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Bill mandating EV charger capabilities for new construction headed to Illinois governor

Proponents said it can be up to six times more expensive to retrofit a parking space for electric vehicle charging than it is to install the necessary infrastructure at the time of construction.

Published: May 7, 2023 11:00pm

(The Center Square) -

Illinois may soon force new home builders to include electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

Senate Bill 40 would require buildings to have EV capable conduits, and would apply to new and existing homes, apartments and condo buildings. It also would require new construction of homes and multi-unit buildings to include basic infrastructure for electric vehicle charging in a certain number of parking spaces.

Proponents said it can be up to six times more expensive to retrofit a parking space for electric vehicle charging than it is to install the necessary infrastructure at the time of construction.

“Charging your car is a lot less expensive than buying gas, and we should make this as easy as possible for electric car owners,” said state Rep. Robyn Gabel, D-Evanston, the bill’s sponsor.

House Republicans voiced concerns over the costs and the strain that will be put on the electric grid.

“If less than one percent of cars on the road are EVs, and less than 0.1% of cars in my district are EVs, I just don’t see why we are having people in downstate Illinois pay for this infrastructure,” state Rep. Travis Weaver, R-Pekin, said.

State Rep. Daniel Swanson, R-Alpha, said he is not sure the state’s electrical infrastructure is ready for all these proposed charging stations.

“The cost is going to be much deeper and much more involved with the infrastructure of the electricity coming into that residential area,” Swanson said.

The measure passed in the House by a 69 to 38 vote and is headed to the governor for his signature.

About 40% Americans say they will consider electric when they buy their next vehicle. A poll by The Associated Press and the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago shows about 4 in 10 U.S. adults may purchase an electric vehicle the next time around.

The poll shows only 8% of adults said they or someone in their household owns or leases an EV, and just 8% said their household has a plug-in hybrid vehicle.

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