How to charge an EV while living in an apartment

Written by: Jane Marsh

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The widespread use of electric vehicles (EVs) once seemed a distant reality. However, more Americans are interested in swapping their fuel-burning cars for plug-ins.

According to the Edison Electric Institute (EEI), EVs will account for 32% of annual light-duty vehicle purchases in 2030. Yet, with the growing number of EVs on the road, there’s a need for more charging stations.

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Currently, the United States has nearly 140,000 public chargers at 53,000 charging stations, still well below what’s required to meet demand.

Despite the Biden Administration’s goal of installing an additional 500,000 EV chargers to ensure greater accessibility, the changes can’t come soon enough for today’s EV-owning renters.

Living in an apartment and owning an EV presents several challenges. However, renters might find these five solutions helpful for getting a charge.

1.   Locate a Nearby Charging Station

The U.S. is on its way to reducing its tailpipe emissions and slowing transportation-induced global warming by promoting EVs. Making the transition possible is convenient public fast-charging stations at malls, grocery stores, restaurants and gyms. 

Renters can locate one of the nearest 6,477 supercharging EV stations to where they live and get a quick yet full charge before setting out for the day.

2.   Charge at Work

Those who commute to the office may have an opportunity to charge their vehicle at work. More companies have installed EV charging stations for their employees — an easy way for renters to electrify their cars while sitting behind their desks.

Since companies are eligible for EV charger incentives, it could be worth asking for some if they’ve yet to install any on the premises. 

3.   Use a Wall Outlet

Depending on where you park your car, you can charge your EV by running an extension cord to a standard 120-volt outlet in your apartment unit.

This type of electrification is considered Level 1 and usually delivers a 5-mile charge after an hour — plug your vehicle in for 10 hours and you can get up to 50 miles.

Those who typically drive shorter distances could find this practical. Others might use this method to give their EVs enough juice to get them to a supercharging station the following day.

4.   Speak With Your Landlord

Landlords are always looking for ways to improve their renters’ lives and secure future financial opportunities. For instance, many renters consider central air a luxury amenity that factors into their decision to apply for a unit.

With the growing EV popularity, landlords might see charging stations as another opportunity to secure tenants.

Speak to your landlord about installing EV chargers. In some states like Connecticut, new laws require landlords to approve a tenant’s request for EV chargers.

In other states like Oregon, landlords must approve a request within 60 days, but the tenant is responsible for purchasing and installing the charger themselves.

5.   Look for an Apartment With an EV Charger

When all else fails, renters might look for another apartment building that provides EV chargers.

Moving to an apartment with an onsite EV charging station will save drivers time and money looking for alternatives to electrifying their cars.

Be sure to include “EV charging” in your search filter when looking for a new place online. The results will show available units that have this important amenity.

EVs Are Changing the Rental Landscape

The adoption of EVs is creating a shift in multi-family real estate. Eventually, living in an apartment while owning an EV will be more convenient than ever. Until then, renters can utilize these five tips to charge their vehicles.

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