Chalk it up to record-breaking gas prices or the fact that automakers are finally making the kinds of electric vehicles that people actually want to buy, EVs are selling faster than ever before. Zero-emissions cars currently account for 12% of new vehicle sales in California, according to the nonprofit EV advocacy group VELOZ.
Still, renters have been slow to buy in. In Los Angeles, nearly 70% of residents lease an apartment or condominium, yet only 14% of EV drivers are renters, according to a recent survey from Plug in America. A lack of chargers at older apartment buildings and condominiums is one major cause, but California renters who meet certain criteria can change that.
Under the state’s EV charging station law, Civil Code 1947.6, landlords are required to accept a tenant’s written request to install an EV charger if they meet certain criteria: The renter needs to have created, extended or renewed the lease on or after July 1, 2015; the renter has to have a dedicated parking space at the building; the building needs to have at least five parking spaces; and the renter must pay for the EV charger, its installation and the charging costs incurred from plugging in their vehicles.
A landlord may require certain things in return, such as determining where the charger is installed and how it is used and maintained. The landlord may also require that the charger be removed once the tenant moves out.
EV chargers range in cost but start at about $500, with installation costing $1,000 to $2,000. Many electric utilities and cities provide rebates for chargers and their installation, including LADWP Charge Up LA, which offers a $1,250 rebate on EV chargers and installations, and Electrify Santa Monica, which offers a $2,000 rebate.