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Atlanta could require new commercial, residential buildings to accommodate electric vehicles

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Atlanta is one of the top cities in the country when it comes to the number of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. A new ordinance introduced in the Atlanta City Council this week would require new construction projects in the city to accommodate this so owners of such cars will be able to easily recharge.

If passed, the ordinance would require new commercial and single-family residential units built in the city to be “EV-ready.” Introduced by Coucilwoman Keisha Lance Bottoms, the ordinance will require new developments to install the electrical infrastructure to support EV chargers, including electrical panel space for breakers for future 40 amp service.

New commercial buildings would need to dedicate 20 percent of its parking spaces to be “EV-ready,” while residential buildings would need an area in their garages for EV equipment, or a designated space if there is no garage.

The ordinance also aims to help Atlanta crack down on motorists without electric vehicles who are parking in EV-only spots. Gasoline-powered cars in EV-only spots would be fined $35 under the ordinance, and repeat offenders could have their vehicles booted or towed. The fines collected from these tickets would be used solely for the maintenance, purchase and expansion of EV-ready infrastructure in the city.

According to an Atlanta Business Journal report in 2015, Georgia has around 25,000 electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids, 80 percent of which are in metro Atlanta.

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