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Park City Adopts New Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Requirements

blurry view of cars waiting in traffic
Aayush Srivastava

The Park City City Council formally adopted new regulations regarding electric vehicle infrastructure at their meeting this week. The city believes transportation powered by renewable energy is the way of the future.

At Thursday’s city council meeting, Park City took one step closer to achieving its lofty sustainability goals.

Council voted unanimously to adopt new requirements for electric vehicle infrastructure. The changes now require dedicated parking, infrastructure, and charging stations to support electric vehicles in new development and redevelopment projects.

Going forward, 20% of all new off-street parking must be electric vehicle friendly with pre-installed underground wiring in place to support future charging stations. Additionally, 5% of new parking spaces must now have an electric vehicle charging station installed.

Park City Mayor Andy Beerman said this is definitely a step in the right direction.  

“I think it’s a good start and we can always add to it,” says Beerman. “You’re seeing more and more pressure. California is aggressively moving towards electric vehicles, I saw that Great Britain said they were going to stop the sales of all internal combustion vehicles by 2030 and I think out president-elect has come out and said that he’s going to push hard for an infrastructure. And I can say as somebody that owns an electric vehicle, that the technology is amazing and it makes me wonder why we haven’t switched sooner.”

Park City’s city operations are working towards running on 100% renewable energy by 2022 as well as becoming net-zero with their carbon emissions. The goal for the entire community is to be running on renewables by 2030.

The new regulations also require new and remodeled private garages to have infrastructure installed to support faster, more efficient charging than what is found through a standard wall plug.

Beerman said the necessary wiring is essentially the same as a dryer plug-in already found in most homes already. 

“And it’s also important, one of the things we talked about is getting these charging stations into people’s homes because I think most of the use will be done at night in your own home,” Beerman says. “As ranges become longer and longer, people aren’t going to need to charge when they’re running errands.”

As electric vehicles slowly become more popular, it’s entirely possible to see charging stations take the place of gas stations in some areas. Beerman says power companies actually see this as a big opportunity for them going forward.

“The power company has actually been very enthusiastic about this because for them, it’s a new market,” he says. “As we become better and better with energy conservation, our energy needs drop, but the shift to transportation essentially puts them in a position almost like an oil company where it’s a whole new area for them to sell electricity. They have given us grants that have paid for most of this infrastructure that we put in. But what we did discover, in certain places, particularly like parking lots, there isn’t the existing power to run multiple chargers, and we’ve had to upgrade those, and upgrading those has been a slow process to get the new transformers put in. I think that’s much less of an issue with residential areas where they’ve been built with the proper capacity.”

You can read the full Park City staff report on electric vehicle infrastructure here.

KPCW news reports on climate change issues are brought to you by the Park City Climate Fund at the Park City Community Foundation, an initiative that engages Park City in implementing local, high-impact climate solutions that have potential to be effective in similar communities.

Sean Higgins covers all things Park City and is the Saturday Weekend Edition host at KPCW. Sean spent the first five years of his journalism career covering World Cup skiing for Ski Racing Media here in Utah and served as Senior Editor until January 2020. As Senior Editor, he managed the day-to-day news section of skiracing.com, as well as produced and hosted Ski Racing’s weekly podcast. During his tenure with Ski Racing Media, he was also a field reporter for NBC Sports, covering events in Europe.
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