EV Charging for Renters: Solutions and Challenges

As the transportation industry continues the shift to a more sustainable and green future through the mainstream adoption of electric vehicles (EVs), many petrol or diesel car owners still hesitate to get an EV due to roadblocks such as the installation of a reliable charging station on a rental property.

With younger generations having an increasingly hard time purchasing their first home for various reasons, they are expected to stay at flats and other rental properties for many more years than their parents or grandparents did before them. In London, for example, only 41 per cent of household heads aged 25 to 34 own their home, while 59.2 per cent rent their places of residence, according to a case study published by the Brookings Institution in 2021.

Since the adoption of EVs only accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic, many rental properties are barely ready to provide EV charging points in their list of amenities. Fortunately, this lack of infrastructure can be addressed with the proactive participation of landlords and their tenants who own EVs.

If you’re a tenant who’s concerned about the availability of EV charging stations in your flat or rented home, here are some issues you may encounter and the solutions you can implement to resolve them:

Problem: Unreliability of Public Charging Stations

electric cars charging

The most obvious solution to the lack of EV charging facilities at your flat or rented home is to rely on public charging stations. However, not all of these units are reliable.

In the UK, as such a third of chargepoints were reportedly out of order, as published in the UK news outlet, Express. Meanwhile, the US is experiencing the same issues. According to an investigative report by the Wall Street Journal, of the 30 charging stations, a reporter inspected, 40 per cent were malfunctioning or completely out of order.

Some of the issues encountered are difficulty establishing connections through handshake protocol, incompatibility with EV, shorter cables, and more.

Solution: Know the Quick Fixes to Get the Charger Working

Simple troubleshooting or maintenance techniques such as checking the charging cable connections or using alternative payment methods can help get the charger working promptly, allowing you to save time and avoid frustration.

You may also want to restart the charger by turning off the breaker and waiting a few seconds before turning it on again—much like you would do to reset your Wi-Fi router. As for incompatible chargers, Tesla and other stakeholders are already developing their chargers to accommodate other EV brands to ensure universal compatibility which will go a long way in addressing issues plaguing the EV industry.

Problem: Landlords Reluctant to Invest in Charging Stations

Despite the potential benefits, some landlords may be hesitant to invest in EV charging infrastructure due to cost concerns or lack of awareness.

In the case of the United States, EVs are typically viewed as luxury purchases where owners are assumed to have their own houses where they could have personal EV chargers installed. However, with the decreasing cost of EVs thanks to innovation and government grants in Europe, EVs are a practical choice for many, including renters.

Solution: Avail Yourself of Chargepoint Grants for Renters

electric car

Renters and flat owners can take advantage of grants or incentives specifically designed to support the installation of EV charging stations in rental properties.

According to the UK government, EV chargepoint grants are being distributed to renters as well as flat owners to help them with the cost of installing their very own chargers at home. Under this grant which began on the first of April 2022 and will close by the 31st of March 2025, EV owners who rent or live in flats will be eligible to receive up to £350 or 75 percent off the cost of buying and installing a high-powered socket.

This means that renters can volunteer to shoulder the cost of installing a chargepoint. When you search for “EV charger installer near me,” make sure the company installing your charger is accredited and qualified to claim the government grant for you to significantly reduce the cost of installing your EV charger.

Problem: Impermanence of Renting a Property

Renting a property comes with inherent uncertainties, including the potential for frequent moves or changes in living situations. Understandably, you may hesitate to install a costly EV charger, only to leave it when you move out.

Solution: Opt for a Portable EV Charging Unit

For renters seeking a flexible charging solution that can adapt to their changing living circumstances, portable EV charging units offer a convenient option. These portable chargers can be easily transported and used in various locations. However, you still need to have a high-powered socket to access your power supply.

Problem: Limited Parking Spaces

Limited parking spaces are a common challenge for renters, particularly in densely populated areas or blocks of flats. These types of rental properties usually have multi-story parking spaces with open slots that make it difficult to install your own dedicated socket.

Solution: Select Flats with a Dedicated Garage

In case you’re currently on the lookout for places to live, you can instantly avoid this issue by choosing a rental space with a separate car garage that makes it easy for you to install your EV charger.

However, if you’re already living somewhere, you can advocate to have the building management approve the installation of EV charging points for tenants of the building who drive EVs.

Problem: Potential Overloading of Building's Power Supply

In residential complexes where multiple EVs are charging simultaneously, there is a risk of overloading the building's power supply. This can lead to electrical safety concerns, particularly during peak charging times.

Solution: Install Load Management Systems

Implementing load management systems can help prevent the overloading of the building's power supply by regulating power usage and distributing charging load efficiently. These smart charging solutions ensure that power is allocated effectively. This can minimise the risk of electrical issues and ensure a reliable charging experience for all residents.

Living in rental units poses unique challenges when it comes to installing EV charging facilities. However, every problem has its solution. So, don’t let your renting status be a barrier to owning an EV car. Go ahead and enjoy driving, worry and guilt-free in your EV.

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