Mar 23, 2022 - Energy & Environment

Charging an electric car at home isn't easy for many

Percentage of vehicle owners who say they don't have EV charging access at home
Data: Morning Consult; Chart: Baidi Wang/Axios

Potential electric vehicle buyers are told not to worry so much about access to public charging stations because most people will charge their EVs at home.

  • But many people say they don't have EV charging available at home.

Driving the news: 78% of U.S. adults surveyed by Morning Consult said there is no EV charging access at home where their vehicles are parked.

  • Worth noting: 48% said they park their cars in the driveway, and 36% said they park in a garage.

Yes, but: Respondents weren't asked whether they have an ordinary electrical outlet in their garage or near their driveway, which is all that's needed to plug in an EV. (A dedicated charger is faster, but isn't necessary.)

  • That was by design, explains mobility analyst Lisa Whalen, who authored the Morning Consult’s State of Automotive and Mobility report.
  • "It just shows the disconnect in the education of the public" about charging, she said.

What they found: Only 11% of adults report that charging access is always available at home.

  • Access was higher on the East and West Coasts (19% for each) and among higher-income households.
  • 26% of people earning over $100,000 said they have a place to charge their vehicle at home.

The bottom line: If you don't have a garage or a dedicated parking spot, your access to charging is likely limited, which could potentially stunt growth of the EV industry.

  • "You're excluding a certain part of the population just because of the way they park," says Whalen.

What's needed: Manufacturers, tech providers and policymakers need to make home charging easier for consumers.

Editor's note: The chart accompanying this story has been corrected to note that it represents the percentage of all vehicle owners without charging access, not the percentage of EV owners.

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