Assessing the Multi-Unit Dwelling Barrier to Plug-in Electric Vehicle Adoption in the South Bay
January 11, 2022
Transportation Energy (600)
Clean Transportation Program
Alex Turek, George M. DeShazo, Wally Siembab, Aaron Baum
Governor Jerry Brown established an executive order calling for 1.5 million zero emission vehicles on California’s roads by 2025. To achieve this ambitious goal, significant barriers must be overcome to expand and accelerate plug-in electric vehicle adoption including the need to build out the necessary refueling infrastructure. To the point, residents of multi-unit dwellings are unlikely to have access to home charging due to the variable and often high cost of installation, as well as the low to non-existent investment motivation of the multi-unit dwelling renter or owner.
The purpose of the following report is to explore the multi-unit dwelling barrier to plug-in electric vehicle adoption within the South Bay subregion in Los Angeles County and identify multi-unit dwellings within the study area that may exhibit high latent plug-in electric vehicle demand and low-cost electric vehicle supply equipment installation for the purpose of targeted outreach. Researchers analyzed Los Angeles County Office of the Assessor tax parcel data to understand the multi-unit dwelling portfolio of the South Bay, as well as Information Handling Services-Polk Automotive new car registration data to identify census tracts in the South Bay that have exhibited high plug-in electric vehicle demand to date. Researchers also visited 27 multi-unit dwelling sites within the South Bay and reviewed 19 electric vehicle supply equipment installation cost estimates to evaluate how installation costs can vary across multi-unit dwelling sites.
The results confirm that the cost of electric vehicle supply equipment installation in multi-unit dwellings is variable from site to site and often high. Level 1 charging and group investments for electric vehicle supply equipment installations may provide multi-unit dwelling residents access to home charging at lower costs. Policy tools such as targeted outreach to promote the plug-in electric vehicle, as well as rebates or plug-in electric vehicle -ready new construction codes are likely to be required to ease the multi-unit dwelling barrier to plug-in electric vehicle adoption.