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EV Charging Is Still a Huge Problem for Renters

If you live in a place that shares a wall with someone you dont know, you probably dont have EV charging access.

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Image: Tom Williams (AP)

While EV marketshare is increasing, a large part of the population isn’t sold on EVs yet. The main reason is a lack of access to charging facilities, which is still a problem for many. As Automotive News reports, a study by JD Power shows that renters and people living in condos are the main demographics that face hurdles to proper charging.

The data comes from JD Power’s 2022 U.S. Electric Vehicle Consideration (EVC) Study. The data highlights the divide many people aren’t talking about when it comes to charging access: homeowners have it better. JD Power found that not only are homebuyers usually wealthier but they’re also more likely to consider an EV if they don’t own one versus buyers who live in condos or apartments, some 24 percent when compared to just 17 percent for renters. The most damning part of all of this is the number of people who just straight up don’t consider EVs at all because of lack of charging access. JD Power says that number of people sits at 34 percent.


Charging an EV as an apartment or condo dweller can be a hassle. Just ask IndyCar driver Simona de Silvestro, who told us she has to charge her Chevy Volt from her apartment balcony on the third floor.

And even if you are able to have charging installed, it’s not cheap and can be a hassle full of red tape depending on where you live. Costs vary, but if you want a decent amount of range in a reasonable amount of time, you’ll want a Level 2 charger. That charger can give you anywhere between 18 to 28 miles per hour. But again, depending on where you live, it’s going to cost you between $500 to $1,200. And that can be a hit to someone that’s renting.


The red tape makes it worse. Remember, if you live in an apartment or condo, you’re paying for something to be installed in something someone else owns. That’s a liability. From Auto News:

California tenants, for example, must obtain and pay for liability insurance to cover damage or injury caused by an EV charger. And landlords can charge fees for a dedicated space next to a charging station if a tenant doesn’t have a reserved parking spot.

Some cities and properties are doing their part to help, like installing street chargers. But even then it’s dicey. JD Power gave a survey to some 11,000 EV owners and found that one in five wasn’t able to charge their EVs at a public charger. Even worse, 72 percent said the charger was either malfunctioning or didn’t work at all.

It’s clear we have a way to go before mass EV adoption. All we can do now is e wait for private companies and Federal, state, and local officials to do what they can to make sure charging is both accessible for everyone and works.