Published on July 28th, 2014 | by Nicholas Brown


Tacoma Will Mandate EV Charging Stations

July 28th, 2014 by  

The city of Tacoma, Washington will mandate the installation of EV charging stations on the property of new commercial buildings. This will require 1-3% of their parking stalls be EV ready.

Photo Credit: Remko Tanis / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

The ordinance caps the number of required charging stations at six for office buildings, eight for shopping centres, and twelve for larger sites such as auditoriums and stadiums. This mandate does not apply to existing buildings, but those constructed after the mandate, which will go into effect on August 10, 2014. While the city council didn’t apply this mandate to residential structures, they recommend that even they prepare at least 50% of their parking spaces for electric vehicles.

This may sound like a brazen move. However, vehicle electrification is a necessity if people are to continue driving without causing serious environmental damage, and electric vehicles are quickly becoming more popular. People need somewhere to charge, and what better places are there than parking spots?

People often park for more than 30 minutes in shopping centres, which is enough for a helpful partial charge, while employees spend several hours in office buildings, and hours at venues such as auditoriums and stadiums. These parking stations enable people to conveniently shop or enjoy events while they charge instead of sitting at charging stations like they do now. In many cases, a lifestyle adaptation like this is all it takes to live with electric vehicles.

It is easy to find an excuse to charge at a shopping centre! Apart from that, we need to move forward somehow. Councilman Marty Campbell, an electric Nissan Leaf driver, said that leading by example is always a good thing. “I think we really need to take a look at what the future is going to be,” he added. According to The News Tribune:

Campbell said electric vehicles are going to only increase in popularity in the coming years, and Tacoma needs to be able to accommodate them. He said soon the vehicles will become more affordable to buy and could help low-income people save money on fuel. That in turn could help raise people out of poverty, he said.

Five of the seven council members present at Tuesday’s meeting voted in favor of adding the new rules regarding electric vehicle charging stations. Councilmen David Boe and Joe Lonergan voted no, while Mayor Marilyn Strickland and Councilman Robert Thoms were absent.

Check out our new 93-page EV report, based on over 2,000 surveys collected from EV drivers in 49 of 50 US states, 26 European countries, and 9 Canadian provinces.

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About the Author

writes on CleanTechnica, Gas2, Kleef&Co, and Green Building Elements. He has a keen interest in physics-intensive topics such as electricity generation, refrigeration and air conditioning technology, energy storage, and geography. His website is:

  • Wayne Williamson

    Now, the next problem, which is a good thing….People plugging in to recharge and then just leaving their vehicle there even after it is fully charged. Probably needs to be a charge per minute when plugged in whether your using it or not.

    • Bob_Wallace

      We need two or three cables per charger. First plugged, first charged. That way one doesn’t have to hurry back and the next in line can get charged as soon as it is their turn.

      And, yes, a nice fat charge for overstaying ones welcome.

  • patb2009

    it’s a great idea, but i wouldn’t use a rule, i’d use a formula.
    Have it be equal to the percentage of plug in cars registered in the Seattle MSA
    until the number hits 30% but require the new buildings have plans and preparation for 100% electric vehicles.

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