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Law soon requires new Illinois homes to include electric vehicle charging capabilities

Critics say this will increase costs.

Published: June 13, 2023 11:01pm

(The Center Square) -

A new law in Illinois soon requires electric vehicle charging stations in the garage of new or renovated homes. Critics say this will increase costs.

State Sen. Sara Feigenholtz, D-Chicago, filed Senate Bill 40 to keep Illinois on its path to having one million EVs on the roads by 2030. The bill was signed into law by Gov. J.B. Pritzker Friday with an effective date of Jan. 1, 2024.

In 2021, Pritzker signed the Reimagining Electric Vehicles in Illinois Act into law, which incentivizes EV production across the state. There are also state tax incentives for the purchase of electric vehicles.

State Rep. Robyn Gabel, D-Evanston, explained during House debates the benefits she sees in SB40.

"We know that approximately 80% of people charge their EVs at home," Gabel said. "This bill will ensure that Illinois residents can do just that."

The measure passed the Illinois Senate in March with a vote of 39-16. The House approved the bill in May with a vote of 60-38. Much of the conversation focused on the project's potential costs to consumers.

State Rep. Travis Weaver, R-Edwards, asked why downstate residents need this when numbers show a low amount of EV drivers in those downstate communities.

"If less than 1% of cars on the roads 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," Weaver said.

Within 90 days of the effective date of the act, all large multifamily building permits shall require all parking to be EV-capable. Two years after the effective date, there are similar requirements on other residential buildings.

Gabel said the cost would be under $1,000 for the setup in these homes. However, state Rep. Dan Swanson, R-Alpha, said other costs are not accounted for.

"It requires a 200 amp service," Swanson said. "That will require additional costs because most houses do not have a 200 amp service."

The measure also allows landlords to charge a security deposit to cover the costs of restoring the property to its original condition if the tenant removes the electric vehicle charging system.

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