EV Charging vs Gas Refueling

What Is the Difference Between EV Capable, EV Ready, and EV Installed?

Electric vehicles (EV), like any new technology, are still working through terminology. As technology advances, standardized terms are defined. The same holds true for EV charging terms.

For architects, engineers, builders, and contractors out there, it is critical to understand these EV charging terms, especially as EVs become more and more prevalent. In fact, some jurisdictions such as the City of San Luis Obispo or the City of Palo Alto have implemented mandatory EV charging ordinances. 

Despite this, there is still ambiguity to what capacity is the EV charging required. Does local building codes require just the infrastructure for future charging stations or does an actual charger need to be installed?

Moreover, the state with the most EVs, California, does not have clear definitions for EV charging station requirements in the state’s building code. Due to this, local jurisdictions have provided some language within their zoning ordinance, however, they vary amongst each other. 

Currently, there are three different types of EV charging spaces: EV Capable, EV Ready, and EV Installed. Each of these vary in completion of an EV charging station. 

EV Capable vs EV Ready vs EV Installed
EV Capable vs EV Ready vs EV Installed | Credit: SWEEP

This article will dive deep into what each of these EV charging terms mean and how they differ from another. Let’s get started!

EV Capable

An EV Capable stall requires just the infrastructure (conduit, breaker space, junction box, etc.) for the future installation of an EV charging station. These types of spaces do not require any charging equipment to be installed at the time of permit. 

The benefit of EV Capable stalls is that it allows for the simple installation of a charging station in the future if needed. Rather than a 100% retrofit job, the contractor would simply need to just pull wire through the conduit and connect to the charger. This can save the owner thousands of dollars as they would avoid work like concrete or asphalt cut and patch. 

In fact, per the City and County of San Francisco, the cost of a retrofit charging station is nearly four times the cost of a new construction job. With EV Capable, the installation cost would be around the same cost as a new construction job since a lot of the pre-work has been completed. 

EV Charging New Construction vs Retrofit | Credit: SWEEP

EV Ready

The next step up is EV Ready. EV Ready stalls require both the infrastructure and a wired outlet. While the charging unit is still absent, an EV Ready stall allows for the electric car driver to simply plug-in their portable charger into the outlet. 

First Electric Car
NEMA 14-50 Outlet

This type of EV stall is great for residential spaces such as condos, apartments, or single-family homes. This is because an EV Ready stall does not allow for a networked charger that can control payment, hours of operation, or user access. This type of charging station must be hardwired as per EV Installed spaces. 

EV Installed

The last of the three different types of EV charging spaces is EV Installed. As it sounds, EV Installed spaces require the full deal–all of the infrastructure plus the actual charging station itself. In other words, an EV Installed space requires the stall to be able to charge an electric car on the day the building permit is signed off. 

As noted previously, there are two Californian cities, San Luis Obispo and Palo Alto, that require EV Installed spaces at new developments. 

EV Installed

In fact, in just one year, the City of San Luis Obispo’s mandatory EV charging ordinance has resulted in nearly 300 plugs as part of the approved developments. 

This can have an extraordinarily positive impact on the rate of EV adoption in the area as the fear of not having a place to charge is resolved. 

Closing Thoughts

As you’ve seen, the three different types of EV charging spaces (EV Capable, EV Ready, and EV Installed) slightly differ from one another. In any case, these types of spaces will allow or provide EV charging stations at a much lower installation cost than compared to a retrofit. In the end, EV-friendly building codes accommodate for the inevitable electric future. 

If you or your business are interested in installing EV charging stations but would rather leave it to a professional, get in touch with us to see how we can work together. Schedule a consultation below to get started today!

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Required EV Charging Stations