EV charging in LA: Your questions answered

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An EV car at a charging station. Photo credit: DDOTDC/CC BY-NC 2.0, via Flickr

We reported last week about what it’s like to own an EV and be a renter in Los Angeles. We got a lot of questions and comments.

Paul Scott asked about a law that requires landlords to grant renter requests to install EV chargers.

That law states if you’re a renter and you write a written, formal request for an EV charger, the landlord has to allow you to install it. The landlord is exempt from that requirement if:

  • The complex provides fewer than five parking spaces.

  • At least 10% of their parking spaces already have EV chargers.

But the renter has to pay for installation, maintenance, and removal of the charger if the landlord asks for it when you leave.

Joanne wanted to know about the environmental impacts of the lithium-ion batteries that power these electric vehicles.

Lithium-ion batteries require the extraction of rare metals, and manufacturing these batteries does create more pollution than creating conventional car batteries.

BUT.

Look at the entire lifetime of a car, from the pollution created when it’s manufactured, and all of the pollution it emits when running.  Conventional cars pale in comparison. The amount of pollution associated with gas cars is significantly higher than electric cars.

Alexandra Paul (who played Lt. Stephanie Holden on “Baywatch”) wanted to know more about the downsides of owning a gas car.

Some of the downsides to a gas car are more obvious: they’re noisier and they create more pollution.

As we mentioned in the original piece, gas cars are also more expensive to maintain. Electric vehicles don’t need oil changes or new spark plugs.

Electricity is also cheaper and its base price varies much less than gasoline. So if it’s possible to find a charger that provides electricity at a reasonable price, operating an electric vehicle is definitely cheaper.