Like many cities, Portland has ambitious goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to mitigate and adapt to climate change, and City Council committed to reducing carbon emissions in Portland by 100% from 1990 levels by 2050.
Transportation is responsible for 43% of Multnomah County carbon emissions, so electrifying vehicles is crucial to making our carbon reduction goals. A key strategy to reduce Portland’s transportation emissions is to transition to a fossil-fuel free transportation system.
Electric vehicles (EVs) are an important tool to help us achieve that transition. Providing improved access to EVs is also a key equity strategy. Electric vehicles are becoming more and more affordable, and they provide clean transportation benefits to low-income and communities of color, who may have to travel more because they’ve been displaced and are now living further away from jobs and amenities.
Convenient and affordable EV infrastructure is essential to support equitable access to electric vehicles. Cities and states around the country and world are requiring new construction buildings to install EV-ready infrastructure. EV-ready infrastructure typically means the installation of conduit and electrical capacity to support EV chargers. Installing EV infrastructure at the time of construction increases equitable access and is significantly less expensive than installing after construction.
The State of Oregon is currently undergoing rulemaking processes to implement HB 2180 which sets a state baseline requirement to install EV-ready infrastructure during new construction for specific building types. The City of Portland’s EV Code Project proposal augments these efforts.
What’s in the Discussion Draft?
Key components of the proposal include:
- Requirements for multi-dwelling and mixed-use developments with at least five dwelling units:
- 50% of onsite parking spaces are EV-ready or 100% of six or fewer onsite parking, whichever is greater.
- Electrical capacity and conduit to support at least Level 2 charging (currently being defined by the State) for the number of spaces specified above.
- Changes that address existing code affecting incentives and upgrades for EV include:
- Adding development standards (e.g., placement) for voluntary and required EV-ready installations.
- Clarifying how EV-ready installations are categorized in land use code (e.g., primary versus accessary use).
- Targeting certain incentives to include EV charging for car sharing and carpool parking, while also exempting EV improvements from nonconforming development.
- Amendments to the Zoning Code that acknowledge EV-ready installations because the current code is silent on this infrastructure.
Learn more and comment
Portlanders are invited to learn more about the Discussion Draft and give their feedback in the coming weeks. This public outreach period is focused on familiarizing community members with the detailed code amendments in preparation for the Planning and Sustainability Commission and subsequent City Council hearings later this year and early next year.
To review and comment on the Discussion Draft, visit the website, read the documents, and submit comments:
Portlanders are invited to review the EV-Ready Code Project Discussion Draft and send comments to staff by end of day June 17, 2022.