December 2022

Inside Washington

Fire Codes Could Affect EV Charging Sites

Paige Anderson

There is another lesser-known entity that could impact retailers’ ability to operate EV chargers at their gas stations—the National Fire Protection Association. The NFPA is in the process of updating its 30A Handbook for 2024 to establish model fire codes, and NACS is working to ensure that the proposed codes do not become a barrier to creating a competitive EV charging market.

The NFPA is a nonprofit organization with the mission to help save lives and reduce losses due to fire, electrical and related hazards by providing information, education and expertise, and that includes developing model codes and standards for fire mitigation and prevention.

The Technical Committee on Automotive and Marine Service Stations has jurisdiction over codes and standards relating to fuel retailing and gas stations. It is made up of stakeholders from installers, enforcers, manufacturers, researchers and testers, special experts, users and insurers.

The technical committee in 2019 created a task group to develop guidance in siting EV charging at refueling facilities as part of the 2024 handbook revision process. The passage of the federal infrastructure bill, which included billions of dollars of incentives to install and operate EV chargers, raised concerns among some of the group’s members about the need to speed up the process to address EVs. A proposed Tentative Interim Amendment fell short of the needed votes for passage earlier this year.

NACS argued against rushing the process. Now, the proposal is going through regular order and will face a technical committee vote in February 2023, preceded by a public comment period. There are additional hurdles before any proposed revision is adopted.

NACS has been actively engaged throughout the process, sharing concerns that these proposals will make it difficult, if not impossible in many cases, for convenience and fuel retailers to put EV chargers on their sites because of unworkable hazard buffer zones, overly broad definitions of what is considered a hazard and what is an EV charging area. 

Paige Anderson

Paige Anderson is NACS director of government relations. She can be reached at