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EV charging coming to new homes, thanks to US building codes

Your future new-build home will probably be ready to charge at least one electric car.

The plugs are coming.

Tim Stevens/Roadshow

Updated US building codes will drastically change what new homes are prepared for when it comes to electric cars, as early as 2021 when they're included in the updated standards.

Quartz first reported on Thursday on changes to the building codes the International Code Council (ICC) approved this month. The changes specifically call for all new homes built in the US to be "EV ready." Basically, the electrical infrastructure for EVs will be as common as a 240-volt outlet for home appliances.

The specifics include the needed infrastructure to charge one electric car in a single-family garage overnight. Don't think it comes with a charging station, though. That'll still be on the homeowner. The guts to have it installed easily will be present, which already makes the process easier. The iCC also said this should save homeowners money in the future. One study says EV-ready homes will cost an extra $920. Adding the electrical work later could cost around $3,550.

The codes don't end at single-family homes. Multifamily homes will need two spots to charge EVs, and there will need to be additional spaces to add the proper wires and plugs later, which the ICC defined as "EV-capable."

Of course, not everyone is building a brand-new house. Those shopping outside of a new build will still be responsible for adding all of the necessary gear to charge an electric car. Nevertheless, it's a pretty profound change that signals which way the automotive industry will tilt in the years to come. The ICC cited research claiming Americans will need 9.6 million more plugs to charge their EVs properly at the start of 2030. The vast majority will be in family homes.

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