Last week, the Atlanta City Council passed ordinance 17-0-1654, which will require all new residential homes and public parking facilities in the city to be capable of accommodating electric vehicles (EV).
According to a press release, the ordinance requires 20% of the spaces in all new commercial and multifamily parking structures be “EV ready”; it also requires that all new development of residential homes be equipped with the infrastructure needed to install EV charging stations, such as conduit, wiring and electrical capacity.
“The City of Atlanta has taken a historic step to increase our EV readiness and to ensure we remain a leading city in sustainability. I want to thank Councilmember Keisha Lance Bottoms for introducing this legislation and the Atlanta City Council for their work to pass this ordinance,” says Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed in the release. “I am proud of our city’s commitment to energy conservation, as well as our efforts to ensure that EVs and EV charging stations remain accessible to everyone.”
“EVs have zero tailpipe emissions,” adds Stephanie Stuckey, Atlanta’s chief resilience officer. “While our air quality is improving, we still need to be mindful of our ozone and particulate pollution, such as nitrogen oxides. Atlanta is committed to a clean, healthy environment for our residents and visitors, especially our most vulnerable populations. Transitioning to alternative forms of fuel and transportation is critical to this commitment.”
Under the Reed administration, the City of Atlanta has been committed to integrating alternative fuel vehicles into its municipal fleet and providing infrastructure for residents and visitors in Atlanta. Through an innovative public-private partnership, the city deployed 60 EVs, along with the corresponding infrastructure charging network, to the its municipal fleet inventory last year. The program will ultimately reduce the city’s dependence on fossil fuels while saving taxpayers thousands of dollars per year. In addition, the EV fleet program is aligned with the city’s Power to Change Plan, which seeks to reduce vehicle emissions by 20% by the year 2020.
The city also deployed five neighborhood EVs for the Atlanta Police Department PATH Force Unit, the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department and the Department of Parks and Recreation to access the Atlanta BeltLine with zero emissions in June 2016.
The City’s other notable accomplishments in promoting clean technologies include Atlanta’s recent commitment to transition to 100 percent clean energy sources for municipal operations by 2025 and for the entire city by 2035; contracting $160 million in energy efficiency retrofits in municipal buildings; and participation in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge program with 114 million square feet of building space committed to reducing their energy and water consumption by at least 20 percent by 2020.