Prince George’s Co. considers electric-vehicle outlets for new houses

The automobile industry is betting big on electric vehicles, and leaders in Prince George’s County, Maryland, say it’s time for the housing industry to make that investment, too.

The County Council is considering legislation that would require all new houses to include 240-volt outlets that would accommodate charging stations for electric vehicles. If approved this spring, it would apply to certain kinds of new housing permitted for construction in the county starting in July 2023.

“The future is EV,” said council member Dannielle Glaros, who signed on as a co-sponsor of the bill. “We’re seeing rapid, rapid increase in EV vehicles across the country and definitely in the state of Maryland.”

The bill was discussed last week by the full council. If it passes, the measure would apply to any new house built with a garage or driveway.

The original sponsor of the bill, council member Tom Dernoga, of Laurel, said, “This is, as far as I can say, low hanging fruit in the climate action plan,” said Dernoga, who also pointed out similar laws have already been passed in Howard and Frederick counties.

But other council members, including Todd Turner, raised concerns about the costs associated with the bill and whether it was a feature everyone would want.

Dernoga replied, “Doing it upfront is an extra $500 to $1,000, while Pepco had a suggestion that might make it cheaper.” Retrofitting, however, would cost more, he said: “The numbers that have been kicked around that I’ve seen are $2,000 to $4,000.”

He added, “People may not think they want it today, but the way people are looking at gas prices … plus if you sell your house the next buyer may want it.”

Dernoga also said County Executive Angela Alsobrooks, Pepco and the building industry all support the measure, and it appeared the votes were there on the council to move the bill forward in the coming weeks.

Long-term, there is acknowledgement that rules for multifamily and commercial properties will also need to be addressed.

John Domen

John started working at WTOP in 2016 after having grown up in Maryland listening to the station as a child. While he got his on-air start at small stations in Pennsylvania and Delaware, he's spent most of his career in the D.C. area, having been heard on several local stations before coming to WTOP.

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