JACKSON, Wyo. — At a meeting on Jan. 17, the Jackson Town Council approved the electric vehicle charging station (EVSE) Land Development Regulation (LDR) amendment, establishing ordinance 1339, which became effective the following day, Jan. 18.

The EVSE LDR amendment, proposed by Yellowstone-Teton Clean Cities (YTCC), provides the guidance to require charging infrastructure and electric vehicle charging station “ready” spaces to support electric vehicle charging stations at newly constructed workplaces, multi-unit dwellings (MUDs) and residential locations.

The intent is to install charging infrastructure at the time of construction when it is least expensive to do so and to allow future MUD homeowners or renters access to charging at home. Studies have found 80% of charging occurs at home. YTCC worked with Alex Norton of OPS Strategies, to develop the amendment language to best align with the LDRs.

Currently, there are 22 Level 2 and DC fast charging station locations with 49 ports available to the public. Only a handful are considered “workplace charging” where an employee can charge during their working hours. In addition, there are no level 2 charging stations currently available at MUDs. Those living in MUDs may not have a dedicated garage or even parking space and if they rent, the ability to charge an electric vehicle at home is even more complex and potentially cost-prohibitive to install. 

The number of registered electric vehicles in the Town of Jackson has outpaced adoption at the national level. According to the town, Lower Valley Energy, the utility serving the Town of Jackson, provides some of the cleanest and cheapest electricity in the nation, providing Town of Jackson residents, businesses and government entities the opportunity to greatly reduce greenhouse gas emissions while also saving on fuel costs. 

“The Town of Jackson is extremely excited for this amendment because it addresses the future of EV charging in our community.” Johnny Ziem, assistant public works director for the Town of Jackson said.

“Not only do electric vehicles produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions than internal combustion engine vehicles, they also contribute less to air and water pollution. This ordinance will make it easier for the Town of Jackson to meet both our sustainability goals and the growing demand for electric vehicle charging while providing more residents with the freedom to drive the vehicle that is right for them.” Tanya Anderson ecosystem stewardship administrator with the Town of Jackson said.

The early models of electric vehicles were often considered luxury vehicles, but with all major car manufacturers having made commitments to electric vehicles, the number of base models available have grown to 40 with many at competitive sticker prices. Some new electric cars starting MSRP are around $28,000 and adding the $7,500 tax credit brings the price close to $20,000 for a new car.  In addition, as electric vehicles are into their second decade of availability, used electric vehicles are more available. Finally, the inflation reduction act provided for the expansion of the electric vehicle tax credit to last until 2032 and used vehicles, at least two years old, can qualify for up to a $4,000 tax credit.