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Electric vehicle charging not so easy for some Bay Area renters

California state grants aimed at multiplying electric vehicle chargers have proved helpful for many EV drivers in the Bay Area over the past couple years. But not everyone is reaping the benefits at home.

Some apartment dwellers and condo owners say they still face a circuitous process in getting approval from homeowners associations when it comes to getting a proper EV charger installed at their place of residence. Others face physical obstacles: They might not have a garage or designated parking spot. Some run lengthy cables from dryer outlets, while others have to rely on public or dealership charging stations.
George Betak, a Bay Area-based electric vehicle driver, is finally living in a rental home where he could install a proper “Level 2” EV charger, unlike at his previous rental.

George Betak, a Bay Area-based electric vehicle driver, is finally living in a rental home where he could install a proper “Level 2” EV charger, unlike at his previous rental. (Photo courtesy of George Betak)

These challenges facing renters — and some condo owners — come as California readies for an expected surge in electric vehicles. California Gov. Jerry Brown has estimated that 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles will be on the state roadways by 2025 – up from 20,000 now.

As of last fall, there were around 800 publicly available charging stations in the Bay Area, according to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, and over 5,000 stations total across California. The state’s Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program (ARFVT), established a few years ago to set aside $100 million annually for new technologies and alternative fuels, is meant to help fund the expansion of EVs and EV-charging infrastructure.
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