Portland, Ore. — On Wednesday, Jan. 25 at 2 p.m., City Council will hear public testimony on the Electric Vehicle (EV) Ready Code Project. This proposal would amend Portland Zoning Code (Title 33) to require all new multi-dwelling and mixed use development with five or more units — that include onsite parking — to provide electric vehicle (EV)-ready charging infrastructure.
The Planning and Sustainability Commission recommended the amendments unanimously on Oct. 25, 2022. The new rules would supplement recent state legislation that requires new multi-family development to provide EV-charging conduit in a percentage of parking spaces for residents by requiring a slightly higher percentage of parking to be “EV-ready” in new development.
Community members are invited to testify on the proposal in person at the hearing at City Hall or via Zoom. The public can also testify in writing via the Map App or U.S. Mail.
Why this matters
Oregon’s transportation sector accounts for 40% of greenhouse gas emissions, making it the largest single source in the state. In response, 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.
According to the State dashboard, as of October 2022, there were more than 59,400 electric vehicles in Oregon, 19,578 of which were registered in Portland. And last year, EVs made up about 8% of new vehicle sales for cars, trucks and SUVs in the state.
Furthermore, most vehicle manufacturers are ramping up the sale of EVs, and many states, including Oregon, have committed to phase out the sale of passenger internal combustion engine vehicles by 2030 or 2035. So, Portland will need to rapidly scale up access to EV charging, especially in residential buildings, to meet climate goals and keep up with the demand resulting from current and future EV use.
Research shows that access to convenient charging is key to purchasing an electric vehicle. The EV Ready Code Project amends the zoning code to increase the requirement for new multi-dwelling and mixed-use development with at least five units and onsite parking. These 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.
Federal and state tax credits of up to $7,500 for a new electric vehicle or $4,000 for a used vehicle are available. That’s good news for low- and moderate-income households in Portland, making it more affordable to purchase electric vehicles. Requiring that future multi-family housing units provide EV-charging facilities ensures that these households can not only purchase an electric vehicle, but conveniently charge it as well.
About the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability
The Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) develops creative and practical solutions to enhance Portland’s livability, preserve distinctive places and plan for a resilient future. BPS collaborates with community partners to provide comprehensive land use, neighborhood, district, economic, historic and environmental planning, and urban design; research, policy and technical services to advance green building, energy efficiency and the use of solar and renewable energy, waste prevention, composting and recycling, and a sustainable food system; and policy and actions to address climate change.