The city of Palo Alto, in the heart of California's Silicon Valley, is already on the cutting edge of modern technology, as the home of Tesla Motors, Hewlett-Packard and Stanford University. It also has large facilities run by Facebook, Apple, Google and PayPal. Outside of the private sector, though, there's not a lot to distinguish Palo Alta from other very wealthy ZIP codes.

A move is in the works to change that, though. According to both the San Jose Mercury News and Green Car Reports, all nine members of the Palo Alto City Council voted to change the city's building code, requiring new homes to feature pre-wiring for 240-volt, level two, in-home chargers. It tacks on about $200 to the overall cost of a new home, which as Green Car Reports notes, is a mere fraction of what retrofitting would cost.

The city council also voted to streamline the process of obtaining a permit to install a fast charger. "It is important that we create the infrastructure necessary to allow [electric cars to catch on]. In Palo Alto, of all places, we should absolutely do that," Council Member Marc Berman told the San Jose Mercury News.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 66 Comments
      lasertekk
      • 1 Year Ago
      Excess power in the garage is always good. Even if it won't be used immediately as a car charger, there are times when I needed an air compressor that just kept going during a blasting project, can't do that well on 115 VAC, capacity is too small. Same thing for a decent welder. Another point to add. Most home builders are giving the option of solar panel installations on new homes. You need a 220 feed to tie into for that. There's another great future use.
      vizcarmb
      • 1 Year Ago
      Not much to really build out in palo alto, except maybe in the mountains. Unless they are rehabs or condos
        Kevin Gregerson
        • 1 Year Ago
        @vizcarmb
        Page mill, and a huge section on Sand Hill are all likely to be new homes in the coming years. I just hope they also put this down for Apartments too. Apartment dwellers would have the most to gain by switching to electric.
      Diz
      • 1 Year Ago
      Tell me again how government doesn't t corrode individual freedom and rights when left to it's own instincts. Go ahead, tell me.
        chrismcfreely
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Diz
        troll
        brotherkenny4
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Diz
        Do you mean like mandated ultrasounds? Or, do you mean defining marriage? Or, imprisonment of minor drug offenders? Or, do you mean the tax system that has the wealthiest people pay less as a rate than the average family? I agree, everyone in government, especially those with a moral agenda, attempt to dictate their beliefs to others. Although, having a 240 outlet installed in your house could be handy, not even just for an EV. Thereare a number of pieces of equipment that require the higher voltage, (some arc welders, bombarders for neon light electrode preparation, high pressure compressors), you know all the fun stuff.
        Zoom
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Diz
        Constitution gives the government the right to mandate building codes and what you can and can't do with "your" property. The Supreme Court has ruled on that many times.
          Ryan
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Zoom
          Yes it does. Try not paying property taxes for a few years and see what happens. And the community can come together and say that you can't build certain businesses or do certain things on "your" property. Running a 240V circuit to a garage isn't that big of a deal. I would have mandated J1772 EVSEs in every garage personally.
          Garland823
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Zoom
          You put "your" in quotation marks like the property belongs to somebody else. Does it?
        tump
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Diz
        Are our earthquake building standards eating into your free dumbs?
          Garland823
          • 1 Year Ago
          @tump
          Not the same thing. Earthquake standards allow a homeowner to buy a safe-for-CA house without requiring him or her to get a degree in structural engineering. The only people that would be against requiring earthquake-safe homes are engineers who believe they can build the house safely without the standards and people that are too poor for one and would rather have an unsafe home than none at all. Compare that to an electric car charger. There are an infinite number of reasons somebody would rather put that $200 elsewhere. That's their business.
      RobbieAG
      • 1 Year Ago
      The losers here are those who want a new house that don't have or plan to buy an electric vehicle. They'll pay more for something they'll never use.
        vizcarmb
        • 1 Year Ago
        @RobbieAG
        The people that live here arent losers given the going price of a 2000 sq ft home goes for over 1million dollars. Im pretty sure they will not care
        chrismcfreely
        • 1 Year Ago
        @RobbieAG
        How much extra did you pay for your dryer outlet? Zero, dummy.
      Harry
      • 1 Year Ago
      Toyota just announced they will proably not produce an all-electric car. To mandate chargers, while miniscule in the price of a new home as one blogger humorosly compared to buying a door mat, is misguided, even intrusive. As battery technology evolves, as well as propulsion, a 240v sytem will be a black and white tube tv. Better to use solar, which is getting better and better, for energ savings. When you consider how much fuel a pleasure boat or private aircraft uses, this charging mandate is a drop in the bucket, as most as engine cars get excellent mileage. But it makes us feel good, like the Hollywood hypocrites who drive Teslas while private jetting and yachting.
        Marcopolo
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Harry
        @ Harry, That's the spirit, do nothing until everything is idealistically perfect !
        DarylMc
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Harry
        Hi Harry What do you have against Telsa's, jets and yachts.
        DarylMc
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Harry
        Except that you can't afford any of them.
        icemilkcoffee
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Harry
        You seem to have forgotten about plug-in hybrids. Toyota is definitely not giving up on those.
      Joe
      • 1 Year Ago
      If there had been demand for them, wouldn't the home builders have been putting them in anyway? In that area of the country it would have been great marketing. Put it on a billboard, "Joe's homes all come standard with electric car pre-wiring!"
        Vlad
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Joe
        Market is a powerful force, but there are some problems it simply isn't interested in solving. Look up Tragedy of the Commons.
          Joe
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Vlad
          But it isn't a problem. A new power circuit can be added at any time.
      Julio B
      • 1 Year Ago
      This is a good idea, if I were to build a house from scratch I would request a 220v outlet in the garage. I would also want more 110v outlets as well, my house only has one and it really bothers me.
      Rick
      • 1 Year Ago
      YES! This is how it starts.
      Alex740
      • 1 Year Ago
      I design homes in Palo Alto, I haven't designed a single home where the client has not asked for the house to either have chargers or be prepped for one (larger elec panel & wiring). The reason for this new code requirement is to catch the random flipper, developer or speculator who doesn't really understand the Palo Alto market or just doesn't care in order to cut costs (plenty of these types). If you have ever built or designed a house in CA you know that this requirement is nothing when compared to all the other energy efficiency codes that are unique to CA and in this market prewiring is just good practice now a days.
      Afty
      • 1 Year Ago
      $200 is surprisingly cheap. Considering that you can't buy a house in Palo Alto for less than $1 million, and that the type of people who live there are exactly the type of people who buy electric cars, I think this is actually a good idea.
      timber
      • 1 Year Ago
      Retrofits are expensive because everything is paid twice but doing it at the first time is the right thing to do And also, a quite large part of the world doesn't even have anything other in their homes than 230 (or 220, 240 or something like that) VAC outlets. Like here across the ocean.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
        DaveMart
        • 1 Year Ago
        Yeah, next thing you know that interfering state will be legislating to require that sewage is adequately disposed of. Is there no end to the meddling?
        Dennis
        • 1 Year Ago
        "having the requirement would create a market for high volume sales of these technologies reducing the price" - would this be true? While economies of scale exist for a lot of things, I thought that the latest solar panels use exotic elements like tellurium that are very rare to begin with. The more solar panels that are built, the less tellurium there is, and this will lead to the solar panels becoming increasingly expensive.
    • Load More Comments