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Air Quality

Published on August 31st, 2014 | by Cynthia Shahan


California Bill Allows Renters To Install Electric-Car Charging Stations

August 31st, 2014 by  

Governor Brown’s goal of 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles by 2025 just got a boost. Assembly Bill (AB) 2565 will allow renters to install electric-car charging stations.


The amount of electric vehicles (EVs) on our roads more than doubled in the last year. With over 220,000 electric vehicles on US roads, about ⅓ of them are on the streets of California. As EVs become more prolific thanks to them being more environmentally friendly, less expensive to operate, and more of a treat to drive, these numbers are increasing every day.

Even though there are thousands of charging locations across California, the continued growth marks the need for more charging stations, and more charging stations will stimulate more growth.

With the goal of 1.5 million zero emission vehicles by 2025 closing in, and article in Capitol Weekly reports: “That’s why the governor should sign Assembly Bill (AB) 2565 into law. Authored by Assembly member Al Murastuchi, the legislation has now successfully passed both houses of the State Legislature with bipartisan support.”

Rental apartment restrictions have become a particular hindrance to continued electric car growth — many keep tenants from installing EV charging stations. This problem affects business and individual tenants. Both individuals and businesses need more freedom to install EV charging stations even if they rent.


Richard Lowenthal, the Chief Technical Officer of ChargePoint, which he co-founded in 2007, writes in Capitol Weekly: “AB 2565 is vital for expanding access to EV charging stations around the state. The legislation aims to address barriers for deploying stations in leased buildings, bringing access to charging stations to the more than 40% of Californians who live in multifamily housing.”

Lowenthal continues explaining the problem: “The deployment of EV charging infrastructure is increasing but not keeping up with today’s EV adoption rates. In 2012, the ratio of EVs to charging ports was about 7 to 1. As EV sales skyrocketed, the gap widened. In 2013, the ratio grew to about 8 to 1. To successfully grow the EV industry, it is imperative our legislators introduce and support policies that implement the installation of charging stations throughout California.”

The attraction of having EV charging stations at the workplace and business is well accepted. The problem remains that Californians who rent their homes or businesses run into obstacles. AB 2565 will change this, giving renter more rights as long as they pay.

The core issue that goes hand in hand with individual progress is that, with this legislation becoming law, not only will the EV industry succeed more easily, California will more likely reach its environmental goals. Clean air, less smog, less soot, less carbon monoxide, less burning of hydrocarbons and other toxic substances, fewer particulates being released into the air, and fewer CO2 emission being released into the atmosphere. This legislation is progress. I hope it spreads to others states around the country.

Related Stories:

California Country Requires EV Chargers in New Buildings

More EV Charging Stations Than People In The US

Image Credit: ChargePoint

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About the Author

Cynthia Shahan is an organic farmer, licensed AP, anthropologist, and mother of four unconditionally loving spirits, teachers, and environmentally conscious beings who have lit the way for me for decades.

  • Had Enough n SD

    Unfortunately, the bill puts all the cost and planning and coordination on the back of the individual renter to coordinate (including planned removal of whatever was installed when they depart)…and the $1 Million liability policy requirement – naming the community – is also the responsibility of the individual. Sounds much better than the reality…which is that this needs to be a community project…not and individual resident project to get EV charging in these communities. The reality – no rental resident will take on this task for just 1 charging unit installation.

  • This is a good start to address the EV/renter issue…

  • DGW

    There are several million people who only park their cars on urban streets and the possibility of a plug-in vehicle seems impossible. Going to a charging station after work and waiting in line and for the recharge would be a deal breaker.

    • Bob_Wallace

      The Union of Concerned Scientists took a survey on ability to plug in. 16% of drivers reported that they had a place to plug in where they worked.

      Going forward we are likely to see what has happened in Germany. With only a small amount of solar Germany has seen sunny hour wholesale prices drop to the level of late night.

      That suggests that we might want to have a significant portion of EVs plugged in, waiting to charge during the daytime. This would create a valuable load-shifting tool for utilities. They should respond in kind by making sunny hour charging as cheap as late night windy hour charging.

      Then there’s the option of installing curbside charging. Wireless charging would present a lot of positives. Hard to vandalize. Just park over the charger and let your EV communicate with the system – how much to charge and where to bill.

      • Matt

        Yes with honest time of day pricing. EVs came play a role in load shifting to beat the twin peaks.

    • Mark Roest

      One solution to that is to put shade canopies which are also solar panels over streets, and take the electricity for charging street-parked cars from them, instead of from the grid. Everyone wins!

  • JamesWimberley

    Why should a landlord object to a tenant putting in an ev charging station? It’s an appliance like any other. You don’t ask your landlord before plugging in a toaster. I’m not disbelieving this, just asking for an explanation.

    • bfr12

      From what I’ve read elsewhere, the major concern is utility costs. The electrical service for the apartment is not accessible from the parking location in most cases. This means a charging point would either have to run on the common electrical meter or a second meter, associated with the resident, would have to be installed. Sometimes the latter is impractical. The former presents difficulties for the landlord or community association to get reimbursed since they cannot legally resell power. Hopefully the new law addresses this issue as well.

    • GCO

      A level-2 EVSE is an “appliance” requiring a dedicated 240V circuit, so in many cases will be a little more involved than just plugging it in.

      A landlord may object seeing such circuit added, especially if the breaker panel is already maxed out and/or far away, or simply prefer not to have equipment added in/on/around the building.
      Afaik, outdoor EVSEs must be installed on a permanent structure (e.g. not a fence) and hardwired; at least some cities furthermore require a disconnect in this case, so potentially lots of holes in walls too…

      Anyway, neither this article nor its source describe this new law at all, so hard to tell in which way(s) it would help.

  • eveee

    This is a huge breakthrough. It depends on how well it gets implemented, but barriers to EVs come down a lot with this added bill. Along with community solar, it allows renters to have cheap electricity to charge EVs with, just like homeowners can take advantage of solar.

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