Most Housing In U.S. Has A Garage Or Carport To Potentially Charge An EV

DEC 7 2018 BY MARK KANE 26

It’s getting better in the case of new housing

The 2017 American Housing Survey reveals that about two-thirds (66%) of all occupied housing units in the U.S. had a garage or carport. That’s good news as a lot of consumers who are willing to use plug-in cars will have an easy opportunity to charge at home (often there is access to electricity).

Current plug-in electric car market share in the U.S. is just about 2% (2018).

The situation is improving as newer housing has a higher share of garage or carport:

  • 2-5 years old: 72%
  • less than 2 years old: 74%

The share varies depending on region too.

“The West and Midwest regions of the country had a greater percentage of housing with garages or carports, each with 75% or greater. For rental housing units, only 39% had a garage/carport, as compared to 81% for housing units that are owned by the residents.”

“Note: A housing unit is a house, apartment, group of rooms, or single room occupied or intended for occupancy as separate living quarters.

Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, 2017 American Housing Survey, AHS Table Creator, Accessed September 23, 2018.”


Categories: Charging

Tags: ,

Leave a Reply

26 Comments on "Most Housing In U.S. Has A Garage Or Carport To Potentially Charge An EV"

newest oldest most voted

I have neither garage nor carport. I have a level 2 charging dock that I use rain, snow or sunshine. Have to brush the snow & rain off the car’s outlet cover before and after charging and sometimes have to connect or disconnect in the pouring rain while standing in a puddle. Haven’t been electrocuted yet!

Agree with you, whyis it important to have a garage or a carport.

You can stick your tongue in the outlet and nothing will happen, there is no output until the charging station communicate with the car.

There is a mecanism that detect when the station is connected to the car, it only use a resistance and a voltage divider (so don’t stick tongue in there just in case). Then there is a basic handshake going on where they agree on the power to push.

So even if it is raining like hell, there is no danger

There is more than a resistance in the detection circuit, it also has a diode. But please don’t put anything into the connector anyway.

yep you are right about the diode, still a very basic circcuit

I have a garage so the most the people that live in my city. Not that many apartments buildings in the city

The one advantage of electricity as an energy source is that there aren’t too many parking spots where there isn’t an existing electric line within 50 feet. It most likely is only 120V, but the basic infrastructure is already there to provide at least minimal charging.

Whether this is even a necessary consideration once the typical battery size gets to be >60 kWh and there is a decent fast charging infrastructure is another matter.

But not too many of those 120V services are powerful enough to upgrade to the point of covering every parking spot within those 50 feet.

Somewhat incomplete analysis. What percentage of the car buying population rents vs owns would help to understand the picture. Younger people, I think, tend to live in rental accommodations, yet may be more interested in EV ownership. Same for poorer people, who could most use the lower operating and maintenance cost associated with EV ownership. Further, with rentals, installation of a charger is largely dependent on the landlords willingness. Lots of room for better understanding.

Still “a carport for every family and a charger in every carport “ would be a pretty good campaign slogan.

“Lots of room for better understanding.”
Understatement for sure

Also, urban areas–where EV’s currently make the most sense–do not have a large percentage of housing with garages or carports (many city residents don’t even have a dedicated parking spot). The good news is that some cities are working on adding charging infrastructure for everyday charging.


I had 240 put in for $500, so it’s not that expensive. The NEMA 14-50 plug. It’s in the garage, which is attached to the house, but no walkthrough.

I had an existing plug too. Many people do. And with at least my Niro…cant speak for other EVs…buying a charger that is wireless to WiFi or has an app and whatnot is completely pointless and most run hot. I took someone’s advice here and bought a $150 level 2 that runs cool as ice with no stupid extras. The car has an app and will schedule and all that. Paying several hundred bucks for those features in the charger would be pointless. Mine is basically just a giant laptop charger with power brick

The Bolt has the worst in-app charge controls in and I wish I had a purchased charger with control. From what I have seen, Tesla does a much better job. I’m curious about the other manufacturers? Chevy made a truly impressive (for the price) electric car in the Bolt, but they are still acting like a 20th century automaker. I’ll be interested in other options once my lease is up.

How many malls are there across North America? Hockey socks of them.
How many people go to the mall? Most.
So how about Malls take all that outdoor parking and make every stall a solar carport? Charging as you shop, your car stays dry/cool while you and the mall get powered up.
You’re welcome!

Some malls here in Ontario have chargers already. But what I don’t understand is when I am in Florida the cars baking in the sun when solar panels could add shade and even power chargers at the same time.

You don’t even need to demand all the power go to cars. The malls need lots of power for air conditioning and lighting already. And in Florida I would love to car to be air temperature of 30C when I get back from shopping instead of the 45+C it seem to be most times.

Maybe if each stall was 10X250W panels (2.5kwh) and every fourth stall was a charger, then there is 10kwh available for charging!

A couple of the Local malls have parking garages. 1 has free EVSEs, and the other has several chargepoint paid EVSE’s.

It’s great to pick up a charge when we go.

To put some solid numbers to this, there are about 120-130million households in the US. 66% would be about 80million households that could pretty easily replace one vehicle with any number of current EVs on the market. Also considering that a majority of Households in the US have more than 1 car.

The major issue is lack of EV availability, initial costs of EVs, and lack of marketing and general public ignorance regarding EVs.

Up north it’s quite common to have a winter beater and a summer car, guess which one would be which. Now that is probably not as common as it once was, but it is a thing, though actually the far northern climes will probably be slower to adopt evs overall as they perform less well, in extremely cold weathe.

Personally, I’m in the process of moving to a new house. Unfortunately it doesn’t have a garage and that’s going to me a bummer over the winter. The biggest thing I feel is protecting the car from the elements – frozen door handles and ice buildup on the windshield is not fun.

But I’m having one built and the great part, I have total control over design and where all the outlets go. I’m mostly likely putting in two NEMA 14-50 outlets.

We still need to work on providing solution for the other 34%…

I would guess the figure for those renting is quite a bit higher than 34% (in the city of 80,000 where I live, for example, 51% rent). Those renting in apartment complexes almost universally do not have access to home charging. I’ve noticed that “available charging” might mean only a couple of token chargers for dozens of residents to compete for.

There is also a subset of apartment dwellers who simply don’t own a car, and that likely won’t change with EV’s. So out of the remaining subset of people who don’t have garages or carports, the people who don’t (and won’t) own their own vehicles.

I live in an old apartment building that was converted to a condo and very few of the garage spots had an electrical outlet. When I bought my Volt the condo board said that they would charge me $20 a month for the right to charge my car and they would pay for the building engineer to install a 15 amp outlet. The engineer said it took him less than 30 minutes to do it, which may have been an exaggeration, but it didn’t take long. And the materials cost less than $20. I charge at 120 volts, 12 amps, and get 5 miles per hour of charging. Not optimal, but good enough. Most cars are home for at least 10 hours every night so they would get 50+ miles of additional AER each night.
We are going to see a lot of rental buildings give renters the right to pay to charge in the future. These numbers are going to improve over time as BEV’s/PHEV’s grow from 2% of the US Light Duty sales to 5% and up.