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An electric vehicle charging station. Photo:Matt Jonas/Digital First Media/Boulder Daily Camera via Getty Images.

Electric vehicles are getting more popular, yet there aren't enough charging stations installed where people spend their time (at home, at work, at the store, etc.) to support widespread adoption.

The big picture: California's Green Building Standards Code requires 6% of parking spaces in new non-residential buildings to be EV-capable.

  • It also mandates that 250,000 EV-capable charging stations be publicly available by 2025 — but the state is running far behind that goal with only about 22,000 charging outlets so far.

There's a reason for that: Equipping parking spots to be EV charging stations is expensive.

  • It can cost several thousand dollars per space to retrofit existing parking garages or lots, which requires ripping up cement to lay electric conduits.
  • According to calculations by EnergySolutions, it's 4-6 times cheaper to install EV-capable parking spots during new construction or ongoing renovations.
  • But not every city has a lot of new construction going on in the first place, so figuring out how to get charging stations into existing buildings will be key to EV expansion, says Anne Smart, VP of Public Policy for ChargePoint.

Why cities matter: Cities are well-positioned to incentive more charging stations because they can set building permit requirements.

  • Atlanta requires EV charing infrastructure updates when building or repaving parking or when modifying an electrical panel.
  • San Francisco requires adding EV charging infrastructure when gutting medium to large buildings.

Tesla and ChargePoint are pushing cities (and states where possible) to update their building codes to include EV charging capacity — even if the actual spots aren't yet installed — in renovation permits as well as new construction.

  • They're also pushing California to increase current minimum EV-ready building requirements to speed up EV deployment.
  • Those companies, along with the California Electric Transportation Coalition, commissioned EnergySolutions to run a cost analysis for building scenarios in retail, office, hospitals and schools — to make the cost-saving case for upgrading building codes.

"We're really transitioning away from a gas station model of charging to a model where people expect to be able to charge wherever they park," Smart said. "Not every state has the political capacity or legal ability to set these policies, so cities will be at the forefront."

Go deeper: Electric vehicles are outstripping the supply of charging stations

Go deeper

Supreme Court agrees to hear challenge to affirmative action at Harvard, UNC

Photo: Al Drago/Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear a pair of cases challenging the consideration of race in the college admissions processes.

Why it matters: The conservative high court's ruling could determine the future of affirmative action in higher education.

Europe's energy reliance on Russia is a crucial shield for Putin

Photo: Pavel Bednyakov/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images

Cracks in the NATO alliance regarding sanctions for Russia should President Vladimir Putin order troops into Ukraine are in large part based on energy supply concerns.

Why it matters: Russia holds tremendous leverage over some European countries because it provides roughly 40% of Europe's natural gas supply. In Germany, this figure is greater than 50%.

Why the Fed might want to jolt the markets

Fed chair Jerome Powell at a hearing earlier this month. Photo: Brendan Smialowski-Pool/Getty Images

So far, financial markets are cooperating nicely with the Federal Reserve's efforts to restrain inflation. They're doing the Fed's work for it by creating tighter financial conditions, in a distinctly non-panicky way.

  • But as the central bank's policymakers meet this week, an underlying question they face is whether the adjustment is happening too slowly.