Despite concerns over the cost, Tucson officials have approved an ordinance requiring many new apartments and businesses to provide electric vehicle chargers in their parking lots.
Starting December 1, proposed businesses and multi-family housing projects with 50 or more parking spaces must provide at least one EV charging station, or in some cases an available outlet for charging. For larger parking lots at least 5% of parking spaces must be equipped to charge EVs.
Mayor Regina Romero says the city has to respond to the growing adoption of EVs, in the marketplace and in federal regulations:
"We have to get ourselves ready for the historic federal investments that we have seen through the bipartisan infrastructure law and I most recently through the inflation reduction act," she said.
Where the ordinance requires charging stations, it calls for "Level Two" chargers, capable of fully charging most EVs overnight.
Those cost $500 -$7,000 each. One council member, Steve Kozachik, voiced concerns about the added cost in the middle of an inflated construction market.
"I'm not going to be the guy that goes against this but I certainly hope we take a serious look at the impacts on development and cost for housing at the end of this 12-month period," he said, referring a planned review of the ordinance after one year.
He joined the rest of the council in voting for the ordinance.