Starting January 11, 2019, new home construction in Howard County will be required to be “EV-Ready,” meaning that it will include infrastructure for plug-in electric vehicles (EVs). Installing EV infrastructure during construction is much more cost-effective than adding it later, when new wiring is needed or the existing pavement might have to be dug up.
Howard County is the first jurisdiction in Maryland and one of the first in the U.S. to require that new residential construction with driveways or garages have the electric wiring to enable electric vehicle charging. So far, this has mostly been done in California. Even more innovative, is that multi-family residential building will be required to provide one EV charging station for every twenty-five residential units.
This legislation was unanimously passed by the Howard County Council at the end of October and signed by the County Executive on November 11, 2018. The full legislative history can be found here. To read the version that passed, scroll down to the Final Amended version on the last page.
Experts project that electric vehicles could make up 75% of vehicle sales by 2050. In the U.S., EV sales have grown an average of 32% annually from 2012-2016 and 40% over the fiscal year ending June 2017.
Electric vehicles can save money and the cars are considered very responsive since their motors react quickly. They also reduce emissions that are harmful to our climate and reduce smog that can negatively affect health through conditions such as asthma. A lesser known benefit is a reduction in nitrous oxide emissions. Currently, 1/3 of nitrogen deposits to the Chesapeake Bay comefrom vehicles. Here is an interesting page from the US Department of Energy about the benefits of plug-in electric vehicles.