Kelowna considering mandating electric vehicle charging infrastructure for all new homes

Mandatory vehicle charging

The City of Kelowna is moving closer to making electric vehicle charging capabilities mandatory in all new residential development.

City council will vote on a proposal to do just that Monday.

A year ago, the previous council asked that the zoning bylaw include a provision requiring residential EV readiness, meaning a parking space would feature an "energized electrical outlet" capable of charging and electric vehicle when charging equipment is installed in the future.

Staff are bringing that forward now.

Following stakeholder engagement, staff are recommending two changes to the bylaw:

  • New residential development - minimum of one energized electric vehicle outlet per dwelling unit
  • Exception for "rental only" zones where a minimum 25 per cent of required parking spaces require an energized electric vehicle outlet.

Staff believe the new approach will minimize upfront costs for builders and developers, minimize costs for EV owners, make it simple for strata's to manage, equitable for residents and future proof.

A 2021 Kelowna survey of EV owners estimated 84 per cent of current charging is done at home while 70 per cent of non-EV owners identified an electric vehicle as their first choice for the next new automobile.

"Charging availability at home will be critical to enable the transition to EV's from now through 2035," the report states.

It's estimated to cost $1,800 or less to make each stall EV ready in a multi-family building and between $200 and $500 for a single-family home.

"EV charging availability is a valuable asset that increases desirability and livability of new homes.

"Kelowna's 2040 Official Community Plan growth projections assumes that 76 per cent of new units over the next 20 years will be in the form of multi-family housing.

"As EV's become more prevalent and Kelowna increases in density, EV ready buildings will be increasingly sought out by buyers and renters."

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