Solar panels and charging stations will be required on all new developments
The City of Fremont, California, perhaps best known for being home to Tesla’s vehicle assembly plant, is following in the footsteps of its most famous corporate resident.
A new ordinance passed by Fremont City Council on May 3 requires all new housing developments to be fitted with solar panels, and to contain wiring for EV charging stations, according to the East Bay Times. The moves will form one plank in the state’s strategy to make all new homes “zero net energy” by 2020.
It follows a similar ruling in October which required new developments with parking spaces to contain wiring and infrastructure to allow EV charging. In the case of large projects, the city will require 10% of the available parking spaces to have a charging station installed.
“Right now, we have over 5,000 EV drivers in Fremont, and we’d really like to see that number continue to grow and multiply over the next handful of years,” the city’s sustainability coordinator Rachel DiFranco said.
It is fortuitous timing for Tesla, which issued an update and pricings for its solar roof tiles on May 10.
Customers can expect to pay around $21.85 per square foot, for a roof where 35% of the tiles are solar generating (customers can select what percentage of tiles they will need based on their household consumption).
Elon Musk told analysts on a conference call that up to 70% of the surface could be covered in generating tiles, but that 40% was more likely to be the average.
The company has also created a calculator tool to let homeowners assess the upfront cost.
Continuing Musk’s history of bold offerings, they will also be sold under an infinite warranty, with the strong suggestion that most tiles will last even longer than the houses they’re mounted on.
With the city’s new laws and Tesla’s ambitious stab at a new kind of rooftop solar offering, residents of Freemont can look forward to being at the cutting edge of eco-friendly home development.