Solar panels, EV chargers required in new homes in Fremont, CA


Tesla factory, Fremont, California

Tesla factory, Fremont, California

Enlarge Photo

Half a century ago, the General Motors assembly plant was the largest employer in Fremont, California, and the town was known for its dragstrip.

Today, that plant makes Tesla electric cars and Fremont is a part of the San Francisco Bay Area's Silicon Valley, creating advanced technology for the world.

The city has now taken another step into the future, requiring that all new houses be delivered ready for the installation of electric-car charging stations.

DON’T MISS: Which carmakers show CA 2025 zero-emission vehicle rules are already within reach?

According to the East Bay Times, the city of Fremont has announced that any new housing project must include both solar panels and the electrical wiring required for the installation of a charging station.

The town, across the bay from Palo Alto—where a similar regulation was adopted in 2013—prides itself on being the ZIP Code with the highest concentration of electric-car owners in the state.

That makes it likely to have the highest such concentration in the U.S.

First 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV buyers, Fremont, California: Bobby Edmonds, Bill Mattos, Steve Henry

First 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV buyers, Fremont, California: Bobby Edmonds, Bill Mattos, Steve Henry

Enlarge Photo

In fact, more than 5,000 electric-car owners have been reported in the town of 230,000 residents.

When the first 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV electric cars were sold in December, Fremont Chevrolet was the site—because it sells more Chevy Volt plug-in hybrids than any other dealer in the country.

It's exactly 3 miles from the dealer to the Tesla factory, formerly the GM-Toyota joint venture known as New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. or NUMMI.

READ THIS: Electric car charging: the basics you need to know

The required coverage of the solar panels will be determined by the size of the new project.

For buildings of less than 4,500 square feet, the coverage is specified based on the size of the building.

Any project of 4,500 square feet or more is to fit panels, subject to performance criteria, that aim to provide 80 percent of the building's electrical needs.

EVgo DC fast-charging site in Fremont, California

EVgo DC fast-charging site in Fremont, California

Enlarge Photo

As for the charging stations, the wall hardware itself will not be mandatory.

New buildings will, however, have to be equipped with the electrical setup needed for later installation.

For commercial or multifamily projects, the ruling goes even further, requiring that at least 10 percent of the parking spaces have charging stations installed

CHECK OUT: First 2017 Chevy Bolt EV electric cars sold today, in Fremont

The city council hopes the legislation not only makes the ownership of electric vehicles even more appealing to residents, but also turns Fremont into a zero-emission vehicle hub.

The code change regarding mandatory charging-ready circuitry was approved in October, while the motion on solar panels was approved last week but still needs to be signed into law.

— Sabrina Giacomini

[hat tip: Satyen Lele]

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