Report: ‘Outdated’ Regulations Slowing Growth of Electric Car Charging Stations

A lack of regulations and zoning codes tailored to electric vehicle charging infrastructure is hindering the proliferation of charging stations.

1 minute read

October 26, 2022, 8:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

According to a new report from the Fuels Institute Electric Vehicle Council, the widespread proliferation of electric vehicle charging stations is being stymied by outdated or nonexistent state and local policies.

As Dan Zukowski explains in Smart Cities Dive, less than half of 100 cities surveyed in 2021 had ordinances related to EV charging, and “As of 2020, 10 states had adopted installation-related policies and five had operations-related policies.”

Regulations, or the lack thereof, vary widely across the country. In some cities, new construction is required to accommodate EV charging infrastructure. Others have created online portals to streamline permitting, but many providers still wait as long as two years for a permit. “Local policies often include requirements for parking and signage; design, installation and technical issues; EV-ready building codes; and permitting specific to non-residential charging stations. EV-ready parking spaces include a junction box or 240-volt outlet.” 

While some cities have made encouraging efforts, the piecemeal approach to EV charging station permitting and regulation leads to long wait times for permits and an overreliance on outdated regulations designed for fuel storage tanks and gas station infrastructure. The report recommends targeted efforts to streamline zoning and planning codes, improve coordination among different levels of government, and create EV-specific regulations and building codes.

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