Salt Lake City has seen a significant increase in the number of electric vehicles (EVs) over the past few years. In 2015, there were only 1,100 registered EVs in Utah, but that number has skyrocketed to over 16,000 in 2022, according to data from the State Tax Commission website. This surge in EV adoption is driven by concerns about air quality and a desire to reduce tailpipe emissions.
Kelbe Goupil, a senior associate of electrification with Utah Clean Energy, began driving an electric car in 2019 due to the poor air quality in the area. Goupil emphasizes that charging accessibility is crucial for EV owners and highlights the importance of charging infrastructure in addressing range anxiety. While about 80% of EV charging takes place at home, the lack of charging options in multifamily housing remains a challenge that needs to be addressed.
The Salt Lake City Sustainability Department is taking steps to bridge this charging gap. The department has updated the Off-Street Parking Ordinance to promote EV readiness in future multifamily construction projects. This means that a minimum of 20% of parking spaces will be EV-ready, even if the actual charging stations are not installed initially. This provision ensures that residents have the option to charge their vehicles at home as the demand for EVs increases.
The city’s efforts to support electric vehicle infrastructure align with its climate plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2040. The Salt Lake City Sustainability Department is currently conducting a community electric transportation assessment to identify areas where additional EV charging stations are needed. This assessment will be completed in the spring of next year.
In addition to the city’s initiatives, there are federal tax credits available through the Inflation Reduction Act to incentivize the purchase of EVs and charging infrastructure. These incentives make EV ownership more affordable for consumers.
As the number of EVs continues to rise in Utah, the city is committed to expanding charging options and supporting the transition to clean transportation. The growth of electric vehicles not only improves air quality but also contributes to the long-term goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
– State Tax Commission website data
– Kelbe Goupil, senior associate of electrification, Utah Clean Energy
– Sophia Nicholas, deputy director, Salt Lake City Sustainability Department