Statistics show that electric vehicle owners typically charge their cars at home. In fact, some data reports that most EV owners will charge up at home around 95% of the time. But in most cases, that holds true only for those who actually own their homes. Too frequently, renters are left out of the equation entirely due to their lack of access to EV stations.

EV charging access determines EV ownership

Around 80% of owner-occupied households in the U.S. have access to a garage or carport — the spot in which the majority of electric car charging stations will be located. Because the majority of homeowners have garage or carport access, it stands to reason that EV stations might be pretty prevalent among this demographic. According to federal data, homeowners are anywhere from three to six times more likely to own electric vehicles than renters are. That disparity doesn’t come down to income gaps, either. Even when household incomes between renters and homeowners are similarly placed between $75,000 and $100,000 per year, there’s a significant difference in EV ownership. While one in 130 homeowners owns an electric vehicle under these circumstances, only one in 370 renters will.

But it’s worth noting that the lack of EV stations for renters has big consequences. Approximately 43 million households (or 37% of all households) rent their homes in the United States. But it’s clear that renters are a lot less likely to purchase electric vehicles — and it’s not necessarily because they don’t want them or can’t afford them.

One of the main reasons renters choose not to buy electric vehicles is that they don’t have options for EV charging overnight at home or at work. Many renters don’t have garage or even assigned parking spot access, but that alone doesn’t account for the lack of electric car charging apartment options in America. Often, it comes down to misconceptions about EV station installation, associated costs, and perceived demand for this technology.

EV charging is worth the cost

Unfortunately, many residential property owners and managers are convinced that installing vehicle charging stations won’t pay off. They might assume that only a few tenants would take advantage and that their budget would be better spent on making other improvements to the property. While the installation of a charging station should not take precedent over necessary repairs, it’s important to note that there are many advantages associated with EV station installation for rental property owners.

For one thing, some states and municipalities, such as California, have passed laws in recent years requiring property managers to allow tenants to install EV charging stations in their own designated parking spaces. There are exemptions and restrictions to where these chargers can be installed, but in general, the law and burden fall on the side of the tenant. A rental property that installs charging stations for its tenants can advertise its stations and attract new tenants. Making this kind of investment in your property will attract tenants who are concerned about their carbon footprint and who may be willing to pay top dollar to live somewhere that offers easy access to electric vehicle charging. And if you’re able to charge more for these kinds of perks, the financial differences could be huge. Management companies can improve their brand recognition and become known for sustainable improvements like these.

Secondly, there are state and local initiatives geared towards installation of EV chargers for multi-unit dwellings. Some utility companies have created programs that are extremely attractive and offer substantial discounts. Some states offer tax rebates. By taking advantage of these incentives, property owners and managers can make a significant investment into their property value and long-term marketing, without the high cost. In the big picture, the potential payoff is well worth the effort.

EV charging can be a reality on any type of property — including those that cater to multiple families living in rental units. Want to learn more about how to add EV charging to your multifamily property? Read our previous post on what you need to consider, then ask your SemaConnect representative how you can reap the benefits of electric vehicle charging.