Electric vehicle adoption continues to increase across the U.S. Just recently, the country passed an important threshold — the 5% mark. That is, 5% of new vehicle sales are now fully electric. This is a crucial tipping point that often leads to increasingly rapid EV adoption. However, there’s still a critical EV ownership gap that needs to be addressed. Although 1 in 130 homeowners owns an electric vehicle, the same is only true for 1 in 370 renters.
Why this gap in EV ownership? It largely comes down to access. Given that 70% – 80% of EV charging occurs at home or at work, a big reason for this adoption gap is the lack of EV charging available in apartments and other types of multifamily housing. Even in California, the state with the most EV ownership and the most progressive laws encouraging EV purchases and charging infrastructure, the laws are lagging. While state laws in California require new single-family homes to be “EV capable,” only 40% of new multifamily units must meet this requirement.
Landlords don’t need to wait around for legal motivation to upgrade their properties with EV charging access, though. There are plenty of advantages available to them and their renters right now. The sooner they build or retrofit apartments with EV charging, the better it will be for everyone. Let’s take a look at ten benefits apartment EV chargers hold for renters and apartment owners.
Benefits of EV Charging for Apartment Residents
EV charging shouldn’t only be easy or accessible for homeowners. Full adoption requires that anyone can charge when they need to and wherever they need to. For renters, having this ability at home leads to several important benefits.
1. Ease Range Anxiety
Range anxiety — the fear that you’ll be unable to find a place to charge before you run out of battery power — is still the number one factor preventing EV adoption. And expanding charging infrastructure is one of the key factors in mitigating range anxiety. This starts at home. When drivers are confident they can leave their apartment every morning with a full charge, it goes a long way toward easing these fears.
2. Charge From the Comfort of Your Home
Having apartments with EV charging does more than ease anxiety; it simplifies daily life for EV owners. Now, you know you don’t have to make sure you grab one of the few charging stations at work or find another public place to recharge. You can comfortably recharge at home while you make dinner, help the kids with homework or simply enjoy a night in — and you don’t have to time it just right.
3. Remove Another Obstacle to Going Electric
As we mentioned, there’s a significant gap in EV ownership between renters and homeowners. Surely one of the biggest reasons is simply the freedom to install charging. Homeowners can install chargers on their property as long as they meet electrical codes. Renters, on the other hand, are at the mercy of their landlords. If those owners take the initiative to install EV charging in their apartments, they can make it that much easier for renters to take the leap.
4. It May Be Cheaper Than Charging Elsewhere
If renters can’t charge their EVs at their apartment, they must instead recharge at work or other public charging stations. Rates for using these stations may vary, and there’s no telling if the most convenient station will be the cheapest option. Landlords, on the other hand, can build the cost into a lease agreement and even discount it as an incentive for tenants, making it a more affordable option.
5. Take Advantage of Other Modern Benefits
Property owners who are ahead in installing EV chargers in their apartment complexes will likely be ahead of the curve in other ways, too. Renters who enjoy the benefits of EV charging may gain access to many other modern apartment perks, from high-speed Wi-Fi to built-in smart home features.
Benefits of Apartments with EV Charging for Property Owners
Renters aren’t the only ones who stand to benefit from upgrading apartments with EV charging. Owners have a lot to gain, too. Here are some of the biggest advantages for landlords.
6. Appeal to More Potential Tenants
Despite the gap in EV ownership, homeowners are by no means the only ones looking to buy electric vehicles. In 2016, a survey by Multifamily Executive found that 15% of renters planned to buy an electric vehicle within the next five years. That was well before EVs saw the pace of adoption they see today. As a landlord, installing EV charging in your apartment gives you a competitive edge with this growing number of forward-thinking tenants.
7. Take Advantage of Incentives
The federal government, along with many state and local municipalities, continues to encourage EV ownership and the expansion of EV infrastructure. As an apartment owner, you can take advantage of numerous tax credits for installing EV charging stations, along with other incentives such as utility credits. These credits significantly curb the cost of investing in EV charging stations.
8. Add Another Revenue Stream
Even with the available incentives, multifamily property owners will weigh how to recoup the costs of taking this step. The good news is that charging stations offer an additional revenue opportunity. Even if you offer a discounted or free rate for residents, you can consider opening your stations to the public for a higher rate.
9. Raise Your Property Value
An investment in apartment EV chargers is not just a smart move to meet immediate demand. As EV ownership continues to increase, the presence of these chargers on your property will only increase its value. When you’re ready to sell your property, you’ll reap the rewards of this investment and further offset your upfront costs.
10. Do Your Part To Create a More Sustainable Future
Last but not least, installing EV chargers in an apartment complex is an opportunity for property owners to contribute to a more sustainable future and decrease their carbon footprint. Adding charging stations makes it easier for more people to switch to EVs and may even help you manage energy usage on your property more efficiently. It also scores you points toward LEED certification.
Upgrade Your Apartment Today
EV adoption is gaining traction in every sector of our society, but there’s more to be done to make it a reality for everyone. Renters should be able to realize the same benefits of charging at home that homeowners do, and apartment owners have much to gain from helping them get there.
EV Connect can help you navigate the costs and logistics of installing EV charging stations in your apartments so that you and your tenants can start reaping the rewards today. Read our Beginner’s Guide to Installing EV Charging Stations at Your Apartment Complex to get started.
University of California Berkeley – Evidence of a Homeowner-Renter Gap for Electric Vehicles
Fuels Institute – EV Consumer Behavior, June 2021
Government Technology – Bringing Car Charging to Apartments Is Not Without Challenges
Multi-Family Executive – Stat of the Week: EV Charging Stations
U.S. Green Building Council – Electric Vehicles