Working Paper

Electric vehicle charging at multifamily homes in the United States: Barriers, solutions, and selected equity considerations

Single-family homes with a garage or driveway allow for more convenient and lower cost home charging than public charging alternatives. However, for the nearly one-third of U.S. households that reside in multifamily homes (MFHs) such as condos, apartments, or duplexes, barriers to convenient home charging prevent equitable access to charging for electric vehicles (EVs). As the EV market evolves beyond the “early adopter” stage, access to affordable and convenient charging solutions in these communities is imperative for ensuring EV drivers living in MFHs are not reliant on more expensive, less convenient public charging options than those living in single-family homes.

This paper examines impediments to home charging at multifamily homes in the United States, surveying possible solutions and best practices for addressing such barriers. To underscore the importance of expanding EV charging for closing socioeconomic and demographic gaps in EV adoption, it also highlights selected equity implications for policymakers, regulators, and MFH owners, managers, and residents to consider as they weigh MFH charging options.

The paper identifies the following areas for improvement and subsequent recommendations:

  1. Building codes: Authorities having jurisdiction can adopt comprehensive EV-ready building codes that mandate one Level 2 EV-ready outlet per MFH unit with parking, wired directly to the unit panel, and capable of at least 20A, 208/240V charging.
  2. Parking management: Property managers can expand charger access and usage by allowing residents to reserve shared chargers via apps, investing in mobile chargers for flexible charging, and implementing pricing signals like idle fees.
  3. Electrical issues: MFH properties can load manage across multiple chargers using shared circuits or load management systems. MFH properties can directly wire charging infrastructure to unit panels to potentially avoid service upgrades and allow residents to access less expensive time-of-use rates.
  4. Capital costs: Legislators can offer incentives covering 50% to 75% of capital costs for multifamily home retrofits, while collaborations among non-profit, private, and public sectors can provide alternative financing and off-site charging hubs near residences.
  5. Processes and stakeholder engagement: Legislators can pass right-to-charge laws and provide incentives to fund expert consultations for EV charger deployment. Property managers can gauge residents’ interest and consult contractors and utilities to assess charging demand and capacity.


Charging infrastructure
United States