Electric cars are beginning to truly take root in the automotive world – but one persistent barrier to widescale adoption is the lack of charging infrastructure, which limits the mobility and practicality of the vehicles. Racing ahead of the competition, Quebec is considering a mandate that would require all homes to include an electric vehicle charging station. Policy makers in Quebec hope that such a dramatic move would jump-start the electric car in Canada.
Although an EV charging mandate may sound expensive, it may not be as challenging to implement as it would seem. “It wasn’t standard in 1975. If you built a house today without an outlet for a dryer, no one would buy it,” says Quebec’s Transportation Minister Jacques Daoust. “We’re talking about a 30 ampere outlet. It’s not the end of the world.” An EV charging station installed in a new home would only increase the cost by around $400. In an older home, the installation of a charging station would cost $1500, $1000 of which would be subsidized by the government of Quebec. Upkeep costs for a station are relatively low at approximately $300 per year, assuming an annual mileage of 12,000.
Quebec has already begun an initial impact study, to be published this summer, which will inform its future decisions. While such a move would be bold, it is not unprecedented. In 2013, Palo Alto, California passed a law that required all new homes to be fitted with an EV charging station. With companies in fierce competition to produce a mass market electric car, it seems that it is only a matter of time before the electric vehicle becomes mainstream. Policies like the one being considered in Quebec will certainly speed up the process.
Photos via Kārlis Dambrāns and BMW