The Edison Electric Institute estimates that 26.4 million electric vehicles will be on U.S. roads by 2030 and nearly 12.9 million charge ports will be needed to support them.
Because the most convenient place for most EV owners to charge their vehicles will be at home, builders are beginning to pre-wire or install charging units in new single-family homes.
The International Code Council recommends that new homes be built with charging stations, and building codes requiring EV-ready construction already exist in places like Atlanta, Denver, Seattle and in California.
Edmond-based STK Homes announced this summer that an EV-240-volt plug and wiring will now be standard in every house it builds.
“With cars evolving, we thought it would be a good feature to put in our homes,” said Madi McFarland, the company’s marketing coordinator.
Much like smart-home technology to control devices like lights, security and thermostats has become standard, “we think this will be too,” McFarland said.
As of Sept. 1, the 50-amp circuit needed to support a Level 2 EV charger for one vehicle had been installed in 26 homes, she said.
STK Homes builds homes in the Edmond and Norman areas, as well as in Yukon, Kingfisher and Enid. It closed on 150 houses in 2021 and has a goal of 250 this year.
The houses range in price from the high $200,000s to $700,000, McFarland said. Regardless, all will have the EV outlets and wiring going forward, she said.
21OAK.com reports the ICC’s recommendation to include EV charging capability in residential construction will encourage more homebuilders to install the feature.
A Level 2 charger can range in cost in terms of the product itself as well as the installation fees, but it will typically cost up to $3,500 in total, according to the report.
While most electric cars come with a Level 1 charger included, many EV owners upgrade to a Level 2 charger, which powers up the vehicle faster and more efficiently.
Having the needed infrastructure in place should save homeowners money, according to the ICC. One study shows EV-ready homes will cost an extra $920 but adding the electrical work later could cost about $3,550.
McFarland said the charging stations are just another way STK Home upgrades exceed minimum standards. Every home receives a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) audit to ensure energy efficiency, she said.
“The average HERS score for an STK home is 55. This means that new STK homes are 45% more energy-efficient than standard minimum-built homes, which average a HERS score of 100,” said Jeremiah Bryant with Eco Home Services home energy design and building science company.