Military landlords starting to install home EV charging stations

by Vern Evans

Thousands of military families living in privatized housing on military installations now have access to in-home charging stations for their electric vehicles, as at least four privatized housing landlords have begun rolling out programs.

Residents don’t pay for the installation of the Level 2 charging stations, which can be installed in garages and carports, where the programs are available. They do pay for the amount of time they use to charge their vehicles with these new charging stations. But otherwise, military families don’t pay for utilities currently in privatized housing, where they may have been plugging in their cars to wall outlets.

“Residents have requested Level 2 EV charging because it’s safer and faster than other charging alternatives,” said Justin Kern, executive general manager of Lendlease Communities, in a response to Military Times. “Level 2 charging can take as little as five to six hours to reach a full vehicle charge. In contrast, Level 1 charging (plugging an EV directly into a regular home electrical outlet) is potentially unsafe and can take 24 hours or longer to complete.”

According to Kern, about 7,800 homes are eligible for the chargers at the bases Lendlease has rolled out so far. In late 2023, the pilot program was launched at Soaring Heights Communities at Davis Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Arizona; and Cavalry Family Housing at Fort Cavazos near Killeen, Texas. This year, Lendlease rolled out the program at Atlantic Marine Corps Communities at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, Havelock, North Carolina. Later this year, the charging stations will come to Hickam Communities in Honolulu serving Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam; and the Island Palm Communities serving seven installations on Oahu.

Depending on the results of these rollouts, Lendlease will consider expanding to more of its communities, Kern said.

The companies are using a national provider of EV charging services, TRO Energy Solutions to cover the cost of installation, setup and maintenance of the individual Level 2 charging stations. Residents don’t pay for those costs, which can be upwards of $1,000, depending on the area. Residents enroll in a monthly charging subscription for ongoing usage, using the ChargeTime app.

Other military landlords that have begun to provide electric charging stations at homes include:

  • The Michaels Organization recently delivered its first electric charging stations to residents at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland and MacDill Air Force Base, Florida. The company plans to deliver these charging stations to all the privatized family housing it owns and manages at 11 military installations across the country, officials announced.
  • Balfour Beatty Communities began their pilot program last summer offering Level 2 in-home charging stations at Naval Submarine Base New London, Connecticut; and Vandenberg Space Force Base, California.
  • Hunt Military Communities launched four pilot locations with in-home charging stations late last year, including Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana; Fort Sam Houston, Texas; Joint Base Pearl-Harbor Hickam, Hawaii; and Marine Corps Base Hawaii.

Pricing for the charging options is based on regional utility costs, Kern said. Lendlease residents subscribe to one of three monthly packages for different tiers of energy usage, based on anticipated miles driven per month. Any unused kilowatt-hours or miles roll over to the next month.

The faster the charging, the higher the cost, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

According to Edmunds.com, it costs about $11 to charge an electric car with a 65 kilowatt-hour battery at home using a Level 2 charger, assuming electricity costs $0.17 per kilowatt-hour, which is the national average. The Level 2 charger can be run on a 240-volt household outlet, usually in the garage or driveway.

Department of Defense officials paused utilities billing across privatized housing a few years ago. The utilities and rent are included in the monthly allotment paid to their housing landlord, which generally equals their entire Basic Allowance for Housing. A number of residents are using their regular home electrical outlets, Level 1 charging, 120-volt wall plug-ins, for their cars. It’s not known when the services will resume billing residents for utilities.

But they are paying for the EV charging, which is Level 2 EV charging equipment.

Karen has covered military families, quality of life and consumer issues for Military Times for more than 30 years, and is co-author of a chapter on media coverage of military families in the book “A Battle Plan for Supporting Military Families.” She previously worked for newspapers in Guam, Norfolk, Jacksonville, Fla., and Athens, Ga.

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