The City of Wilmington is taking a progressive step towards embracing electric vehicles (EVs). They are introducing legislation to allow the installation of electric vehicle charging stations (EVCS) in specific residential areas. The proposed law, which is currently before the City Council, would permit EVCS in residential rights-of-way starting January 1, 2024. Council Member Chris Johnson is sponsoring The Ordinance, and the Purzycki Administration is supporting. It aims to bring Wilmington in compliance with a state law passed in 2022 by Senator Sarah McBride. This law requires the establishment of a process for residents to obtain EVCS.
This legislation would enable owners or renters of single-family properties to acquire permits from the City’s Department of Public Works for charging their electric vehicles in one of two ways. The first option is the use of a curbside charging cord, which would then connect the vehicle to the home. For safety, the EV owner must cover the cord, and also park the vehicle directly in front of their property. The second option involves the installation of a charging station in the public right-of-way, additionally in front of the EV owner’s property.
Neither of these formats allows the electric vehicle owner to reserve a parking space exclusively for charging purposes. Any attempts to block or mark a space for this intention would eventually result in fines. Therefore, the use of a charging option is only permitted when the EV owner is able to randomly obtain a parking space directly in front of their residence. Additionally, some EV owners have off-street parking and can establish a cord charging system or install a charging station on their property. They are not eligible for permits to utilize the public right-of-way.
The proposed legislation includes several requirements as well as provisions. The City would charge a $100 application fee for acquiring a permit to install a charging station. Obtaining a permit for using a charging cord would not incur any fees. Furthermore, EV owners would be obligated to notify those on the same block about their application to the City for a charging station. These measures aim to foster transparency and community awareness regarding EVCS installations.
Mayor Mike Purzycki expressed his enthusiasm for this legislation. He stated, “This is just the start of our City’s quest to develop a more complete EVCS program.”
This step forward shows that Wilmington is making significant strides in promoting sustainable transportation and reducing carbon emissions. The proposed legislation demonstrates the city’s commitment to embracing clean energy alternatives and facilitating the growth of electric vehicles within its boundaries.