That leaves those living in multiunit dwellings to rely on public chargers, which can be unreliable.
A JD Power survey of 11,000 EV and plug-in hybrid owners found that one out of every five respondents was unable to charge their vehicle when visiting a station. Of those, 72 percent said the station was malfunctioning or out of service.
The federal government is working to make charging more accessible. The bipartisan infrastructure bill President Biden signed in November includes $7.5 billion to build EV charging and alternative fuel infrastructure.
There’s also a movement in the private sector. Many shopping centers near multiunit dwellings and mixed-use developments are installing public charging stations. Municipal and other government agencies also are adding charging stations to parking lots.
Automakers such as Volkswagen, Hyundai and Kia are offering free charging at various networks with the purchase of a new EV.
“Some people would rather opt for free charging provided by the manufacturer than make the investment in a home charger,” Gruber said.
EV owners may not want to leave their vehicle at a public charger for hours at a time for convenience and security reasons. Those without a garage or charging station where they live can choose to charge while shopping or at the gym for an hour or so.
They can also request their workplace install an EV charger. Government agencies and utilities offer financial incentives to companies and groups to install chargers.
“Having to rely on public charging is not an ideal scenario considering where the infrastructure is now,” Gruber said. “It really puts into perspective how critical public charging is.”