Boulder Now Requires New Construction to Offer EV Charging Stations

February 23, 2017


BOULDER, CO (February 23, 2017) The Boulder city council unanimously passed one of the region’s most progressive codes to encourage installation of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in new, privately owned buildings. It is the fourth Colorado municipality to adopt an EV-friendly ordinance, joining Denver, Aspen and Boulder County. Salt Lake City, UT, is the other large city in the Southwest that requires EV charging stations to be included in new construction.

Boulder’s new Energy Conservation Code requires multifamily and commercial buildings with more than 25 parking spaces to provide electric outlets in 10 percent of all parking spaces, and at least two Level 2 chargers that enable EV owners to power up their vehicles more quickly. New single-family homes must provide dedicated outlets in at least one off-street parking space.

“Boulder’s adoption of a progressive code requiring that new buildings are ready for electric vehicles will serve the city well,” said Will Toor, transportation program director for the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP) and former Boulder mayor. “It will make it easier for residents and commuters to switch to electric vehicles – and will save property owners money, as it is far cheaper to install charging upfront than to have to add it as a retrofit.”

A 2015 report by SWEEP said “the Boulder area has emerged as a hotspot for consumer adoption of cleaner vehicles.” The study recommended that the city require builders to install charging stations for commercial buildings and multifamily residences – exactly what the council did at its Feb. 21 meeting. A recent report from the International Council on Clean Transportation found that Boulder had the highest EV market share of any city outside of the West Coast.

Boulder’s vote comes as more consumers are buying EVs, and as manufacturers like Chevrolet are introducing affordable, long-range electric vehicles that can travel more than 200 miles on a single charge. More than 30 EV models are on the market, including plug-in hybrids, with U.S. sales rising 37 percent in 2016, reported Forbes magazine. EV sales in this country have grown at a 32 percent compound annual growth rate over the past four years, Forbes noted.

More information about Boulder’s action can be found on the city’s website. The agenda item, listed as number 5B in the agenda packet, specifically asked the council “to revise the energy conservation and green building requirements for construction projects.”

The Southwest Energy Efficiency Project is a public interest organization promoting greater energy efficiency in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming.

For more information contact: Will Toor, SWEEP transportation program director, 303-447-0078 ext. 6, cell 303-591-6669, or  or Penelope Purdy, SWEEP communications director, 303-447-0078 ext. 5, cell 303-885-4909,