California may ease electric car charging for renters.

A Volt charging station in Fremont, California.

In order to keep an electric car charged, access to electricity at home is essential, as David Herron writes for But people who rent their homes and do not own them often do not have the ability to install a charging station where they live. That appears to be changing in California, thanks to bill AB 2565, which the state’s senate approved Monday, Herron reports. To become a law, it must be signed by California Gov. Jerry Brown.

Exclusions to Bill

If signed into law, the bill, which passed 52 to 25, will void the terms in housing leases that prohibit a renter from having a charging point installed in a property, writes EV FleetWorld. Except for rent-controlled properties, parking garages in which 10% of the spaces already have a charging point, or where there are fewer than five parking spaces, landlords will be required to approve applications to have a charger installed at an allotted parking space at a rental property, EV FleetWorld writes. “Properties where a parking space is not included are also not covered by the bill, but landlords can designate an electric vehicle space and add this to the cost of the lease.”

Herron writes about why the law will be a boon to renters:

The typical apartment complex is simply not designed to position one’s parking space next to the apartment, making it difficult to connect electricity in the parking lot to the tenants electricity bill. Many apartment buildings have parking which simply does not have nearby electricity, or else the electricity is paid by the landlord with no way to bill the tenant. Finally, landlords are reluctant to invest in electric car charging support when tenants frequently move away, anyway.

Bar Would Be Set High for Renters

The new law will contribute to an increase in sales or leases of electric vehicles, Herron writes. But there will still be a high bar for apartment renters who hope to have a charging station installed, as the law requires tenants to provide a written plan giving details of the installation, use, modification and removal of the charging station, plus a financial analysis, and to pay for a $1 million insurance policy, Herron writes.

It is expected that California Gov. Jerry Brown, a strong supporter of electric vehicles, will sign the bill, Herron writes. He has until September 30 to do so, according to law. If he does sign it, the bill will go into effect for leases started or renewed after July 1, 2015, Herron writes.

California Is Largest Electric Vehicle Market

In a statement Tuesday, ChargePoint says California is the largest market for electric vehicles in the U.S., with one-third of all national sales, and that the National Renewable Energy Laboratory estimates between 1 million and 1.2 million residential, workplace, and public charging stations will be needed in California alone by 2020. More than 40% of California residents live in multifamily housing, according to the statement.

In Colorado, there are 166 electric stations and 330 charging outlets, excluding private stations, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. The department’s website makes it easy to plan a route, using its map. As this blog reported, Tesla located its first Colorado free public supercharging station in Summit County last year.

Image by the rabbit, used under its Creative Commons license.

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