May/June 2021 | Vol. 26 No. 3
by Bryan P. Holland, MCP, CStd., Senior Field Representative, Southern Region, NEMA
In a 1917 interview, Thomas A. Edison said:
“The growth of the electric vehicle has been hindered by lack of charging facilities. It’s a funny business when so few central stations realize that there is a market for the sale of current for charging electric cars. The public is in a curious position of wanting to buy something for which there is no place to go.”
A century later, the public remains in this same curious position of wanting to charge electric vehicles (EVs) at home and work or when using parking lots and garages; however, the availability of electrical vehicle supply (EVSE) or EV-ready infrastructure has yet to become a standard amenity in most U.S. communities. While several industries, like airports and hotels, have seen the value in providing charging for customers, there is little consistency in the quantity, capacity, ratings, arrangements, and availability of EVSE at these locations. And while a scattering of communities have implemented model EV-ready ordinances to provide charging at public venues and in business districts, the technical requirements for the selection, installation, and use of EVSE has not found a place in model Codes and Standards.
An effort was made during the 2019 International Code Council (ICC) Group B Code Development Cycle to add mandatory EV-ready provisions to the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) by a coalition made up of many interested parties. Along with other industry advocates, NEMA supported this effort at the ICC Committee Action Hearings.
Ultimately, the residential and commercial EV-ready provisions of the IECC were rescinded by an Appeals Committee that determined EV-ready requirements are not within the scope of the IECC, despite overwhelming industry disagreement with that assessment.
Still, there is some light at the end of the tunnel. In late 2020, ICC assembled an exploratory group to begin a dialogue on what opportunities and challenges exist in the marketplace for community electrification and EV-ready infrastructure. In March 2021, ICC announced the formation of an Energy and Carbon Advisory Council charged with the development and dissemination of coordinated and comprehensive trategies that will help communities address their energy-efficiency and climate mitigation goals in the coming years and decades. ei