ADA Electric Vehicle Charging Stations in California

Even though the California Building Code and Federal accessibility standards require that public accommodations and services be made accessible to persons with disabilities, there are currently no specific state codes regulating accessibility for EV charging stations.

The Governor’s Office and the Division of State Architect’s have issued accessibility “guidelines” and “best practices” for EV charging stations under the DSA’s regulatory jurisdiction, and there are some local city jurisdictions that currently have accessibility requirements for these units.

We now have the “proposed EVCS requirements” for EV charging stations that will become enforceable in the new 2016 California Building Code (CBC) Chapter 11B coming out in January 2017.

Keep in mind, these are proposed changes to the CBC and are not currently enforceable under the existing 2013 CBC. Ultimately, we all must wait until January 2017 to see what the final adopted changes are going to be, but chances are these guidelines will become law very soon.

With that said, here are the proposed guidelines for EVCS coming out in January 2017 as provided by the Division of State Architect.

Keep in mind; many of the requirements for disabled parking stalls including a compliant path of travel are required for EVCS locations.

11B-812 Electric vehicle-charging stations

11B-812.1 General. Electric vehicle charging stations (EVCS) shall comply with Section 11B-812 as required by Section 11B-228.3. Where vehicle spaces and access aisles are marked with lines, measurements shall be made from the centerline of the markings.

Exception: Where vehicle spaces or access aisles are not adjacent to another vehicle space, access aisle, or parking space, measurements shall be permitted to include the full width of the line defining the vehicle space or access aisle.

11B-812.2 Operable parts. Operable parts shall comply with Section 11B-309.

11B-812.3 Floor or ground surfaces. Vehicle spaces and access aisles serving them shall comply with Section 11B-302. Access aisles shall be at the same level as the vehicle space they serve. Changes in level, slopes exceeding 1:48, and detectable warnings shall not be permitted in vehicle spaces and access aisles.

11B-812.4 Vertical clearance. Vehicle spaces, access aisles serving them, and vehicular routes serving them shall provide a vertical clearance of 98 inches (2489 mm) minimum. Where provided, overhead cable management systems shall not obstruct required vertical clearance.

11B-812.5 Accessible routes 

11B-812.5.1 Accessible route to building or facility. EVCS complying with Section 11B-812 that serve a particular building or facility shall be located on an accessible route to an entrance complying with Section 11B-206.4. Where EVCS do not serve a particular building or facility, EVCS complying with Section 11B-812 shall be located on an accessible route to an accessible pedestrian entrance of the EV charging facility.

Exception: EVCS complying with Section 11B-812 shall be permitted to be located in different EV charging facilities if substantially equivalent or greater accessibility is provided in terms of distance from an accessible entrance or entrances, charging fee, and user convenience.

11B-812.5.2 Accessible route to EV charger. An accessible route complying with Section 11B-402 shall be provided between the vehicle space and the EV charger, which serves it.

11B-812.5.3 Relationship to accessible routes. Vehicle spaces and access aisles shall be designed so that when the vehicle space is occupied the required clear width of adjacent accessible routes is not obstructed. A curb, wheel stop, bollards, or other barrier shall be provided if required to prevent encroachment of vehicles over the required clear width of adjacent accessible routes.

11B-812.5.4 Arrangement. Vehicle spaces and access aisles shall be designed so that persons using them are not required to travel behind vehicle spaces or parking spaces other than the vehicle space in which their vehicle has been left to charge.

Exceptions:

  1. Ambulatory EVCS shall not be required to comply with Section 11B-812.5.4.
  2. Vehicle spaces installed in existing facilities shall comply with Section 11B-812.5.4 to the maximum extent feasible.

11B-812.5.5 Obstructions. EVCS shall be designed so accessible routes are not obstructed by cables or other elements.

11B-812.6 Vehicle spaces. Vehicle spaces serving van accessible, standard accessible, ambulatory and drive-up EVCS shall be 216 inches (5486 mm) long minimum and shall comply with Sections 11B-812.6.1 through 11B-812.6.4 as applicable. All vehicle spaces shall be marked to define their width.

Exceptions:

  1. Where the long dimension of vehicle spaces is parallel to the traffic flow in the adjacent vehicular way, the length of vehicle spaces shall be 240 inches (6096 mm) minimum.
  2. Vehicle spaces at drive-up EVCS shall be 240 inches (6096 mm) long minimum and shall not be required to be marked to define their width.

11B-812.6.1 Van accessible. Vehicle spaces serving van accessible EVCS shall be 144 inches (3658 mm) wide minimum and shall have an adjacent access aisle complying with Section 11B-812.7.

11B-812.6.2 Standard accessible. Vehicle spaces serving standard accessible EVCS shall be 108 inches (2743 mm) wide minimum and shall have an adjacent access aisle complying with Section 11B-812.7.

11B-812.6.3 Ambulatory. Vehicle spaces serving ambulatory EVCS shall be 120 inches (3048 mm) wide minimum and shall not be required to have an adjacent access aisle.

11B-812.6.4 Drive-up. Vehicle spaces serving drive-up EVCS shall be 204 inches (5182 mm) wide minimum and shall not be required to have an adjacent access aisle.

11B-812.7 Access aisle. Access aisles shall adjoin an accessible route. Two vehicle spaces shall be permitted to share a common access aisle. Access aisles shall be 60 inches (1524 mm) wide minimum and shall extend the full-required length of the vehicle spaces they serve.

11B-812.7.1 Location. Access aisles at vehicle spaces shall not overlap the vehicular way and may be placed on either side of the vehicle space they serve except for van accessible spaces which shall have access aisles located on the passenger side of the vehicle spaces.

11B-812.7.2 Marking. Access aisles at vehicle spaces shall be marked with a painted borderline around their perimeter. The area within the borderlines shall be marked with hatched lines a maximum of 36 inches (914 mm) on center. The color of the borderlines, hatched lines, and letters shall contrast with that of the surface of the access aisle. The blue color required for identification of access aisles for accessible parking shall not be used. Access aisle markings may extend beyond the minimum required length.

11B-812.7.3 Lettering. The words “NO PARKING” shall be painted on the surface within each access aisle in letters a minimum of 12 inches (305 mm) in height and located to be visible from the adjacent vehicular way.

11B-812.8 Identification signs. EVCS identification signs shall be provided in compliance with Section 11B-812.8.

11B-812.8.1 Four or fewer. Where four or fewer total EVCS are provided, identification with an International Symbol of Accessibility (ISA) shall not be required.

11B-812.8.2 Five to twenty-five. Where five to twenty-five total EVCS are provided, one van accessible EVCS shall be identified by an ISA complying with Section 11B-703.7.2.1. The required standard accessible EVCS shall not be required to be identified with an ISA.

11B-812.8.3 Twenty-six or more. Where twenty-six or more total EVCS are provided, all required van accessible and all required standard accessible EVCS shall be identified by an ISA complying with Section 11B-703.7.2.1.

11B-812.8.4 Ambulatory. Ambulatory EVCS shall not be required to be identified by an ISA.

11B-812.8.5 Drive-up. Drive-up EVCS shall not be required to be identified by an ISA.

11B-812.8.6 Finish and size. Identification signs shall be reflectorized with a minimum area of 70 square inches (45,161 mm2). 

11B-812.8.7 Location. Required identification signs shall be visible from the EVCS it serves. Signs shall be permanently posted either immediately adjacent to the vehicle space or within the projected vehicle space width at the head end of the vehicle space. Signs identifying van accessible vehicle spaces shall contain the designation “van accessible.” Signs shall be 60 inches (1525 mm) minimum above the finish floor or ground surface measured to the bottom of the sign. Signs located within an accessible route shall be 80 inches (2032 mm) minimum above the finish floor or ground surface measured to the bottom of the sign. Signs may also be permanently posted on a wall at the interior end of the vehicle space.

11B-812.9 Surface marking. EVCS vehicle spaces shall provide surface marking stating “EV CHARGING ONLY” in letters 12 inches (305 mm) high minimum. The centerline of the text shall be a maximum of 6 inches (152 mm) from the centerline of the vehicle space and its lower corner at, or lower side aligned with, the end of the parking space length.

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11B-812.10 Electric vehicle chargers.

11B-812.10.1 General. EV chargers shall comply with Section 11B-812.10.

11B-812.10.2 Operable parts. Operable parts and charging cord storage shall comply with Section 11B-309.

11B-812.10.3 Point-of-sale devices. Where provided, point-of-sale devices shall comply with Sections 11B-707.2, 11B-707.3, 11B-707.7.2, and 11B-707.9.

11B-812.10.4 Location. EV chargers shall be adjacent to, and within the projected width of the vehicle space being served.

Exceptions:

  1. EV chargers serving more than one EVCS shall be adjacent to, and within the combined projected width of the vehicle spaces being served.
  2. For alterations at existing facilities where an accessible route or general circulation path is not provided adjacent to the head end of the vehicle space or access aisle, the EV charger may be located within the projected width of the access aisle 36 inches (914 mm) maximum from the head end of the space.
  3. Where the long dimension of a vehicle space is parallel to the vehicular way, the EV charger shall be adjacent to, and 48 inches (1219 mm) maximum from the head end or foot end of the vehicle space or access aisle being served.
    • If four or fewer EVCS stalls are provided, then no crosshatched areas or ISA signage is needed or required.
    • Where five to twenty five total EVCS are provided, then one must be made Van accessible with an ISA sign and an eight foot wide crosshatched access aisle on the passenger side. The “Blue” border around the access aisle is not required and shall NOT be used. The standard accessible disabled EVCS stall does not require the ISA sign.
    • Where twenty-six or more EVCS are provided then all required “VAN” accessible and standard accessible EVCS shall provide ISA parking signs.

     

    4. The accessible EV parking space should not be less than 9 foot wide and 18 feet deep to accommodate the vehicle. The space should also include an 8-foot wide access aisle that extends the full depth of the parking space and should be located on the passenger side of the vehicle for van access. Additional ambulatory accessible EV charging stations may provide 5-foot wide access aisles and are not required to provide ISA parking signs unless 26 or more EVCS’s are provided on-site.

    5. The Accessible EV charging station and its access aisle need not be striped with a blue border or provided with signage unless it’s a Van accessible charging stall. Drive-up EVCS stalls shall not be required to provide ISA parking signage.

    6. Operable parts of accessible charging equipment and card readers should meet all applicable reach ranges, operating force and access provisions of the CBC for a side or forward approach for a 30” X 48” wheel chair space. A minimum 36” wide clear path should be provided to access charging equipment.

    7. An accessible path of travel should be provided to onsite facilities and services from an accessible EV charging station. For new construction, DSA guidelines recommend that the accessible charging station be located within 200 feet of a major facility or a major path of travel. For installations at existing sites, the accessible charging station need not be located in close proximity to site services, but should provide a compliant path of travel when such path does not exceed 20% of the cost and installation of EV equipment and charging stations onsite.

    Are you a landlord or property manager of an existing retail or office complex considering installing one or more EV charging stations?

    Give us a call first. We will meet with you and your contractor to identify locations that will reduce costs and better serve all customers using these new charging stations.

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