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Renters face charging dilemma as U.S. cities move toward EVs

As the US market becomes more inclined with the idea of EVs and cars that need charging, renters may be facing a roadblock.

EV battery car charging on street

2022 has been a challenging year for people everywhere. Inflation across the globe is expected to rise over 8% this year according to an article from the International Monetary Fund.

Along with many other services, gas prices are skyrocketing across the United States. There is no significant decrease in sight, so people are getting more creative in order to save money. When you combine that with the impacts we have seen recently on the environment, it makes sense that people are taking a more serious look into electric vehicles such as the Chevrolet Bolt and the Nissan Leaf. It can save them money on gasoline, help the environment, and some United States owners may even get a tax credit if they purchase certain electric vehicles this year. This seems like a win all around.

In general, electric vehicles require a charge to run. Exceptions are hybrid vehicles that can use gasoline or hydrogen instead. There are several different kinds of electric vehicles. They are electric vehicles (EVs), battery electric vehicles (BEVs), hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). Electric vehicles and battery electric vehicles have a special rechargeable battery and need to charge at a special electric charging port in order to keep running. Much like a cell phone, if the battery runs out, the car will not run until it can get to a port and charge.

This may be no big deal for people in large, clean energy-focused cities. It also would not apply to homeowners who likely would purchase a charging port to be built on their property when they purchase the vehicle. There are barriers to charging access, however, for people who may live in smaller towns that have not become accustomed to this type of car and their needs. For example, the small town of Troy, Ohio only has two public charging stations whereas the city of Austin, Texas has over 640 stations.

For people renting their homes, this can cause dangerous circumstances when they are unable to get a full charge and run the risk of their battery dying before they can get to a charging station.

According to an article by the Associated Press, people who rent are more likely to purchase older models of electric vehicles which have significantly less battery life than current models. There are not nearly enough electric charging ports compared to the number of electric vehicles that are being sold. It is estimated that by 2030, over 6 million chargers will be needed to meet emissions goals.

To combat this, in September of 2022, the Biden administration approved plans to construct a nationwide system of electric charging stations. The goal would be to have one every fifty miles along interstates throughout the United States.

Hopefully, after the completion of this project, people will be able to charge their cars, save money, and lessen the impacts on our environment.

Allison Snider is a freelance writer and owner of AllieWritesCreatively. She is passionate about raising awareness for chronic illnesses and ending the stigma around mental health. In her free time, you can find Allison hiking with her wife, Sara, and two dogs, Stella and Sophie.

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