In hopes that residents will gradually transition to electric vehicles, local homebuilders were happy to see the city council compromise on how to ensure new homes will be EV-ready.
It has been proposed that new builds have a pre-wired, energized electrical outlet for electric vehicle charging. At the July 19 meeting, Council passed an amendment to the proposed changes by a 5-4 vote. Mayor Ken Christian and Councilors Dieter Dudy, Mike O’Reilly, Bill Sarai and Denis Walsh all voted in favour. of the amendment which will make “raw” wiring mandatory for a charging socket, but will not require the socket itself.
The new president of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association – Central Interior, Tom Calne, says this will help protect against technological change. “I think we have to understand that by just doing the heavy lifting and providing that wire…I used to live in a house where the panel was in the basement. Like, what a nightmare it would be to bring a wire from a basement and into a garage. I should tear up the drywall. So what we’re saying is we’re going to do all of this work for you.
Calne says that this way when someone buys an EV they have the wire behind the wall and wherever your panel is, you’ll have a place in your garage where you can put a unit of charge. “We offered an option that allows us to be EV-ready while reducing waste and protecting housing affordability. I would also like to thank Councilors Sarai and O’Reilly for looking at the issue through the lens of housing affordability.
These issues around the charging of electric vehicles at home have been debated for several years, according to the city’s climate and sustainability manager. Glen Cheetham says that means the infrastructure is in place, so when the time comes it won’t be a huge extra cost to the owner. “Maybe it’s not electrified or powered at the end, but it needs to have those fundamentals so that when the demand is there it can be supplied without really serious modification. You don’t break down the walls and that sort of thing, it should be pretty simple.
The changes will come into effect next year.