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New Law Requires New Homes And Residential Buildings To Power Electric Vehicles

Chicago’s home and apartment developers – and literally the entire Illinois housing industry – are weighing in on the hefty future costs of a new state law that requires landlords and home and condominium builders to install conduit for electric vehicle (EV) charging stations into all new residential buildings.

Senate Bill 40, approved earlier this year by the Illinois Legislature and effective January 1, 2024, applies to new single-family homes and newly-constructed or renovated multi-unit residential buildings that have parking spaces. Also known as the Electric Vehicle Charging Act, the law requires these homes and buildings to have at least one dedicated parking stall for juicing up an EV.

The law does not require the installation of a charging station but would ensure that the home’s electrical panel can handle the high-voltage load. This means the developer is required to just install the conduit – not the complete charging station – for each parking space.

Charging stations, manufactured by Blink, ChargePoint, and Shell, can cost upwards of $400. While the most affordable electric vehicles can charge off a standard 110-volt outlet, that would take many hours. That’s why the installation of a more costly 220-volt power supply to the garage is highly recommended. This would rapidly charge an EV requiring 180 volts. Tesla owners would need a more costly 240-volt charger.

“We have to put in a conduit, or pipe, from the breaker box to one location in the garage,” explained Illinois home builder Dean Graven (left). “We are not required to install something that would cost thousands of dollars...just a conduit system.”

However, for developers of multi-unit condo and apartment towers, the costs could go into tens of thousands of dollars, upping per-square-foot construction costs, sale prices, and rents.

The law also requires landlords to install an electric vehicle charging station into a new residential building upon a tenant’s request. However, landlords are allowed to charge a security deposit to cover the costs of restoring the property to its original condition once a tenant moves out.

With electric vehicles gradually creeping into every corner of American life, it is not surprising that charging stations are beginning to pop up everywhere.

Last year, Starbucks announced a partnership with Volvo USA to install EV charging stations in some of the coffee chain’s parking lots.

Now, 50 ChargePoint fast chargers are online at 15 Starbucks locations along a 1,350-mile route between Denver and Seattle.

Volvo (right)

Whole Foods, at Peterson & Cicero in Chicago’s Sauganash neighborhood, has EV charging stations in its parking lot. It won’t be long before every gas station and fast-food joint in the United States has EV chargers.

If you are planning to sell your fire-breathing, restored 1960s or 1970s muscle car to the Volo Auto Museum and go electric, you may save some bucks when gasoline prices rise back to $4 or $5 a gallon.

In 2019, the Illinois Legislature approved a $45 billion transportation bill that doubled the state gas tax to help pay for improvements to infrastructure. Tack on the ever-rising motor fuel taxes for Cook County and Chicago, and our automotive future is filled with exhaust fumes.

However, while electric vehicles may eventually save the planet, they are not cheap. EV license plate renewal fees for owners in Illinois cost $251 a year. That’s $100 more than a standard internal combustion engine vehicle.

The State of Illinois, which has a goal of getting a million EVs on the road by 2030, is offering an incentive of $4,000 for drivers who buy electric vehicles.

Last year, the state budgeted $20 million for about 5,000 electric vehicles. Unfortunately, only $12 million in budget incentives are available in Illinois in 2024. There currently are more than 88,000 electric vehicles registered in Illinois.

Other states are more generous. Colorado is offering a $7,500 incentive in 2024, with no budget cap. California, which spends a whopping $215 million a year on EV incentives, is handing individual drivers $12,000.

As the automotive industry makes the gradual shift toward electric vehicles, the Illinois Department of Transportation says it is considering taxing EV charging stations in an effort to offset the projected revenue loss from motor fuel sales.

We better oil up the wheels on our Divvy Bikes.

Don DeBat is co-author of “Escaping Condo Jail,” the ultimate survival guide for condominium living. Visit


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