What Business Owners Need to Know About EV Charging Stations and ADA Compliance
As electric vehicles become more and more of the norm, business owners are seeing the value of adding EV charging stations to their commercial properties. If you’re planning to install charging stations at your business, it’s important to be mindful of electrical and building regulations associated with EVSE installation. It’s also important to consider ADA compliance.
ADA compliance is a statute that requires businesses to provide for easy access and use of charging stations for the differently abled. Being that approximately 54 million Americans are living with a disability today, providing ADA compliant charging stations is not only a requirement but is also a necessary part of delivering quality service to your customers.
ADA compliance is relatively straightforward and easy to comprehend. The Americans with Disabilities Act was put into place in 1990 to establish clear and comprehensive guidelines to prevent discrimination in public spaces on the basis of disability. Essentially, the ADA attempts to ensure that public spaces are safely accessible to everyone, regardless of mobility.
Let’s explore what exactly makes a charging station ADA compliant (all of Hion Distribution’s products are ADA compliant-ready, BTW 😉), and what to know when considering EVSE installation:
What Makes an EV Charging Station ADA Compliant?
For business owners with electric vehicle charging stations, ADA compliance involves features that make their equipment accessible and easy to use. Making an EV charging station ADA compliant includes providing enough space and accessibility so that the differently abled can easily maneuver out of and around their vehicle and the charging station.
The good news is that most businesses probably already comply with ADA regulations regarding van accessibility in parking lots and ramp accessibility to buildings. Accessibility for charging stations is not much different. Along with general space, curb cuts or ramps might be necessary to facilitate access. These accommodations help people with wheelchairs and other assistive equipment maneuver around and access the charging equipment. Businesses will need to allocate a certain amount of square footage in the parking area to allow for these accommodations, and/or provide a certain amount of ADA complaint charging stations to correlate with their total amount of stations available on property.
Beyond easy access to the charging stations, business owners should also consider the location of these stations in relation to entrances and access pathways.
SOME BASIC ADA COMPLIANCE REQUIREMENTS:
- # OF DESIGNATED ACCESSIBLE SPACES: 4% of total spaces, or 1 for every 25 spaces.
- VAN ACCESSIBILITY: 1 out of every 6 spaces should be van accessible.
- PARKING SPACES: 8 X 18 feet for a car. 11 x 18 feet for a van.
- CHARGING CORD LENGTH: Cord must be 15 to 48 inches to allow use from a wheelchair.
- UNOBSTRUCTED ACCESS: Curb cuts or ramps with an unimpeded route must be in place for wheelchair access. Chargers and cables cannot obstruct pathways.
- ROUTE WIDTH: Mandatory 50-inch wide access route in relatively close proximity to allow entrance to the building.
- MANUAL ACCESS: Must be able to be operated with one hand without requiring grasping, pinching, or twisting of the wrist or force of more than 5 lbs.
Do ADA Compliance Regulations Vary State to State?
Being that the Americans with Disabilities Act is a federal civil rights law, its rules and regulations apply to every state. This means that ADA compliance is the same in every state as a baseline for handicap accessibility. However, since being enacted in 1990, many states have developed additional building codes that extend beyond the basic requirements laid out by the ADA. For instance, the ADA dictates that 4% of parking spaces, or 1 for every 25 spaces, in any given lot, be designated as accessible, and that 1 out of every 6 spaces should be van accessible. This differs from a state like California, for example, where they require at least 1 accessible station in a lot with 4 spaces or fewer. You can inquire about your state’s individual building requirements by contacting your state’s Office of Disability, building codes bureau, or equivalent state agency.
HiON Distribution Provides EV Chargers for ADA Compliant Stations
HiON Distribution is committed to delivering the best EV charging products to American businesses, homes, and public spaces. Our experts are ready and available to assist in finding the best charging solutions for your business.