Chapter 18.205


18.205.010    Title.

18.205.020    Application.

18.205.030    Purpose.

18.205.040    Authority.

18.205.050    Definitions.

18.205.060    Permitted locations.

18.205.070    Compatibility.

18.205.080    Battery exchange stations.

18.205.090    Electric vehicle charging station requirements.

18.205.100    Electric vehicle charging station standards.

18.205.010 Title.

This chapter shall be entitled “Electrical Vehicle Infrastructure.” [Ord. 1591 § 495, 2014.]

18.205.020 Application.

This chapter shall be applicable to all zones as set forth herein. [Ord. 1591 § 496, 2014.]

18.205.030 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to:

(1) Provide adequate and convenient electric vehicle charging stations to serve the needs of the traveling public;

(2) Provide opportunities for Des Moines residents to have safe and efficient personal electric charging stations located at their place of residence;

(3) Provide the opportunity for commercial and industrial businesses to supply electrical vehicle charging station services to their customers and employees; and

(4) Create standard criteria to encourage and promote safe, efficient, and cost effective electric vehicle charging opportunities in a full range of zones and settings for convenient service to those that use electric vehicles. [Ord. 1591 § 497, 2014.]

18.205.040 Authority.

This chapter is adopted pursuant to the provisions of chapters 19.27, 19.28, 35.63, 35A.63 and 36.70A RCW and other applicable laws. [Ord. 1591 § 498, 2014.]

18.205.050 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, unless the context or subject matter clearly requires otherwise, the words or phrases defined in this section shall have the indicated meanings.

“Battery charging station” means an electrical component assembly or cluster of component assemblies designed specifically to charge batteries within electric vehicles, which meet or exceed any standards, codes, and regulations set forth by chapter 19.28 RCW and consistent with rules adopted under RCW 19.27.540.

“Battery exchange station” means a fully automated facility that will enable an electric vehicle with a swappable battery to enter a drive lane and exchange the depleted battery with a fully charged battery through a fully automated process, which meets or exceeds any standards, codes, and regulations set forth by chapter 19.27 RCW and consistent with rules adopted under RCW 19.27.540.

“Charging levels” means the standardized indicators of electrical force, or voltage, at which an electric vehicle’s battery is recharged. The terms Level 1, 2, and 3 are the most common EV charging levels, and include the following specifications:

(1) Level 1 is considered slow charging and operates on a 15 to 20 amp breaker on a 120 volt AC circuit.

(2) Level 2 is considered medium charging and operates on a 40 to 100 amp breaker on a 208 or 240 volt AC circuit.

(3) Level 3 is considered “fast” or “rapid” charging and typically operates on a 60 amp or higher breaker on a 480 volt or higher three phase circuit with special grounding equipment. Level 3 stations are primarily for commercial and public applications and are typically characterized by industrial grade electrical outlets that allow for faster recharging of electric vehicles.

“Electric vehicle” means any vehicle that operates, either partially or exclusively, on electrical energy from the grid, or an off-board source, that is stored on-board for motive purpose. “Electric vehicle” includes:

(1) A battery electric vehicle;

(2) A plug-in hybrid electric vehicle;

(3) A neighborhood electric vehicle; and

(4) A medium-speed electric vehicle.

“Electric vehicle charging station” means a public or private parking space that is served by battery charging station equipment for the purpose of transferring electric energy to a battery or other energy storage device in an electric vehicle.

“Electric vehicle infrastructure” means structures, machinery, and equipment necessary and integral to support an electric vehicle, including battery charging stations, rapid charging stations, and battery exchange stations.

“Electric vehicle parking space” means any parking space signed or marked exclusively for the parking of an electric vehicle at a battery charging station.

“Rapid charging station” means an industrial grade electrical outlet that allows for faster recharging of electric vehicle batteries through higher power levels and that meets or exceeds any standards, codes, and regulations set forth by chapter 19.28 RCW and consistent with rules adopted under RCW 19.27.540. [Ord. 1591 § 499, 2014.]

18.205.060 Permitted locations.

Level 1, 2, and 3 electric vehicle charging stations are allowed in all zoning designations. Electric vehicle charging stations are not permitted within the City right-of-way. [Ord. 1591 § 500, 2014.]

18.205.070 Compatibility.

For land use compatibility purposes, the charging activity should be proportionate to the associated permitted use. Electric vehicle charging station(s) shall be permitted in association with a single-family use designed to serve the occupants of the home with a Level 1 or 2 charging level. Whereas, charging station(s) installed in a parking lot at a commercial destination, public facility or vehicle service station in close proximity to Interstate 5, are expected to have intensive use and will be permitted to have multiple Level 3 rapid charging stations to serve expected demand. [Ord. 1591 § 501, 2014.]

18.205.080 Battery exchange stations.

Battery exchange stations are permitted in any business or commercial use zone; provided, all other requirements for the building or space the use occupies can be satisfied, such as design review, fire code and building code requirements. [Ord. 1591 § 502, 2014.]

18.205.090 Electric vehicle charging station requirements.

Electric vehicle charging stations utilizing parking stalls located in parking lots or parking garages shall comply with the following requirements:

(1) Signage. Each charging station space shall be posted with signage indicating the space is only for electric vehicle charging purposes. Directional signage may be provided to guide motorists to charging station space(s); provided, that directional signs shall be consistent with Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) signs D9-11b and D9-11bP.

(2) Accessibility. The design and location of the charging stations shall comply with the following barrier-free accessibility requirements:

(a) Accessible electric vehicle charging stations shall be provided in the ratios shown on the following table:

Number of EV Charging Stations

Minimum Accessible EV Charging Stations

1 – 50


51 – 100


101 – 150


151 – 200


201 – 250


251 – 300


(b) Accessible electric vehicle charging stations shall be located in close proximity to the building or facility entrance and shall be connected to a barrier-free accessible route of travel.

(c) Accessible electric vehicle charging stations shall comply with the requirements of WAC 51-50-005.

(3) Lighting. Where charging station equipment is installed, site lighting shall be designed to illuminate the station area and posted information and avoid undue glare or reflection on adjoining premises, unless charging is for daytime purposes only.

(4) Charging Station Equipment. Charging station equipment shall comply with the following requirements:

(a) Equipment mounted on pedestals, light posts, or other devices shall be designed and located as to not impede pedestrian travel or create trip hazards within the right-of-way.

(b) Charging station outlets and connector shall be no less than 36 inches high, or no higher than 48 inches from the top of the surface where mounted and shall contain a retraction device or a place to hang cords and connectors above the ground surface.

(5) Notification. The following information shall be posted on all charging stations:

(a) Voltage and amperage levels;

(b) Hours of operation; and

(c) Usage fees, safety information and contact information for reporting equipment operating problems. [Ord. 1591 § 503, 2014.]

18.205.100 Electric vehicle charging station standards.

The City Manager or the City Manager’s designee is authorized to develop and maintain standards for the design and construction of electric vehicle charging stations. [Ord. 1591 § 504, 2014.]