How to charge an EV while living in an apartment

Written by: Jane Marsh

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Red brick high-rise apartments with windows span screen.

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.

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.

2 COMMENTS

  1. I am interested in finding out more about installing a EV changing station, I live I’m NYC, in a 32 story High rise. What effects will this have on the Corporations electric bill?
    Are there dangers leaving the car pluged in while one is charging ? Can you leave the vehicle unattended? While you go upstairs to your apartment?
    These are a few of my concerns tha k you in advance.

    Director Russell

    • Hello Director Russell,

      Thank you for your thoughtful questions regarding the installation of a new EV charging station.

      Unattended Charging: Yes, you can leave an EV unattended while it charges. This convenience allows EV owners to engage in other activities, such as working or sleeping. Modern EVs are designed with safety in mind, and the risks associated with charging are very low. While incidents during charging receive considerable media attention, the occurrence of any problems are rare. Statistics from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and EVFireSafe indicate that only about 1 in 83,333 EVs experience a fire, many of which do not occur during charging. This underscores the safety of these vehicles compared to conventional risks.

      Impact on Electric Bill: The increase in electricity costs will vary based on several factors, including the make and model of the vehicle, mileage driven, and driving efficiency. While it’s challenging to predict exact costs without specific details, charging an EV generally costs about 25-35% of the fuel costs for gasoline or diesel vehicles. For multiple charging ports, a detailed consultation would be necessary to assess the full impact and explore solutions like individual energy meters to manage costs effectively.

      Should you have more questions or require a detailed consultation, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly.

      Best regards,

      Zack Hurst
      EvoSpark Group
      fuelsfix@ev-resource.com

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