How hard is it to get EV charging stations into residential buildings. Private ev charging stations

U.S. electric car charging stations/outlets by state as of May 2023

California is the state with the most electric vehicle charging stations and charging outlets in the United States, while New York and Florida ranked second and third, respectively. In May 2023, the Golden State had over four times as many charging outlets as New York. Across the United States, the overall number of public charging outlets for electric vehicles was just over 138,100 in May 2023.

California’s electric vehicle revolution

It comes as no surprise that California has the most charging facilities for electric cars when taking into account the fact that more than 345,800 electric vehicles were sold in the state in 2022. However, while California boasted a wide electric vehicle demand, Texas had been attributed the largest funding from the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Program in 2022. Texas was the fourth state with the most charging outlets in the U.S. as of May 2023.

Battery size matters

Fast-charging public stations are being built across the United States, but not all battery electric vehicles are alike; the method and speed of charge vary depending on specifications related to the battery’s chemistry and the type of charger. The ChargePoint network provides the most electric vehicle charging outlets in the United States.

Leading U.S. states for private and public electric vehicle charging stations and charging outlets as of May 12, 2023

Excludes residential electric charging infrastructure according to the source.

Automotive manufacturers’ estimated market share in the U.S. 2022

Light vehicle sales in the United States 1976-2022

Plug-in electric vehicle market share by manufacturer 2022

Public electric vehicle charging stations and outlets in U.S. as of May 2023

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Electric vehicle charging infrastructure in the United States Automotive industry worldwide Automotive industry in the United States Electric vehicles worldwide Electric vehicles and charging infrastructure in California

How hard is it to get EV charging stations into residential buildings?

Some electric vehicle owners are called garage orphans, because they don’t have driveways, designated parking spots or easy access to private charging options. But experts say there are ways to address this issue.

landlords, condominium boards should take advantage of government incentives, say experts

When Mathieu Gosbee moved from his detached home in midtown Toronto to a condominium downtown, he was able to bring all his belongings but one: the device that charges his electric car.

The 38-year-old software developer purchased his Hyundai Kona electric vehicle (EV) two years ago, and personally installed a Level 2 charger in the garage of his house for about 400.

The condo board said a single charger would cost 5,000 to 10,000 to install, which seems quite expensive to Gosbee — but he and other EV owners in his building are desperate.

I want to have the convenience of charging at home — it’s part of the reason I bought my car in the first place, he said.

If approved, it’s still going to take another year for the charger to be installed at the condo. In the meantime, Gosbee has to rely on public charging stations so he can pick up his daughter from school and get around the city.

But there aren’t that many public stations around his condo — and when he does find one, it’s often occupied by another EV owner, if it isn’t broken.

I’m just really feeling the pressure of charging now, he said.

The sentiment was echoed in a recent CBC News First Person column, in which Akiko Hara wrote about her struggles charging her EV in Vancouver.

EV owners like Gosbee and Hara are sometimes called garage orphans, because they don’t have driveways, designated parking spots or easy access to private charging options.

But experts say there are ways to address this issue.

It’s absolutely possible to get charging infrastructure caught up, but it requires some effort, said Ian Klesmer, a spokesperson for the Atmospheric Fund, which finances initiatives to reduce carbon emissions and other pollution.

A variety of options

The popularity of EVs is growing in Canada. According to Statistics Canada, 86,032 electric vehicles are currently on the road, and new zero-emission vehicle registrations increased by 43.2 per cent year over year in the third quarter of 2022.

But charging infrastructure lags behind and tends to be concentrated in newer buildings and wealthier areas.

In general, countries need to build the infrastructure, like more charging stations … before people start gaining more access to those cars, said Avipsa Roy, an assistant professor at University of California, Irvine, who analyzes the accessibility of EV chargers.

Level 1 chargers, the slowest type, use a common residential 120-volt AC outlet — what you use to charge your phone. It takes about 30 hours to fully charge a vehicle at Level 1. Klesmer said many owners who don’t use their EVs as often are content to rely on this type of charger.

Public chargers are typically found outside shopping malls, theatres and other public areas, and are usually installed and managed by private companies and sometimes funded by the government.

Most public and private chargers tend to be Level 2 chargers, which can take six to seven hours to charge a regular EV; they typically cost about a dollar to 2.50 an hour (although some are also free).

Level 3 chargers, also known as DC fast chargers, are the fastest and can charge an EV from empty to 80 per cent in 30 to 45 minutes. These typically cost about 20 per hour.

While it would be cheapest to install Level 1 chargers in parking garages, Klesmer said it would be the least practical and efficient option.

Incentive programs driving the transition

There are a few ways to solve the larger problem of residential charging, he said, starting with landlords and condo boards taking advantage of government incentive programs.

Residential charging can certainly be done in a more cost-effective way, because there are incentives to help make it less expensive, said Klesmer.

In Hara’s column, she noted that fellow condo-dwellers who didn’t own EVs resisted the idea of contributing to the installation of chargers. Gosbee’s building has an opt-in policy for chargers, where only those who want EV chargers in the building would pay to install a charger in their spot.

hard, charging, stations, residential, buildings

Klesmer noted that multi-family buildings like Gosbee’s can tap federal government funding — like the Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program — to cover up to half of the cost of installation for up to 20 chargers.

This program only covers the installation costs for charging stations, but there are similar provincially funded programs that are more holistic, said Klesmer. For example, B.C’s three- pronged incentive program includes funding for an initial assessment, the actual charger and the installation.

We believe it’s something that other governments, and in particular the federal government, will be well placed to replicate, said Klesmer.


In the coming years, more electric vehicles (EVs) will be seen on the roads, as well as EV charging stations (also referred to as electric vehicle supply equipment, or EVSE), at public and private facilities. EV adoption can reduce the use of imported fuels, spur innovative technology, and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

EVs use rechargeable batteries to power an electric motor. These batteries need to be regularly recharged (i.e., plugged in) in order to build reserves back up. Local governments can play a key role in encouraging the adoption of EVs by influencing standards, codes, processes, and policies to approve the installation of private and public charging stations. A local government may also choose to host and/or operate publicly available charging stations at municipally owned locations, such as parks or facilities.

Any jurisdiction that wishes to promote or support the adoption of EVs will need to build out its public EV charging infrastructure while also making it easier for individual EV owners, businesses, and developers to install private charging stations or networks.


The state legislature, via RCW 70A.30.010, has adopted the California motor vehicle emission standards in Title 13 of the California California Code of Regulations. That statute directs the Washington Department of Ecology to adopt rules to implement California’s standards, including the Zero Emission Vehicle Program that will require all new cars and light trucks to be electric by 2035.

In December 2022, Ecology finalized two rules (chapter 173-423 WAC and chapter 173-400 WAC) to implement the California zero-emission requirements. For more information, see the Ecology summary.

In addition, state and local government fleets are now required to the extent practicable to satisfy 100% of their fuel usage for publicly owned vessels, vehicles, and construction equipment from electricity or biofuel (RCW 43.19.648), although there are a number of exceptions such as certain transit vehicles, engine retrofits that would void warranties, and emergency response vehicles including utility vehicles frequently used for emergency response. For details, including guidance on the definition of practicable and reporting and compliance requirements, see chapter 194-29 WAC.

The state has also established a non-binding target that all passenger and light duty vehicles of model year 2030 or later should be electric (RCW 43.392.020).

Additional statutes related to EVs and EVSE are listed below:

  • RCW 36.70A.695 — Authorizes cities and counties to adopt incentive programs to encourage the retrofitting of existing structures with the electrical outlets capable of charging electric vehicles. Incentives may include bonus height, site coverage, floor area ratio, and transferable development rights for use in urban growth areas. WAC 51-50-0429 sets the EV infrastructure requirements.
  • RCW 35.63.126 — First- and second-class cities and towns
  • RCW 35A.63.107 — Code cities
  • RCW 35.63.127 — Counties

How Do EV’s Recharge?

Because the electricity required to power an EV is stored in the battery pack, the vehicle will need to be recharged regularly. EVs come equipped with a charge port into which a connector is plugged. This connector is attached to the charging station and delivers electricity to the vehicle. The Alternative Fuels Data Center provides a detailed overview, including information on distinct types of charge ports and connectors.

There are three current standards for EV charging stations, each with different volts (V), charging speeds, and electrical infrastructure needs.

  • Level 1 (120V): Essentially universal chargers, these use a standard outlet like those in a home. They are the simplest to use and don’t require the installation of new electrical wiring but they are the slowest charger type, giving cars two to five miles of range for every hour they’re plugged in.
  • Level 2 (240V): The most common public chargers, these require a 240VAC/40A dedicated circuit. Most homes and commercial properties have 240V lines to the building but installing a charger could require extra electric work. These chargers add 10-20 miles of range for every hour of charging.
  • Level 3 (480V): Also known as DC Fast Charge, these are by far the fastest — they recharge a car in 20-30 minutes and draw the most power.

Selecting the appropriate EV charger level for a location is crucial to meeting the needs of potential users. The level should match the time it would take a typical user to recharge their vehicle within the time they already spend at the site. Homeowners, for example, can typically rely on Level 1 or Level 2 chargers in their garages where a car can charge overnight, but a shopping plaza might want to offer a DC Fast Charge to accommodate customers who may plan to spend only a limited time at the site.

Below are a few EV charging level suggestions paired with different land uses:

  • Level 1 and/or Level 2: Residential parking areas, including condominiums, multi-family and single-family homes, and office buildings. While Level 1 chargers can work at these sites (particularly private homes), Level 2 chargers will service more vehicles most efficiently in multi-family parking units or commercial spaces.
  • Level 2: Movie theaters, libraries, museums, and sit-down restaurants or commercial parking areas where users typically spend around one to four hours in nearby businesses.
  • DC Fast Charge: Public and/or private parking areas (e.g., Park Ride lot, on-street lot, commercial office garage, etc.), commercial strips where users spend two hours or less, recreational sites, and parking lots along major highways.
hard, charging, stations, residential, buildings

Public EV Charging Stations

Local governments may own or operate electric vehicle charging stations, such as by providing chargers at administrative buildings, park and recreation facilities, park-and-ride lots, or other public facilities.

Among other things, the agency must decide whether to charge fees for EV charging. RCW 43.01.250 specifically authorizes the state to provide charging stations at no cost for publicly or privately owned vehicles at state office locations if the vehicles are used for state business, commuting, or conducting business with the state. However, we are not aware of any similar law for local governments.

Agencies must consider whether it is a prohibited gift of public funds to allow public employees and members of the public to charge their personal vehicles at no cost, as well as whether employees can be provided with free charging as an employee benefit (and whether to require employees to sign an agreement for use of EV charging stations). For more on this topic, see our 2014 blog post Electric Vehicle Charging Stations: To Charge or Not to Charge?

RCW 46.08.185 requires public EV charging stations to be indicated by signage consistent with the Federal Highway Administration Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) and establishes monetary penalties for parking in an EV charging space if the vehicle is not connected to the charging equipment. The signage at the point of sale must disclose all charges, fees, and costs associated with a charging session before the charging session begins (RCW 19.94.560).

  • Seattle City Light Public Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Policy (2019) — Addresses EV charging fees and stay requirements; provides rental fees per kWh for Seattle, Shoreline, Tukwila, and Burien, with different fees for Monday-Saturday daytime and all other hours. Additional parking fees may be collected.
  • Municipal Code Sec. 21.49.070 — Authorizes members of the public to use electric charging facilities operated by Seattle City Light
  • Municipal Code Sec. 18.28.010 — Authorizes parks and recreation superintendent to set rates for publicly available EV charging stations at department facilities. Directs superintendent to consult with other departments to identify a single per-session EV charging fee to be used by all city departments. (There are similar provisions for other departments in other sections of the municipal code.)

Local Codes for EV Charging Stations

In addition to reviewing permitting processes, municipalities should also explore appropriate code modifications to encourage the build-out of EV charging infrastructure. In 2009, the Washington State Legislature passed 2SBH 1481 to expedite the development of EV infrastructure in cities and counties.

Relating to Private EV Charging Stations

  • Port Angeles Ordinance No. 3708 (2022) — Authorizes private operators of electric vehicle charging stations to resell city electricity and charge fees for such resale; also establishes restricted parking zones for electric vehicle charging. Includes staff report.

Requiring New or Existing Developments to Include EV Charging

Adopted in 2019, RCW 19.27.540 requires any new construction that includes parking to dedicate 10% of parking spaces to accommodate EV charging and to dedicate an additional 25% to spots that are EV-ready. In response, many local governments have adopted ordinances or codes to meet these stated goals for EV readiness in buildings:

  • Covington Municipal Code Sec. 18.50.170 — In addition to requiring EV charger installation in new development, this code also requires charger installation at new publicly owned and/or maintained parks and in lots servicing new government facilities.
  • King County Ordinance 19316 (2021)
  • Issaquah Ordinance No. 2941 (2021)
  • Mountlake Terrace Municipal Code Sec. 19.126.040 — Includes a table identifying the percentage of parking spaces to be devoted to EV charging, depending on land use type.
  • Pierce County Ordinance No. 2021-46s (2021) — Specifically requires all single-family homes built after January 2022 have appropriate electrical supply and a parking space with EV charging or a nearby outlet for charging.
  • Port Orchard Municipal Code Sec 20.124.050 — Includes a table similar to that employed in the Mountlake Terrace code sample.
  • Seattle Ordinance No. 125815 (2019)
  • SeaTac Municipal Code Sec. 15.430.100 — Addresses converting existing off-site parking spaces to EV charging spaces for certain zones.
  • Tacoma
  • Ordinance No. 28640
  • Building and Development Code Sec. 2.02.136 — Identifies the thresholds that will trigger charging stations, the percentage of parking spaces to be served by a charging station, and the percentage of spaces to be provided with EVSE according to the occupancy group and use of the building served.

Incentives to Encourage EV Infrastructure Development

Installing EV charging infrastructure is much easier for new developments than it is for existing buildings because parking spots with EV chargers must be larger than regular spots to accommodate the necessary equipment. To encourage EV charging station installation in new or existing developments, Washington local governments have offered a variety of incentives to developers.

Examples of Codes Including Incentives for EVSE Installation

  • Issaquah Municipal Code Sec. 18.09140(10) — Requires affordable housing unit construction projects to meet 100% of EVSE and EV-ready requirements as long as project remains cost neutral; If not, allows for reduction in required minimum required structured parking or required parking lot landscaping or combination of both to achieve cost neutrality.
  • Milton Municipal Code Sec. 17.69.040 — Exempts from certain requirements new residential construction and retrofitted single-family residential projects that include EV charging stations.
  • Quincy Municipal Code Sec. 20.38.035(B) — Incentivizes various ‘green’ design elements for new construction, including a maximum 10% bonus density credit for the incorporation of “(s)olar design, electric vehicles, and other energy alternative considerations” into new developments.
hard, charging, stations, residential, buildings

These codes allow an EV charging station space to be included in the calculation for minimum required off-street parking spaces.

Individuals considering purchasing an EV can receive tax credits or other incentives from a variety of sources. Puget Sound Clean Air Agency maintains information on incentives for EV purchasers in Washington State, including federal or state tax credits and local utility rebates.

Streamlining permitting requirements for EV chargers in the ROW

Many EV owners prefer the convenience of being able to charge their vehicles at or near their place of residence. The examples below detail programs that have streamlined processes to facilitate EV charger installation in the public ROW.

  • Seattle: EV Charging in the Right-of-Way Permit Pilot Evaluation (2019) — From 2017-2019, this pilot program allowed EVSE to be installed in the ROW in designated urban villages and urban centers through a street-use permit.
  • Tacoma: Electric Vehicle Charging Station Pilot Program — Launched in 2019, this program temporarily lifts the occupancy permit requirement (and associated costs) for property owners who wish to install EV charging stations in the ROW near their property. Equipment installed through the program can stay in place, but the homeowner may be required to obtain a ROW occupancy permit after the program ends.
  • ROW Use and Occupation Indemnity Agreement
  • EV Charging Station Agreement Notification

Agencies can also partner with one another. For example, Link Transit and the Ciy of Leavenworth have an interlocal agreement that allows Link to install charging infrastructure in the city ROW, in part because Link needs to charge its electric buses.

Partnering with Private or Public Utilities

By partnering with publicly owned utility districts (PUDs) or privately owned utilities, cities, towns, or counties can lower the costs associated with EVSE installment as well as benefit from the expertise offered by utilities, such as knowledge of the electrical grid, equipment, and locations for charging stations. In return, utilities gain a better understanding of changes in load demand associated with the increasing use of electricity for vehicle charging.

In 2015, the legislature passed SHB 1853 to allow investor-owned utilities an incentive rate of return on EVSE deployed for the benefit of ratepayers. In response, some utilities, such as Puget Sound Energy and Avista, offered pilot programs to promote residential and commercial EVSE installation. These programs have since ended but utilities can also help with public outreach/education around federal or state-based rebates for EVs or the installation of EVSE.

Funding Resources

The Energy Program at Washington State University partners with a variety of organizations to promote green energy projects. It maintains a comprehensive Funding Opportunities webpage with information about state-level grants opportunities for green transportation programs, including EV charging equipment and infrastructure, zero-emissions carshare pilot programs, and the electrification of transportation systems.

The Washington State Department of Transportation also offers grants providing funding for the installation of new and upgraded EV charging equipment and hydrogen fueling infrastructure along priority corridors (e.g., interstates, U.S. highways, and state routes). See their page on Zero-Emission Vehicle Grants.

As part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law from 2021, the federal government established the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program, authorizing a nationwide network of charging stations and setting aside 5 billion for states to build them. The Washington State Plan for Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Deployment (2022) says priority EV charger deployments for the state include completing the north/south and east/ west interstates, and along I-5 and I-90. Secondary priorities for investments include completing the I-82/I-182 and US 395 corridors, followed by US 101 and US 195. Washington will use a combination of federal and state funds to build out the charging infrastructure.

Recommended Resources


  • Climate Action Funding and General Resources — Offers information on potential funding sources and technical resources to help local governments address climate change.
  • Greenhouse Gas Reduction Strategies for Local Governments — Provides resources and examples to assist local governments in their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in areas such as municipal operations, procurement, telework, electric vehicles, land use, and waste reduction.
  • Low-Speed Electric Vehicles. Golf Carts, NEVs and MEVs — Offers information on the regulation of low-speed electric vehicles.
  • Blog Posts About Energy Resources and Conservation and Climate Change

Federal and Local Governments

  • U.S. Department of Energy, Alternative Fuels Data Center
  • Developing Infrastructure to Charge Plug-In Electric Vehicles — Offers an overview of EV Fast Charge and Level 2 charging equipment, including costs to charge.
  • Charging Infrastructure Procurement and Installation— Offers an overview (and checklist) of items when considering EV infrastructure development.
  • Public EV Charging Program FAQ — Describes what EV owners can expect when using the utility’s EV chargers, including information on pricing.
  • Transportation Electrification Strategy (2019) — Outlines a strategy to help the utility build capacity to support growing transportation electrification and the needs of private EV owners.

Other Organizations

  • Washington Green Transportation Program Milestones for Electrifying Public Fleets (2021)
  • Atlas Public Policy
  • EV Charging Financial Analysis Tool — Allows planners to evaluate the financial performance of an EV charging project through a variety of revenue streams over the lifetime of the equipment — includes public and public-private partnerships.
  • Fleet Procurement Analysis Tool — Equips users with decision-relevant information on the financial viability and environmental impact of light-, medium-, and heavy-duty vehicle fleet procurements. Compares procurements side-by-side on a cost-per-mile basis and provides an analysis of cash flows and location-specific lifecycle emissions.
  • How to Amp Up Transportation Transformation. A Guidebook for Funding and Financing Electrification — Assists policy makers by identifying both funding and financing options to overcome upfront cost barriers to EVs and EVSE.
  • Electrifying Transportation in Municipalities (2021) — Provides transportation electrification policy guidance to policymakers and advocates in cities, towns, and counties.

Power Up: The Best Apps for Finding EV Charging Stations

Whether you’re driving around town or planning a road trip in your electric vehicle (EV), you are probably looking for an easy way to find charging stations. Luckily, there are several apps to choose from that can help you charge your EV and get where you need to go. Whether you need to search by connector type, charging speed, distance from a hotel or want information from other users, there is an EV charging app for you.


This app helps you find hotels with EV charging stations or charging stations near hotels. You can search based on the type of charger you need and can also search on the walking distance to a public charging station if the hotel doesn’t have one on-site. You can also book a hotel room through the app and search based on chain or hotel name.

Availability: iOS only

Google Maps

The popular Google Maps app lets you search for “EV charging stations” and find out what’s currently available, with real-time availability. See port types and charging speeds, as well as what’s around the charging station. Read user reviews and questions and see ratings and photos, or submit your own information.

Availability: iOS, Android

Price: Free


This app lays claim to the most accurate and complete public EV charging map worldwide. It shows charging stations from major EV providers in the US, but also in Europe and Australia. You can search for charging stations compatible with your EV, see station ratings and use the EV trip planner.

Availability: iOS, Android

Price: Free


Chargemap gives you crowd-sourced information with charging point photos and reviews from users. You can plan a road trip and find charging points on or near the route and see availability, both in the US and European countries.

Availability: iOS, Android

Price: Free with ads; in-app purchases from 5.49 to 14.99


ChargePoint is the world’s largest EV charging network, and you can find one of its more than 100,000 charging spots in the app. You can find a station, see availability and start charging in the app. It’s also possible to use the “roaming” feature and use a ChargePoint account to use charging stations from other providers. Set filters in the app to find charging stations for your EV and also use the app to monitor charging progress.

Availability: iOS, Android

Price: Free


You can use ChargeHub to find public EV charging stations in the US and Canada. Get driving directions to the station, see live availability for certain EV charging networks, search by type of charger and more. Since you might have some time to kill, you can also see what is around the charging stations. And the app is interactive, allowing you to rate and leave Комментарии и мнения владельцев about stations you used, as well as add new public charging stations you come across.

Availability: iOS, Android

Price: Free


The EVgo app focuses on fast chargers, so you can quickly charge your car and be on your way. See available chargers in real-time, get directions to the charger and then start charging in the app once you get there.

Availability: iOS, Android

Price: Free


Unlike most of the other apps on our list, EVmatch is a peer-to-peer EV charging network. Find and reserve a private EV charging station in the US, and also pay in the app. You can filter your search based on the type of connector you need, charging speed, availability and price.

Availability: iOS, Android

Price: Free

Open Charge Map

Find EV charging stations anywhere in the world with the Open Charge Map app. With this open-source project, users can search for and submit charging stations, and enter ratings, photos and information about charging stations. Filter for the type of connector and speed of the charger, get driving directions to the charging station you choose and plan your route based on available chargers.

Availability: iOS, Android

Price: Free

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