Brentwood Considering Mandating EV Charging Stations in New Townhomes and Apartments
Brentwood officials are considering a new electric vehicle charging station law that could raise prices for residents either looking to renovate or move into newly built townhomes or apartments.
The rule they’re considering would require electric vehicle charging stations be built with “new and substantial renovations and additions [at least 50 percent of the unit’s final floorspace] on single-family two family and townhomes and new multi-family residential developments.” The Brentwood Planning and Zoning Commission rejected a similar proposed mandate last month, but the Brentwood Board of Aldermen has revived the idea, with the Brentwood mayor indicating they may pass a bill on the matter.
Each EV charger costs an average of $5,000 to install, but it is still unclear who will pay for them. Ameren offers property owners subsidies for EV charging stations up to half the cost, but that still leaves thousands of dollars unaccounted for.
Additionally, their deliberations are vague concerning how many EV charging stations would be required per property. Would it be one per family in the case of townhomes? Would it be a percentage of total parking spaces available, as the new Saint Louis County ordinance requires? Would families that don’t use an EV be paying for their EV-driving neighbor’s charging station?
The board of aldermen’s proposal is not finalized, but the idea should be rejected. Let property owners install EV charging stations at their own pace based on the market demand for them. EV charging stations have grown rapidly across the country for the past several years without mandates like the one Brentwood officials are considering.
In the near future, equipping townhomes and apartments with EV charging stations may indeed make good business sense, either to keep existing tenants or attract new ones. But shouldn’t business and property owners be the ones deciding where to place EV charging stations rather than government officials?