EV charging options for other residential or public settings

a sign saying "electric vehicle charging only" with two cars in the background and a sunny landscape with green grass and trees

In a home, the homeowner pays for the electric car charging through their electric bill.  For a condominium, apartment, corporation, city, or university, it can be costly to install a wire between the circuit breaker panel and a three-prong plug or a Level 2 hardwired charger.  The expense comes in having to install individual electric meters for each electric vehicle owner in their car parking location to be able to charge that car owner for their electricity. Alternatively, the condominium, apartment, corporation, city, or university could cover the cost for the electricity but this could be expensive.

An option currently used in some of these types of residential and workplace settings is to install “public” networked chargers—though cost can be prohibitive, even when offset by available rebates. A future option for these types of settings that’s much less expensive—and currently available in Europe but not the U.S.—is for power (240 volts) to be provided to each space, to which each car owner connects using a SmartCable mobile charging system (https://ubitricity.com/en/). The SmartCable notes the amount of power used to recharge the electric car and their electric usage is billed to the person’s charge card.

Cities in Europe are putting the electric charging plug in many locations, including streetlights.  Recharging at a streetlight is not the ideal solution because a car is then parked for a long time on the side of the road, a location that should be for barrier protected cycle tracks or bus rapid transit. The better option is to have the charging socket where the car is parked overnight.