- Some municipalities are more welcoming to EVs than others, including how many multifamily rental properties offer charging stations as an amenity.
- California has the most EV-friendly cities, with three of them making the top five.
- EV infrastructure is still ramping up, so more cities may see broader EV adoption soon.
You know what can be tricky about renting? Making sure you have access to charging options in your apartment complex. Thankfully, more cities are starting to realize that their populations want electrified transportation, which means broader charging options. This even extends to multifamily housing offering more charging stations for their renters. And thanks to a survey by the National Multifamily Housing Council, we now have a list of the top EV-friendly cities in the U.S.
In 2022, the council released a study that said 27% of surveyed renters are interested in charging stations and would pay up to $28.12 more per month for them. Right now, only 4.7% of multifamily residential buildings in the U.S. offer EV charging stations. But some cities are working to lead the way in EV-friendly infrastructure:
San Jose, CA
When it comes to charging stations at multifamily housing communities, San Jose is far and away the leader. This city has the largest share of rental properties with EV charging stations, at 10.3%. It has over 44,000 registered EVs on the road and 2.2 public charging stations per 1,000 households.
In a surprise to few, Seattle is also toward the top of the list of most EV-friendly cities. It has 7.3% of its rental buildings also offering charging stations. It has over 47,000 registered EVs on the road and 0.6 public charging stations per 1,000 households.
San Francisco, CA
Another city that probably comes as no surprise. It has way more registered EVs within the city – over 105,000 – and 6.3% of rental buildings in the city come with charging stations. It also offers more public charging than Seattle, with 1.4 public stations per 1,000 households.
Los Angeles, CA
L.A. shares the same percentage of rentals with charging stations as San Francisco, at 6.3%, but it has somewhat fewer public charging options at 1.1 stations per 1,000 households. But it definitely has the most EVs on the road: over 290,000.
Rounding off our list of the top 5 EV-friendly cities, we have the nation’s capital. It has 5.0% of multifamily properties offering charging stations. But sadly, EV adoption is still a bit low, at 0.5 public stations per 1,000 households and only 43,000 registered EVs.
Will We Get More EV-Friendly Cities?
There is some growth when it comes to charging options, at least. The number of charging stations increased by nearly 58% in 2021 versus 2020, according to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuels Data Center. It rose by another 6.8% in 2022.
Moreover, the Inflation Reduction Act has reinstated a tax credit of up to 30% of the cost for chargers nationwide. This adds another incentive for businesses to install their own chargers.
But it’s still an uphill battle. Nearly half of U.S. cities with over 500,000 residents have 0.2 or fewer public charging stations per 1,000 households. And one city, McAllen-Edinburgh-Mission in Texas, has no public EV charging stations. Seventeen cities have no rental properties with EV charging stations available at all.
Despite these challenges, it’s clear that the demand for EV charging stations is on the rise. As more cities and landlords invest in EV infrastructure, it will become easier and more convenient for renters to make the switch to electric vehicles. With the help of state-level rebates, incentives, and tax credits, EV charging stations may soon become a standard amenity in multifamily buildings across the country.
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