California leads in home EV charger installation, while NYC is last

While most American drivers rely on home charging for EVs, not all areas with large EV fleets also have large numbers of home chargers, according to a new study from home improvement service Porch.

Using real estate listings and EV registrations, the study found that California leads the way. Riverside, California, was the top metro area for home chargers, with 20% of households equipped with one. Riverside was followed by San Francisco (15.8%), San Jose (15.1%), and Los Angeles (8.6%).

Two other California cities—Sacramento and San Diego—were among the top 10 cities for home charger installation. The non-California city with the highest percentage of home chargers was Atlanta, at 8.5%, ranking it fifth.

Electrify America Electric Vehicle Home Charger

Electrify America Electric Vehicle Home Charger

California also has a sizable number of EVs, but that doesn’t automatically lead to more home charger installations, according to the study. While New York City is estimated to have 100,000 plug-in cars (the study counted both EVs and plug-in hybrids) on its streets, it had one of the lowest percentages of home chargers, at just 0.5%.

Gotham’s lack of home chargers may be due to the predominance of apartments without dedicated parking. It’s harder to install a home charger without a driveway or garage, after all. But even Houston and Austin, which have high levels of EV registrations according to the study, had low concentrations of home chargers despite less-dense housing stock.

Installing a home charging station isn’t always straightforward, either. Prices can vary from $750 to $3,000 depending on the location and the complexity of the installation, according to Porch’s own data. Just understanding these necessary steps is holding back EV adoption, a 2021 study found.

Clipper Creek two-car HCS-D40 charging station

Clipper Creek two-car HCS-D40 charging station

With more people anticipating the use EVs as eventual home power backup, understanding the basic hurdles of home-charging access seems like the basic building block toward wider EV adoption.

If you’re hoping to find a new home with a charger already installed, good luck. Of the 500 biggest U.S. cities, just 142 have real estate listings with home chargers, representing 0.5% of inventory, according to Porch.

Homeowners that do install chargers tend to stick with them, though, even with expanding public charging networks, a 2020 survey found. And a 2021 study suggested drivers were more satisfied with wallboxes than mobile charge cords.