Wilmington Goes Green: New Law Paves Way for Electric Vehicle Charging Stations in Residential Areas

electric vehicle© Melpomenem / Getty Images / Canva

WILMINGTON, DE — Beginning January 1, 2024, electric vehicle charging stations (EVCS) would be permitted in certain residential areas of the City of Wilmington under the terms of legislation that has been introduced before the City Council. The Purzycki Administration is seeking approval of an Ordinance sponsored by Council Member Chris Johnson that would permit EVCS in residential rights-of-way. Once the legislation becomes law, Wilmington will be in compliance with a 2022 state law from lead sponsor Senator Sarah McBride requiring the City to establish a process for residents to obtain an EVCS.

The new law would enable owners or renters of single-family properties to obtain permits from the City’s Department of Public Works to charge their electric vehicles (EV) in two different formats:

  • Through use of a curbside charging cord that would be run from their home to their vehicle. The vehicle must be parked directly in front of their property. The cord would also have to be covered so as to prevent a sidewalk tripping hazard.
  • Through the use of a charging station which would be permitted by the City to be installed by the EV owner or property owner in the public right-of-way directly in front of property in which the electric vehicle owner resides.

Neither format allows an electric vehicle owner to reserve a parking space. Blocking or marking a space for that purpose would result in a fine. In other words, the use of a charging cord or a charging station is only permitted when an electric vehicle owner is able to randomly obtain the parking space directly in front of the property in which they reside. EV owners who own or live at a property with off-street parking and are able to establish a cord charging system or install a charging station are not eligible to receive permits for use of a charging cord or charging station in the public right-of-way.

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Among other requirements, the City would charge a $100 application fee and require the electric vehicle owner to notify neighbors on their block that they have applied to the City for permission to install a charging station in the public right-of-way. There is no fee in order to obtain a City permit to use a charging cord.

Complete details of the Ordinance that would establish EV charging options in the City of Wilmington beginning January 1, 2024, can be found here.

“This is just the start of our City’s quest to develop a more complete EVCS program,” said Mayor Mike Purzycki. “The technology is moving rapidly yet there are currently limited options available to accommodate EV owners, especially in densely populated cities. We will stay on top of this issue to ensure that Wilmington remains in the forefront of the EV movement and the development of available charging options.”

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