Chicago is joining the growing number of U.S. cities that are requiring multifamily buildings to make accommodations for electric vehicle owners.
The ordinance, passed back in October, requires that new residential developments with 24 units or more provide—at minimum—two EV-ready parking spaces. It's a more-relaxed version of an ordinance originally introduced back in September that would have mandated that 20% of spaces be set aside for EVs.
Developers themselves are not responsible for installing chargers, but they will be required to lay the foundation (so to speak) for their installation. This way, if (more likely, when) managers choose to add charging stations down the road, the building modifications required to do so will be minimal. These renovations can often be costly, and reducing the financial impact may encourage more landlords to pursue charging installations.
The Midwest's charging infrastructure lags that of the urban coasts, so Chicago's initiative is worthwhile, especially since EV buyers in the city are more likely to be stuck charging either at home or at work, as public options remain scarce and access (and reliability) can be inconsistent. It does little to help those who live in older builds within the urban center, however, as there is no provision in the ordinance for existing structures.
Chicago's initiative is far less aggressive than those in states such as California, where EV manufacturers and charging network developers are pushing for more government support, citing the need to support a statewide fleet that could be 25% EVs by 2030. To do this, California's goal is to build out its network infrastructure to 250,000 charge points (10,000 of them DC fast chargers) by 2025.