Should electric vehicles qualify for parking pads?
One of the features in our Dec 2019/Jan 2020 issue, “Charge it,” was about installing chargers for electric vehicles (EV) in residential properties. Shortly after that issue came out, we read this article about the City of Toronto rejecting applications for installing new parking pads based on the need to charge their EVs at home.
Many homes in the downtown core do not have garages or driveways so those owners are forced to park on the street, often several doors or even blocks away. Even if they are able to find an available spot directly in front of their home, charger cables might not be able to reach the street. And, if even they do, a thick cable stretched across the sidewalk is an obvious hazard for passersby.
Adding a parking pad on the front lawn is not only a major convenience for an EV owner, it can add tens of thousands of dollars in value to the property. But the municipality has been reducing the number of permits it issues – and outright banning them in some parts of the city, arguing that the hard surfaces increase stormwater runoff.
Last year, a Parkdale resident applied for a permit to install a pad that was originally rejected. On appeal, he won after arguing that he needed to pad in order to charge the Tesla he planned on buying, and that the city is actively encouraging a switch to EVs.
One city councillor who’s opposed to parking pads argues that EV exemptions should not be considered because, once approved, the city has no way of enforcing what type of vehicle is parked on the pad.
It seems to be just another example of how as building codes and requirements change, under staffed city planning and permit departments just aren’t able to keep up.
Editor’s Note: Regrettably, there was an error in our article on electric vehicles. In that, we wrote that EVs only have a range of about 100 to 200 km. In fact, there are a number of models on the road that far surpass that, including the Porsche Taycan which can go for up to 450 km on one charge, and the currently industry leader, Tesla’s model S which has a range of up to 600 km per charge. As prices continue to come down while ranges expand, EVs will increasingly become a common sight in the garages and (existing) driveways of homes across the country.