Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Legislation

It wasn’t that long ago when the sight of an electric car zipping around your neighborhood was as rare as spotting a polar bear in a desert. Today, Electric Vehicles, or EVs, are just about everywhere, making up nearly 6% of all cars on US roads. According to a report from independent technology research company Earthweb, the sales of EVs nearly doubled between 2020-2021 from 308,000 to over 600,000, and more than 56,000 were sold by companies in March of 2022 alone. Numbers like these will only increase as drivers continue to plug into a highly cost-effective, environmentally responsible way to commute and travel.

Expanding EV infrastructure

With growing numbers of constituents purchasing and using EVs, many communities are modifying or rebuilding local infrastructure to be ready and able to handle the influx of electric cars and the systems that support them. Setting up EV charging stations is the first order of business to ensure that local integration of EVs can be done seamlessly and cost-effectively.

View sample electric vehicle charging stations legislation >

Flipping the “on” switch to new EV infrastructure investment

The recent federal bipartisan infrastructure bill allocated $7.5 billion for EV charging stations, with priority funding for rural areas. This, the country’s first federal investment in EV charging stations, was deemed a necessary step to reaching the administration’s goal of 50 percent EV market share by 2030.

Leading the charge locally

Inevitably, the growing number of EV owners will make decisions about where to live, work, and play based in part on the availability of parking and charging infrastructure. Local governments that adopt forward-thinking electric vehicle charging stations legislation to prepare their cities and counties for EVs – tapping into the economic, environmental, public health and quality-of-life benefits of zero-emission vehicles — can gain a competitive advantage in retaining existing residents and businesses, and in attracting new ones.

Types of Electric Vehicle Infrastructure to Consider

When it comes to operating EVs smoothly in your community, you’ll need to have: 

  • Battery charging stations implemented within the community to ensure that drivers can charge their vehicles through alternate-current charging, which should be the most available option. 
  • Rapid charging stations placed throughout the community, operating with direct-current charging that powers vehicles much faster than alternate-current chargers.  
  • Battery exchange stations where electric vehicle owners can rapidly exchange their empty battery with a fully charged one, and should be introduced into communities that want to support EV drivers.

Becoming an EV-Ready Community

Local governments can be leaders in driving EV adoption precisely due to their local expertise and knowledge of vital transportation routes and surrounding regions. They know how best to plan for infrastructure in alignment with local land use patterns.

Despite the fact that local governments nationwide are facing resource constraints, they can take a number of low cost, high-value actions to accelerate EV readiness and adoption inside and outside of their borders. According to EV-Ready Communities, a guide published by Southern California Edison (SCE), there are smart strategies that local governments across the country can adopt right now to help communities prepare for the growing wave of EV adoption by their residents, businesses and visitors. They include:

  • Prioritizing EV adoption and development of charging infrastructure in land use planning and policies. Incorporating an EV readiness strategy into a jurisdiction’s general plan, or local mobility, sustainability and climate action plans, is a foundational step that sets the stage for everything else that follows. Parking-oriented land use analysis is vital to this process. Understanding the distribution of parking spaces across land uses helps planners identify potential charging sites within their jurisdiction, and where the high-value charging opportunities may be located.
  • Using zoning, building codes, parking and signage policy and a streamlined permitting process to encourage EV adoption and accessibility. Zoning is one of the most powerful tools to encourage certain types of development, and perhaps the most achievable among the options for promoting EV readiness. The goal of zoning for EVs should be to ensure that charging is an allowed land use in as many types of zoning classifications as possible, including multifamily housing, commercial facilities and mixed-use development. Planners can also consider reducing parking requirements in exchange for installation of EV charging stations, or allowing EV charging spaces to count toward minimum parking requirements.
  • Making use of well-attended, frequently used and municipally owned property for publicly available EV parking and charging. Public transit parking lots can serve as a convenient location for EV charging stations, allowing drivers to charge their vehicles while using public transportation for commuting or other travel
  • Creating Private-Sector Partnerships  Creating contracts with private-sector partners is a necessity when building electrical vehicle infrastructure in your locality. These business partners can be trusted to expedite and complete projects that support EV, such as installing charging stations and battery exchange stations. Research the best options of private companies to partner with when expanding electric vehicle infrastructure in your city.

Useful examples of electric vehicle charging stations legislation from the eCode360® Library

If your community is interested in legislating or updating ordinances regarding EV chargers and infrastructure, here are some useful examples that can be found in our eCode360 Library:

Updating your municipal code is vitally important

Submit your code updates as soon as possible and ensure constituents and local government officials are always referencing and working with the most up-to-date resources. Make it part of your Board meeting close-out process to send your adopted legislative changes to General Code when everything from that meeting is already right at hand.

General Code clients can easily send legislation to [email protected] (If you’re located in Texas, please submit your legislation to [email protected]) For tips that will allow us to process your code updates most efficiently, click here.

Questions about updating your code?

Our Client Care team is available to explain the options and benefits of scheduled code updates or any other code-related questions you might have.


Skip to content