WeHo’s Rent-Stabilized Tenants Now Can Install Electric Charging Stations

Tenants in WeHo’s rent-stabilized apartment buildings now will be able to install electric vehicle charging stations in their building parking structures, if they pay for them.

AeroVironment TurboDock EV charging station

The West Hollywood City Council last night adopted an ordinance that extends the charging station installation right, which previously had been granted only to renters in non-rent stabilized buildings.

A memo from the city’s Human Services and Rent Stabilization Department says extending installation of charging stations to rent-stabilized tenants “could have a beneficial impact to many West Hollywood residents who wish to purchase an electric vehicle.” It cites a report from the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation that says “a consumer needs a place to charge an electric vehicle and ideally the primary location would be the consumer’s residence.”

Seventy-percent of housing in West Hollywood is rent stabilized.

Tenants would have to pay for the charging station and its installation and also reach an agreement with the landlord on the cost of electricity associated with the charging station if a separate meter could not be installed.

  1. There will be some situations that involve too much money to install, that’s a given. But many, if not most, can easily install. It’s those who are low hanging fruit, and they should at least have the right to use their own electricity to power their car. Not everyone needs Level 2 charging (240 volts), most folks could easily get by with a simple 120 volt outlet (Level 1 charging).

    In the case where the individual’s electric panel doesn’t have the capacity, the landlord might be able to install solar on the roof sufficient to power several cars. He/she could install chargers for those tenants wanting EVs and sell them the solar energy directly. He/she could price the energy at a profit for themselves and it would still be cheaper than gasoline. Instead of the tenants giving money to the gas station on the corner, they could give a lesser amount to their landlord for clean energy. The landlord gets a new income stream they didn’t used to have, the tenant gets to own an EV and drive it on clean energy for less than gas, and the only loser is the oil company.

  2. While I think this is a good step in the right direction, it may be difficult, if not impossible, to install a Level II charging station in the parking garage of an older building. Finding a “free” circuit with 240 volts and 30-50 amps of power isn’t easy. It may be possible if a laundry room is wired for electric dryers. But it’s also possible that it would cost several thousand dollars – more than you’d save in gas for many years – to install it. If it could be shared by more than one tenant, it might be more cost effective.

    You can buy a used EV very cheaply these days. Maybe not a Tesla, but you can find a Nissan Leaf, Fiat 500e, BMW i3, VW Golf-e or Chevy Volt for very little money. The range on these cars are limited (mostly under 100 miles), but it’s far more than most people need for daily commutes and/or errands around town.

    All newly-constructed condos and apartments should be required to have charging stations or be pre-wired for oned when owners/tenants want to install one. All new single-family homes should be required to have solar panels and be pre-wired for charging in a garage or carport.

  3. Congrats to WeHo for this big step! This move is also being considered by Santa Monica this coming Tuesday. Knowing you did it should give our council confidence we can override the provision in AB 2565 that disallows rent control units from installing a charger.

    Used EVs can be bought for a few thousand dollars. These cars are 5 star safety rated, will outrun most cars on the road, and most importantly, can be driven on 100% clean, solar or wind energy. To complete the circle, both LADP and SoCal Edison offer 100% renewable energy options. You can go to your utility account online and switch your home’s electricity to clean energy in two minutes.

    Inform your landlord that you wish to install a charger and go through the rules set forth from the building and safety department, and install your charger. You will then be driving on sunshine.

    If your landlord gives you trouble, consider taking him/her to court. We are looking for test cases.

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