months to approve voluntary changes.

323 Million

EVs Expected on the Roads by 2040

What is “EV-Ready?”

“EV-Ready” can have several different meanings. According to Quartz, there are three different EVSE-ready building codes currently in use. They include:

  1. EV-Capable. This means there is electric panel capacity, a dedicated branch circuit, and continuous raceway from the panel to the intended location of the EVSE. This is definitely the most popular building code in regard to EVSE, and is the easiest and least expensive to complete. It just means EVSE can be installed without re-wiring.

  2. EVSE-Ready Outlet. This code means the raceway with conduit ends in a 240 volt outlet, ready to plug a Level 2 charger into. 10% of parking in Boulder, Colorado, is coded EVSE-Ready Outlet. This code is about to become required.

  3. EVSE-Installed. The final building code is rarest. Most buildings are not yet required to already have a Level 2 charger installed in them. 5-10% of parking in Palo Alto, California, is coded EVSE-installed.

While private homeowners will still need to install their own EVSE for now, they will have more 240 volt plugs than ever before to support installation of Level 2 chargers. Apartment and condo garages meanwhile are more than EVSE ready- the EVSE will already be installed when residents move in. Having EVSE already installed, or being EV-ready, can save residents and building owners a bundle. According to the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP), building codes present a low-cost, energy-efficient way to prepare for electric cars. A study conducted by SWEEP in San Francisco compared the cost of creating a parking lot with ten spots, 2 of them for EVs vs. retrofitting an old parking lot to the same specs. The price of the new lot starting from scratch was $920, while the retrofit was a whopping $3,550. According to Slashgear, “The proposed code will allow current and future EV-owners to avoid the cost of electrical equipment upgrades, demolition, and permitting for future retrofits,” the ICC suggests.” If EVs are the car of the future, clearly planning ahead pays. With 323 million EVs expected on the road by 2040, it seems that including EVSE in wiring blueprints before a building, home, or parking lot is created, will end up becoming a significant future savings. Whether you own a rental property, are just moving into your own home, or are preparing to sell it, there’s no time like the present to save money and prepare for homes that will soon be required to be “EV-Ready.” Learn more about Blink's home EV chargers here. Editorial note: After feedback from the home builders, the ICC removed the EV charging requirement from IECC 2021. However, EV charging can be expected in future versions. As the Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP) notes, "With the 2024 revision, the IECC intends to introduce a pivotal requirement: all new residential and commercial construction and major renovations must include [EV Ready] infrastructure necessary for commercial and residential EV charging."

Share this post