Orlando City Council will require EV make-ready for new construction and major renovations. EV make-ready policies lower the cost to install future EVSE and increase likelihood of access to home charging.
Dory Larsen | September 1, 2021
Clean Transportation, Electric Vehicles, Florida
Orlando is the latest municipality in the Southeast to adopt an electric vehicle (EV) make-ready ordinance. This policy will help the city reach its ambitious sustainability goals established under the leadership of Mayor Buddy Dyer, including:
reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 90 percent by 2040, and
achieving 100 percent clean electricity by 2050.
Ordinance 2021-47 was recommended for approval by the Municipal Planning Board (MPB) at its June 2021 meeting. This recommendation was accepted at second reading by the City Council on August 23, 2021 with a 5-2 vote. The ordinance will sunrise on January 1, 2022 – meaning all new buildings and major remodel projects will require EV-capable parking spaces.
In order to ensure that Orlando’s projected EV charging needs are met while providing equitable access to EV charging infrastructure throughout the city, the ordinance will require 20 percent of multi-unit parking spaces and 10 percent of non-residential parking spaces to be ‘EV-capable.’ The Orlando ordinance began as ‘EV-ready,’ and was amended to ‘EV-capable.’ The term “EV make-ready policy” generally includes both EV-ready and EV-capable, but there are some significant distinctions between these two terms: EV-capable parkings spaces have a dedicated electrical capacity in the service panel (40 amp breaker for every two EV Capable two spaces) and conduit going to them. These spaces do not require wiring to the space or a receptacle. There is also a 2 percent EV Supply Equipment (EVSE) installation requirement for certain applications.
The ordinance details the specifications for building types as well as the percentage thresholds.
EV make-ready policy is one of the policy recommendations the Florida Department of Transportation identifies in the draft Florida Electric Vehicle Master Plan. Nationwide, cities have passed EV make-ready policies requiring between 10 percent and 100 percent of new commercial parking spaces be prepared for the installation of Level 2 charging. These policies require requires new buildings to provide increased electrical capacity and conduit for future charging station installations, thereby reducing charging station installation cost barriers (by more than 75 percent) and increasing the likelihood of access to home charging (where most charging occurs).
In Orlando, the process began over eighteen months ago when city staff began hosting community engagement workshops to explain the EV-ready/EV-capable concept and seek stakeholder input. The ordinance underwent iterations based on input from commercial and residential developers and EV industry stakeholders.
As highlighted by Chris Castro, Director of Sustainability and Resilience, “ This incredible milestone reinforces our City’s intent to move away from fossil fuels and support the adoption of (renewably powered) electric vehicles! This move will drive us towards cleaner air, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, greater and equitable access to affordable transportation, and improved public health citywide and beyond. The EV-Readiness Code is projected to create nearly 1,000 EV charging spaces and roughly 9,500 EV-Capable spaces by the year 2030 across the city.” It reinforces the responsible planning and thoughtful leadership demonstrated by the Mayor and City Commissioners to invest in sustainable infrastructure. Supporting this technology will continue to grow Orlando’s green economy.
SACE commends Mayor Dyer and City Commissioners as well as the staff in the Office of Sustainability & Resilience as well as the consortium of over a half-dozen organizations that advocated for EV-ready policy action. This ordinance helps Orlando and Florida transition to an all-electric transportation system. Electrify the South is a Southern Alliance for Clean Energy program that leverages research, advocacy, and outreach to promote renewable energy and accelerate the equitable transition to electric transportation throughout the Southeast. Visit ElectrifytheSouth.org to learn more and connect with us.