Here’s how you can charge.

Owning an EV is more challenging for renters and those without garages, but solutions exist. While most EV owners are homeowners who charge overnight at home, we discuss options for those who share parking in private or public settings. Here’s how you can go electric: 

How to Charge if I Live in a Multi-Unit Dwelling?

Sometimes, landlords or associations discourage EV charging, and it doesn’t help that there is no one-size-fits-all solution for installation. Experts agree that there are a few steps that renters or condo owners can take to access charging. The first is looking up local “right-to-charge” laws, which require homeowners’ associations or landlords to allow residents to install Level 1 or Level 2 charging. Currently, only ten states have “right-to-charge” laws established. For example, in California and Colorado, renters have the right to install charging at their private parking space or, in some cases, in a public area at their apartment building. Florida, Hawaii, and New Jersey have similar but limited laws.

Residents can directly contact their landlords or property owners to advocate installing charging infrastructure. There are online resources of template letters to facilitate this communication, and various charging solutions are available that could enable property managers to profit from selling electricity. Additionally, in more affluent buildings, developers and landlords are increasingly incorporating charging facilities as a perk to draw tenants.

Several EV advocacy groups are working on changing building codes in cities and states so that multifamily homes with parking have to be “EV-ready.” This means that properties will have upgraded electrical panels and conduit running to the parking space, ultimately making it cheaper and easier to install an EV charger.

How to Charge if I Park on the Street?

Drivers residing in single-family homes without a garage or assigned parking face unique charging challenges. Those who park on the street have devised innovative solutions to charge their vehicles.

Drivers using extension cords for EV charging must be cautious of local regulations. However, some cities like D.C., Cambridge, and Seattle permit sidewalk charging with safety measures like visible ramps over cords. While car manufacturers generally advise against using extension cords, if necessary, using thicker 10- or 12-gauge cords is recommended to reduce safety risks. It’s important to note that extension cord charging typically provides only Level 1 charging, the slowest type. However, this can be sufficient for most Americans driving around 30 to 40 miles daily.

Homeowners in some areas can hire electricians to install curbside charging ports, though they should first check local regulations and permit requirements. In EV-friendly cities like Seattle, local governments may subsidize these installations, with programs providing faster curbside charging options for participating residents.

What if I Rely on Public Charging?

When home charging isn’t feasible, many drivers turn to public charging stations, including those at workplaces or fast-charging DC stations that can boost an EV battery from 0 to 80 percent in about 20 minutes. However, relying on public fast charging can quickly become a nuisance for drivers if the charger is broken, if it’s crowded with other drivers, or if a charger is not available in your immediate area. Non-Tesla drivers or those without an adapter to use a Tesla supercharger are limited even more with charging options.

Some apps like Charge EV and PlugShare can help EV drivers find available charging ports.

It’s important to note that public charging is usually more costly than at-home options; however, it generally remains cheaper than filling up with gasoline in most areas. Officials continue to work on creating policies so it’s not cost-prohibitive for people who don’t have a garage to own an EV. This shows that communities all over the US are developing creative solutions, and fast EV charging will become more accessible.

For EV charging solutions for any property type, contact State Electric Company today!


State Electric Company is a leader in the electrification of the nation. Our highly educated and experienced team of professionals uses industry-leading software technology and has partnered with manufacturers to deliver affordable solutions for all your electrical needs. State Electric Co. is also an exclusive distributor of Enel X JuiceBox EV chargers for residential and commercial use. We are fully licensed, insured, and bonded to install charging stations for homes, offices, hotels, and more. With our extensive knowledge of renewable energy, our team provides customers – large or small – with efficient electrical solutions. Contact us today to learn how we can safely and affordably meet your energy needs. 

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: