Philadelphia is one of many cities where residents do not have off-street parking. This tends to make it extra difficult for EV drivers to charge their vehicles since there is limited or no access to charging stations while they are in their homes. Some drivers must resort to going to a public charging station at a local business, others are taking matters into their own hands. Residents have been creating their own makeshift charging stations using extension cords that stretch out of the windows of their homes, across the sidewalk to charge their vehicles overnight. These cords are either left on the sidewalk or propped over trees and poles. Even with mats being on top of cords that are stretched across the sidewalk, this method is not legal and against Philadelphia’s codes.
City council was attempting a plan to have designated electric charging spots across the city but the plan was canceled, leaving EV drivers without reliable home charging. The initial plan was for EV drivers to get reserved parking spots specifically for charging their vehicles. The plan for EV charging spots has been controversial throughout the neighborhoods of Philly. Since residents have a hard enough time finding parking on their streets, non-EV drivers filed complaints against the designated parking spots which resulted in the plan falling through.
Cities across the country have managed to make EV charging spots work for neighborhoods that do not have off-street parking for their residents. In Hoboken, NJ, designated EV charging parking permits have been allocated to EV drivers so they can charge their vehicles nearby their homes. On the other hand, Philadelphia isn’t the only city facing a shortage of EV charging availability and lack of funding towards infrastructure. Charging deserts in rural areas do not have the resources available to install EV charging stations along certain highways or towns.