Electric vehicle (EV) chargers

The City of Menlo Park adopted amendments to the CALGreen EV Charging requirements within the California Building Standards code on October 23, 2018. The adopted changes became effective November 23, 2018. 
The new requirements are intended to:

  • Increase the availability of EV charging infrastructure within the City;
  • To provide for residents and employees with electric vehicles; and 
  • Lower barriers for those looking to shift from fossil fuel vehicles.

New multi-family residential developments and nonresidential developments 10,000 square feet and above are required to install EV chargers and prepare for future installation.
Projects with a complete building permit application submitted before November 23, 2018 will not be subject to the requirements. All projects with building permit applications submitted after November 23, 2018 may be subject to these requirements.

Residential electric vehicle charging requirements 

Please review the EV charging requirements for residential developments in the Residential EV Charging Requirements Handout(PDF, 165KB)

Nonresidential electric vehicle charging requirements

Please review the EV charging requirements for nonresidential developments Nonresidential EV Charging Requirements Handout(PDF, 168KB)


What is an EV charging space (EV space)?

EV charging spaces, or EV spaces, are parking spaces designated for the future installation of EV charging equipment (or Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE)). Requirements for what needs to be provided with EV spaces vary depending on whether they are part of a residential or nonresidential development, and whether the project is new construction or a modification to an existing building. The table below provides a high-level overview of the differences. Please refer to the residential(PDF, 165KB) and nonresidential(PDF, 168KB) requirement handouts and the EV chargers webpage for details.

Conduit and electrical panel space required? Wiring required? Minimum EV space dimensions*
New single-family residential and duplexes Yes No n/a
New multifamily residential (3 units) Yes Yes 9 ft. x 18 ft
New commercial (10,000 sq.ft. and up) Yes Yes Same as non-EV, dependent on angle of approach
Commercial additions/alterations (10,000 sq.ft. and up) Yes No Same as non-EV, dependent on angle of approach

*Please review the Parking Stall & Driveway Design Guidelines handout(PDF, 383KB) for additional information regarding minimum parking stall dimensions.

What is EVSE?

EVSE is Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment. It includes the listed raceway (conduit) leading to the charger from the electrical panel, wiring, and charging equipment (EV chargers).

When are EV chargers required?

The requirement for EV charger installations in EV spaces varies for residential and nonresidential developments, and also for new construction and additions or alterations to existing buildings. Please see the tables in the handouts at the following links for residential [link] and nonresidential [link] requirements. Developments may voluntarily install EV chargers. However, they still need to comply with all applicable Zoning Ordinance regulations and Building Code requirements.

Where are EV Chargers allowed?

EV chargers are allowed within most existing parking spaces, provided the minimum stall dimensions are maintained. EV chargers should be installed within the EV spaces. Accessibility requirements apply to voluntary and required EV charger installations, and accessible EV charging spaces must be connected to an accessible path of travel. Please refer to the appropriate accessibility requirements (Chapter 11A or 11B) to confirm that the proposed accessible EV spaces will comply.

Are EV spaces counted as parking spaces?

Yes. EV spaces are counted as parking spaces for the purposes of meeting the parking requirement. When converting parking spaces into EV spaces for multi-family residential and commercial developments, the first EV space is required to be a van accessible EV space. Please review the accessibility requirements appropriate for the proposed development to confirm the type and number of accessible EV spaces that are required for your project. The proposed location of the accessible EV spaces should be designed to reduce the number of spaces lost in order to comply with accessibility requirements (e.g., expanded stall width, depth, loading areas, path of travel, etc.). However, loss of parking due to compliance with accessibility requirements for accessible EV stalls could be allowed and the resulting onsite parking would not be considered substandard if it no longer meets the number of parking spaces required for the development.

Can I convert my accessible parking spaces into accessible EV spaces?

Accessible parking spaces for non-EVs can be converted into accessible EV spaces, but the required number of non-EV accessible stalls will need to be maintained. Accessible EV spaces do not count toward the required number of accessible parking spaces.

What permits are needed?

In all cases, building permits are required prior to any construction involving the installation of an EV charger or supporting infrastructure (e.g., conduit, electrical panels, etc.). Larger development projects may require Planning Commission or City Council review prior to obtaining entitlements. Please contact the Planning Division at 650-330-6702 if you have questions regarding EV requirements for a discretionary project.

What information needs to be provided for building permit applications for new EV chargers?

Staff will need to review information regarding the existing and proposed parking conditions, including compliance with accessibility requirements and the Transportation Division’s Parking Stall and Driveway Guidelines(PDF, 383KB) . Applicants looking to install EV chargers for single-family and two-home residential developments should refer to the Building Division’s handout regarding One-and-Two-Family-Residential-Electric-Vehicle-EV-Charger-Guidelines(PDF, 250KB) for items to include with single-family residential building permit applications.

Generally speaking, the following will need to be provided for review of the building permits for EV chargers:

  1. Building permit application
  2. Data sheet
  3. Electrical load calculations to substantiate the design of the electrical system, including the rating of equipment and any on-site distribution transformers, and demonstrate sufficient capacity to charge the required EV at its full rated amperage
  4. Three sets of full size (24”x36”) construction drawings
    1. Plans should include:
      1. A parking summary table listing the number of existing and proposed:
      2. Parking stalls
      3. Accessible parking spaces
      4. EV charging stations (i.e. EV spaces with chargers)
      5. EV spaces
      6. Accessible EV parking spaces
    2. A site map clearly indicating the location of the proposed EV spaces and chargers with dimensions of the:
      1. Stall width
      2. Stall depth
      3. Drive aisle/back up distance
      4. EVSE location
    3. Information regarding the type and location of the vehicle supply equipment (EVSE)

What fees are associated with EV chargers?

The exact amount of fees varies depending on the specifics of the proposal. Please contact the Building Division at (650) 330-6704 for additional information or a project-specific fee quote.

Where are the requirements located?

The requirements are amendments to the CALGreen Building Standards Code, Chapter 12.18 of the Menlo Park Municipal Code. Clarifications on zoning implementation can be found in the off-street parking section of the Zoning Ordinance, section 16.72.010. The residential(PDF, 165KB) and nonresidential(PDF, 168KB) EV charging requirement handouts and other information can be found on the EV Charger webpage.