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Tuesday evening, the Madison Common Council adopted new requirements to advance electric vehicle (EV) charging in Madison. The new ordinance, championed by District 12 Alder Syed Abbas, requires at least 10% of newly-constructed parking for multifamily residential and some commercial uses to be EV ready - meaning that infrastructure is in place to easily add EV chargers in the future - and that 2% of residential stalls and 1% of commercial stalls have EV charging installed and available for use. The ordinance also includes a schedule to increase the percentage of EV Ready and EV Installed parking every five years.

This legislation will help Madison residents who are renters overcome a key barrier to owning an electric vehicle: reliable access to charging. “We’ve heard of numerous examples where building owners have installed EV chargers, and then quickly saw residents convert to electric vehicles,” said Alder Abbas. “This is part of an ‘if you build it, they will come’ philosophy, and it’s imperative that we take such a common-sense approach to reducing our carbon emissions.”

Nearly 41% of Madison’s emissions come from cars, and the City has a goal of communitywide net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Experts say we must nearly cut our emissions in half by 2030 to avoid destabilizing the climate.

“If we are serious about achieving our climate goals in Madison, we have to transition to clean technology and build a City that embraces it,” said Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway, who co-sponsored the ordinance. “We must ensure that new developments in Madison are built for the 21st century, and this legislation helps to do that.”

Alders Tag Evers, Grant Foster, Patrick Heck, Max Prestigiacomo, Mike Verveer, Lindsay Lemmer, Sambah Baldeh, Shiva Bidar, Nasra Wehelie, Keith Furman and Sheri Carter also co-sponsored the legislation.