EV Charge Up West Hollywood

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Vehicle electrification is an important strategy for climate action and air quality improvement. As such, California has made electric vehicle (EV) adoption a central piece to meeting the climate goals established by SB 32 in 2016 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 40% below 1990 levels by 2030. The State’s 2016 Zero-Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Plan calls for 1.5 million ZEVs on the road by 2025.

California has the most registered EVs in the nation and the Los Angeles region has the most EVs in the State. As of September 2016, there were over 500 EVs registered in West Hollywood alone. The awareness and assurance of EV charging stations (EVCS) along everyday travel routes and at destination points are critical decision factors when purchasing an electric vehicle. In order to encourage EV adoption and overcome potential buyers’ “range anxiety", the West Hollywood City Council issued a directive in May 2016 to make the city EV Ready.

As a forward-thinking City, West Hollywood adopted a local ordinance for EV charging readiness in certain new construction projects. The City is also working on making public EVCS more accessible throughout the City by installing additional stations, offering free 2 hr. parking for EVs charging in municipal garages, and ensuring that tenants have the right to install charging stations in rent-stabilized buildings.


EV Charging Readiness Requirements for New Construction

In 2018, West Hollywood adopted local amendments to 2016 CALGreen, requiring a minimum percentage of parking spaces in certain new residential and nonresidential projects to be “EV Capable” or “EV Ready”.  These amendments are effective as of July 11, 2018. For more information about the requirements please refer to the links below:  

4 Levels of EV Readiness

This ordinance differs from CALGreen in the following ways:

  1. Requiring a number of spaces to be “EV Ready” in multifamily and nonresidential buildings (currently CALGreen only requires a percentage of total parking spaces be “EV Capable”)
  2. Requiring the installation of "EV Ready" spaces at the time of construction to support the conversion of spaces at a later date with reduced time and expense
  3. Requiring that State accessibility standards for planned EV spaces are considered at the time of construction
  4. Facilitating future EVCS conversion for up to 100% of parking spaces in larger multifamily buildings

These amendments will remain in effect for 2019 CALGreen. Please note that 2019 CALGreen (effective January 1, 2020) will now require multifamily properties of three to nine units to designate a certain percentage of parking spaces to be EV Capable. See our guides for new construction projects below for more information:

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EVCS Permitting Process

Requirements for New Construction

The City’s EV Readiness requirements necessitate an electrical permit, at minimum, and the plan check process will ensure compliance with both EV and accessibility requirements before construction begins. Please note:

  • EVCS Permitting is included as part of the building permit for new construction
  • Projects must specify EV infrastructure and plan for accessibility on original plans/construction documents

For more information about the EV readiness requirements and plan requirements, please see our guides below:

Requirements for Existing Buildings (AB 1236)

To bring the City into substantial conformance with the State requirements AB 1236 (2015), West Hollywood adopted Ordinance No. 18-1028 that further streamlines its approval process for qualifying EVCS. Applicants planning to install a charging station at an existing building must accurately complete the application checklist and zone clearance application in order to be issued all necessary permits. 

Applications can be submitted online or at the Planning Counter.

Building and electrical plan check fees and associated permit fees for qualifying EVCS have been waived by the City of West Hollywood. A zone clearance fee from the Planning Division as well as any State or outside agency fees will apply. Permit fees for any required structural upgrades to existing buildings as part of the system installation are not waived.


Free Technical Assistance for EV Charging Retrofits

The City of West Hollywood is offering free technical assistance for existing multifamily buildings interested in converting parking spaces to EV charging spaces. This includes owners of existing apartment buildings, condominium owners, and tenants interested in working with landlords to explore available options in their buildings. See the following guides for helpful tips on what to consider when converting parking spaces to EV charging spaces:

If interested in receiving technical assistance, please contact Robyn Eason, Senior Sustainability Planner, at reason@weho.org.

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Additional Resources

Questions? Please contact Planning and Development Services at (323) 848-6475

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