As Californians go green, electric cars and their necessary charging stations are becoming the focus of new legislation. In particular, Assembly Bill 1738 will require several state housing and building departments to develop mandatory building standards for certain electric vehicle charging station installations in multifamily dwellings. Those standards would then need to be reviewed and updated every three years until the law sunsets on January 1, 2033.
This law likely provides some clarity and certainty to condominium associations that require architectural review for the installation of electric vehicle charging stations. In particular, an association's architectural standards can either mirror or reference building code standards. Alternatively, the association may require stricter standards than those that may exist in the building code.
However, certain questions remain about the bill's future and its impact. Particularly, if an association requires adherence to the building code standards, and those standards change during the triennial review, can the association then require the owner to upgrade or replace their electric vehicle charging station? Most likely, the association would need to specify such a requirement in its electric vehicle charging station rules.
The big takeaway from this bill is the importance of creating and adopting viable electric vehicle charging station rules for condominium associations. The green revolution is not going away, and the State of California is at the forefront of the push for electric vehicles. Every condominium association should be prepared to either review and update, or develop and adopt, electric vehicle charging station policies when AB 1738 goes into effect on January 1, 2