Code Check

ICC projects an EV-filled future; NECA, NEC both make updates

The International Code Council recently made some telling changes to building standards that indicate the probability of more households having electric vehicles. Earlier this month, the ICC voted to approve a motion dating back to its preliminary October 2019 hearings in Las Vegas that will require most homes to contain EV charging outlets.

As Quartz first reported, this is a significant jump, even in a constantly growing market. The provision essentially calls for every household to upgrade its installed capacity by at least 240 volts in states where the measure is approved. Most of these include “forward-looking” states and/or cities following all of California (which adopted these laws in 2015), such as Denver, Atlanta, and Seattle, among others. The specifics of foreign terminology (‘EV-capable’) can be dissected below:


ICC screenshot

The surprisingly quick change could open up the roadmap for rapid EV adoption, specifically by alleviating “charge anxiety”, according to the Alliance to Save Energy. Charge anxiety—the worrisome feeling of not having enough charging stations in your town or city to support your EV when it requires some juice—is second only to range anxiety on the list of concerns for prospective buyers of electrics. The new codes strive “to make EV charging as standard as a washer-dryer, similar to how California’s newest requirements make solar panels just another home appliance,”, Quartz’s Michael J. Coren writes.

Codes and standards produced by the ICC, a non-profit trade association with 64,000 members including government agencies and construction firms, are in use by all US states, as well as jurisdictions around the world. The new EV-ready provisions will appear this October as part of the 2021 International Codes.

Elsewhere in the standards world, NECA (National Electrical Contractors Association) welcomes five new 2020 Codes and Standards Committee members this year, and recognizes two existing members for their appointments to NFPA Code-Making panels.

New Committee Members:

Jacob Chouinard
Idaho Chapter
Quality Electric IncMichael Cannady
Michigan Chapter
Newkirk Electric Associates IncAdam Ashton
Northern New Jersey Chapter
Forest Electric Corporation
John Tirone
South Florida Chapter
Tirone Electric, Inc.Jake Raines
Inland Empire Chapter
Sierra Electric Inc

NFPA Code-Making Panel Assignments:

Michael Weaver
Chair of NEC Code Panel 17

Nathan Philips
Chair of NEC Code-Panel 10

Not to be outdone, the NEC (National Electrical Code) released critical 2020 updates for clarification this month. Ground-fault protection requirements for marinas, boatyards and docking facilities are being revised for the 2020 NEC. The GFP requirements were divided into three parts to provide clarity, according to the International Association of Electrical Inspectors.

Section 555.35(A)(1) of the NEC addresses shore power receptacles with individual GFPE not to exceed 30 milliamperes. Section 555.35(A)(2) addresses 15- and 20-ampere receptacles for other than shore power with Class A ground fault circuit interrupter protection (4 to 6 mA) being provided in accordance with NEC 210.8. Section 555.35(A)(3) addresses feeder and branch-circuit conductors that are installed on docking facilities to be provided with GFPE set to open at currents not exceeding 100 mA with coordination downstream GFPE permitted at the feeder overcurrent protective device.

With boats joining the fray, as well, 2020 could very well be the year of the electric vehicle (all-encompassing, not just cars) that many predicted over the past decade.

Think that getting an EV can be “pretty daunting”? You’re not alone in the [choose EV-related adjective] anxiety department. For some relief, Jesper Berggreen of Clean Technica suggests prospective EV buyers ponder “Maddie Goes Electric” on Robert Llewellyn’s Fully Charged Show, a YouTube series on electric vehicles.

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