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Planning and Sustainability Commission approves new requirements for EV charging facilities

News Article
Zoning amendments would increase EV-ready infrastructure in new multi-dwelling and mixed-use development.

The City of Portland has adopted policy direction that supports the use of electric vehicles, prioritizing zero-emission vehicles over fossil-fueled cars for their higher efficiency and reduced air quality impacts.

Research shows that access to convenient charging is key to purchasing an electric vehicle. Proposed new requirements will facilitate the installation of electric vehicle chargers in new mixed-use and multi-family developments by requiring conduit in developments that include parking. 

On Oct. 25, Portland’s Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) unanimously approved the Electric Vehicle (EV) Ready Code Project proposals. The project supplements recent state legislation that requires new multi-family development to provide EV-charging conduit in a percentage of parking spaces for residents by requiring slightly more charging capacity in new development. 

During discussions, the PSC amended the staff proposal to provide additional flexibility, so EV chargers and accessory equipment could partially locate within required perimeter parking lot landscaping, while keeping a 3-ft area to maintain the shrubs and trees that screen and shade the lots.

The new zoning amendments increase the requirement for new multi-dwelling and mixed use development with at least five units and onsite parking. Those developments would need to ensure 50% of the available parking has EV-ready infrastructure. Smaller parking areas with six or fewer spaces would need to provide this infrastructure to all parking spaces.

With the PSC’s approval, the project now heads to City Council for a final hearing and vote on the recommendation in early 2023.

About the project

The Electric Vehicle (EV) Ready Code Project amendments are part of the bureau’s work to reduce carbon emissions in and around Portland. These amendments are intended to implement key elements of the City of Portland’s Climate Emergency Workplan, adopted Electric Vehicle Strategy, Portland 2035 Transportation System Plan and 2035 Comprehensive Plan’s Policy 9.6.


Eden Dabbs

City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability