Tucson will require all new constructions of one- and two-family homes, as well as townhomes, to be outfitted with electric vehicle charging outlets. The Tucson City Council finalized this decision in a unanimous vote during last Tuesday’s regular meeting.
According to the new requirement, Ordinance 11844, each one- to two-family dwelling and townhouse unit should have at least one “EV [Electric Vehicle] Ready Space,” with markers identifying the outlet as such. Builders wouldn’t have to provide any EV Ready Spaces if there aren’t on-site parking spaces.
Tucson Mayor Regina Romero claimed that this new requirement would improve air quality.
“With this action, we are taking an important step to usher in and increase access to EV [electric vehicle] technology, improve air quality, and avoid costly home retrofits,” stated Romero. “The City of Tucson is prepared to be at the forefront when it comes to the adoption of a clean, renewable transportation system.”
There is substantial debate over the environmental friendliness of electric vehicles. Some analysts indicate that these vehicles will increase air pollution, since the electrical grid used to charge the vehicles gathers its energy from fossil fuels, coal, and nuclear power. Certain studies appear to support those hypotheses, noting electric cars emit as much or more carbon dioxide compared to their gas counterparts.
Tucson’s Commission on Climate, Energy, and Sustainability (CCES) first prompted this change in 2019. CCES claimed that electric transportation was crucial in addressing climate change. When CCES issued their proposal in 2019, the estimated cost to install an EV Outlet in a new build was around $200 compared to over $1,250 to retrofit a home.
Last September, the city published a resolution declaring that climate change constituted an emergency. The 14-page resolution outlined a city-wide goal of carbon neutrality by 2030, a 10-year “Climate Action and Adaptation Plan,” and the prioritization and alignment of all city department efforts with the Paris Agreement and Green New Deal.
“[D]eath and destruction already caused by global warming […] demonstrate that the Earth is already too hot for safety and justice, as attested by increased and intensifying wildfires, floods, rising seas, diseases, prolonged droughts, extreme weather events, loss of diversity and climate refugees,” read the resolution.
The ordinance goes into effect on July 22.
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