I’m seeing pop-ups on my app and TV screens showing carefree people whooshing around in clean vehicles with smiles that look like they don’t have payments! But Missoula Renter's Vexing Problem, Nowhere to Plug Their EV.

If you own a house, you can install your own fast charge station in your parking area. Missoula Renter's Vexing Problem, Nowhere to Plug Their EV. Some are along the highway, so plan to go there to charge, if it's not being used, or haunt the tourist information for locations where you can plug in and “Fill Up”.

Power Up

The charging stations I’m talking about are the DC fast-charging stations if you have to be on your way ASAP. Slower Level 2 chargers take several hours, looking at the Missoula locator map, they still outnumber fast chargers nearly four to one. A standard residential outlet, or Level 1 charger, isn’t realistic unless you drive little or leave the vehicle charging overnight.

The issue is most of the apartment complexes in Missoula if not the entirety of Montana, do not have electrical plugs in carports. I drove around several (Not very scientific-but I looked long enough that I was getting weird looks) and I only saw a few. Only one apartment I searched offered EV stations but the webpage didn’t feature that once I got to it.

This wasn’t lost on 23-year-old Stephanie Terrell who found a used Nissan Leaf. But as a renter, she encountered bumps on the road to green livin’ when she found no place to plug in overnight.

I was excited to buy my electric car but after nearly running out of power on the freeway because a charging station I was counting on was busy, I have to rethink everything. It was really scary and I was really worried I wasn’t going to make it, I feel better about it than buying gas, but there are problems I didn’t really anticipate.

This is an issue across the country “pushing the car before the cord” has caused some apartment renters to get creative and use long crossing power cords laying on sidewalks or hanging from second-story windows. As more EV’s come into use, rentals and even motels will have to retrofit at least wall plug access at the parking spaces.

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Saving the cost of building an entirely new structure, some metros in America and Europe integrate fast charge stations into street lamps but those have higher 240 voltages, not 120 as most of ours would be expected to have.

There are approved plans from all 50 states to roll out a network of high-speed chargers along interstate highways using $5 billion in federal funding over the next five years. But states must wait to apply for an additional $2.5 billion in local grants to fill in charging gaps, that includes Montana. That's great! Because we all park along the interstate.

So, hold your charge...for a while longer.

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