Electric vehicles are becoming increasingly popular due to their environmental benefits, reduced operating costs, and improved performance. However, a lack of charging infrastructure is a major barrier to their widespread adoption. This is particularly true for multifamily housing and disadvantaged communities, where the installation of EV charging stations can be costly and challenging. To encourage the adoption of EVs in these areas, electric vehicle charging incentive programs need to cover lower-power Level 1 and Level 2 charging stations.
Level 1 charging stations are the simplest and most affordable type of charging station, requiring only a standard 120-volt electrical outlet. While Level 1 charging is slower than Level 2 or DC fast charging, it is more than sufficient for almost all EV drivers, particularly those who can charge overnight. In our research, we found that Level 1 charging covers 96% of all EV driver needs. That last 4%? Thats what the public network should be for, not as a daily or weekly stop.
One of the biggest and often overlooked aspect to lower-powered stations is itsthe easiest and most cost-effective charging option for multifamily housing and disadvantaged communities. Most importantly Orange often installs MORE Level 1 chargers in high-end Class A properties as these properties have a dire need. They have lots of EV drivers but lack the power capacity to meet their communities needs. When they look to the energy provider to bring in more service they are faced with an impossible problem. Either the cost to upgrade service is so high it becomes completely unfeasible or the utility simply won't allow the upgrade. Using Level 1 chargers allows them to max out their panel capacity and bring in more thna enough charging outlets for the entire community, both for present and future demand.
This is because multifamily housing, like apartments and condos, presents unique challenges for EV charging infrastructure. Property managers must navigate the legal and practical issues associated with installing charging stations in a shared parking lot. Additionally, installation costs can be prohibitively high, as the building may need to upgrade its electrical infrastructure to support EV charging. In many cases, Level 1 charging is the only practical option for multifamily housing.
Disadvantaged communities also face unique challenges when it comes to EV adoption. These communities often lack access to charging infrastructure, which can make owning an EV impractical. In addition, many residents of disadvantaged communities are renters and may not have control over their parking situation, making it difficult to install a charging station. Level 1 charging can help overcome these barriers, as it can be installed using existing infrastructure and does not require a dedicated parking spot. Furthermore, just like large Class A properties they simply do not have the power to install more than a handful of stations. Level 1 chargers once again allow these properties to install en masse, suppling enough charging stations for everyone at the property. With the added benefit that Level 1 outlets are truly universal able to charge any type of electric vehicle from a Model S to an e-bike and everything in between.
Electric vehicle charging incentive programs have been successful in encouraging the installation of charging stations in many areas. However, these programs often focus on level 2 and DC fast charging stations, which are more expensive to install and may not be practical in multifamily housing and disadvantaged communities. By including Level 1 charging in incentive programs, these communities can benefit from the environmental and economic benefits of EV ownership without facing prohibitively high installation costs, all while covering MORE of their spaces with EV charging for far LESS cost.
In addition to making EV ownership more practical for multifamily housing and disadvantaged communities, Level 1 charging can also help address other societal challenges. For example, studies have shown that a lack of access to charging infrastructure is a major barrier to EV adoption in rural areas. By incentivizing the installation of Level 1 charging stations in these areas, electric vehicle charging incentive programs can help bridge this gap and reduce dependence on fossil fuels in rural communities.
Electric vehicle charging incentive programs need to cover Level 1 charging stations for their application in multifamily housing and disadvantaged communities. These chargers are the most practical and cost-effective charging option for these communities and can help overcome the unique challenges they face in adopting EVs. By promoting the installation of Level 1 charging stations, incentive programs can help increase the adoption of EVs, reduce dependence on fossil fuels, and promote environmental sustainability. Essentially by adding lower-powered Level 1 and Level 2 charging outlets in these incentive programs the government would be able to provide more charging stations, to more properties, for far less money. Allowing these incentive programs to stretch far further than they would with the higher output stations.