Electric cars

Level 1
Dallas, TX

Electric cars

My guest is staying for three months and when I went by the unit I noticed an extension cord running from the outside outlet to their electric car.  What is the airbnb policy on guests charging their cars and not mentioning that they have an electric car...

11 Replies 11
Level 10
Buckeye, AZ


Electric  car charging is  a  Host  Policy not Airbnb

Like most Hosts, me included,  I  have not addressed this.

I am  guessing new guest..    

Do you feel comfortable just telling him the truth??   Didn't expect this/   Don't know what   the expense is?     If  you own  a   gas car you  don't   expect me to buy  gas so   yes not  telling  you was unfair.

Level 10
Stellenbosch, South Africa

Hi @Rusty46 

I am not in the US so please be patient if this is a stupid question! What is the issue, is it very expensive to charge the car? Or are you concerned about electrical hazard? I find some guests use a lot of electricity (heaters, air-conditioners, hair dryers, tumble dryer, etc) but the cost evens out over time as others use less. If I had been this guest I may not have known that I needed to tell a host about the electric car, so I'm trying to understand the issue.

@Shelley159 It increases the electric bill.  Not sure how much.


This is an interesting one. There's no policy. It's a feature you either offer, or don't. Disclaimer I have an EV. I fully expect that I will find a way to plug in my vehicle at the house. It's a different mindset. There is no direct comparison to hosts paying for my gas. This is a transformative technology, not an equivalent one.


People who buy EV's in early adopter tend to be more environmentally focused and/or purely done the numbers and realised its cheaper to run then combustion engine cars. And it's going to grow whether you personally agree or not.  You could say NO to charging EV's as a house rule but you eliminate a section of the market.


So as a host, you want to offer as much as you can without increasing your cost base.

So to the point of the other replies, what is the issue? Is your electricity bill going up? If so, do you have time of day different rates, perhaps you could politely ask if your guest could charge in off peak? It's like running a washer, dryer or other items. I would have thought as a host and looking at your cost base, you would be ensuring you are watching your energy consumption regardless, especially given the Texas electricity market is quite unlike others in the US.


Given the guest is an EV owner, they do have some idea of charging costs so they will likely be quite amenable to adjusting their charging times. It's too late to say no by the way. And they are probably charging once a week or so? Is it daily? Depends upon the distance they are travelling.


I once tried to charge for Caravans (RV's you call them) being plugged in to my property, and had a small daily rate. But the arrival of EV's have changed all that.


I have installed an EV charger which means I can tick the EV box that I provide a charger so people can search on it. It's provided for free. If you don't have that box ticked, it doesn't mean they  can't charge their vehicle at the property though. They'll find a way, like your guests have. I kindly ask the guests if using the charger to charge in off peak if possible.


I haven't had huge usage of my EV charger btw, but it's a feature to atrract bookings. Given its not a fast/super charger, just an 'everyday' charger but just a bit better than plugging straight into a powerpoint on a trickle charge, guests probably won't be wanting to pay for it anyways. As an EV owner, I will happily pay for fast or super charging, but not for trickle/slow charging. 


So the upshot is, you probably can't charge for any EV charging in a domestic usage, even if you install a EV charger, but you can appeal to the guest to charge at a time that's cheaper assuming you have setup your electricity metering like this.


Hope this helps

Kind rgs


I think it adds $10 or $20 to the electric bill for each full charge, but I am not exactly sure.  I was curious to hear opinions.  I will keep the environmental and political aspects aside and I guess just increase my rate some to cover unexpected spikes in power usage, especially in the summer with the air conditioner running 24 hours a day. 

@Rusty46 In the UK if a guest charged a 60kWhr Tesla battery it would cost 60x.3 or £18. The saving grace for you is that the charging rate from a household socket would mean it would take many hours to charge a Tesla.

In our West Wing listing we have a comment that guests may charge their cars but they have to pay for the electric. 

Ok. Sounds like though you don't have peak and off peak electricity metering usage? Or solar panels?

I ask my guests to only charge during certain hours in the day when its sunny so that it's free for them to charge, or overnight after 10pm when on grid charging kicks in and it doesn't cost us that much. Maybe this is unique to Australia I don't know. We are lucky to have plenty of sun.


If you can bump up your pricing without affecting takeup, sure. But I think less than 10% of cars on roads are EV's in the US so it's not going to be big, until it is.

You could turn this to your advantage, and explicitly state you support EV charging if you want to provide a 'full service type' listing and charge accordingly, or are you more budget, in which you ask for something extra up front before they book. 

I'm about to setup a capture form to collect more info from my guests instead of me asking all the time, and whether they have an EV and want to charge will be one of them.

Kind regs



@Mary1523 Thanks for taking time to comment.


Community Manager
Community Manager
Suffolk Coastal District, United Kingdom

Hey @Rusty46 👋


You've had some wonderful support from some experienced Hosts here, and I wondered what you decided to do in the end with this guest? Have you changed anything in your listing in line with your decision? 


It would be great to hear from you, so we can hear what your solution was. 😊




Please follow the Community Guidelines

Hi @Rebecca , I am not changing anything with this guest.  I will monitor the electric bill over the course of the guest's three month stay and possible adjust my pricing for future stays.


Thank you!



Level 10
Bellevue, WA



EV charging is a host policy and one that you should address in your house rules. We have a level 1 or level 2 non Tesla charger that we do not charge for. My partner estimates it costs us $5/charge. You have to check your bill and the peak hours/non peak hours charge. That said I’ve read an older thread about this and read other listings and it varies depending on country. Electricity in Europe is much more expensive than the U.S. so most hosts there charge per charge for using EV charging. Some hosts in the US charge for it as well. So it depends on your preference. I’ve even seen hosts charge a per load fee for doing laundry $4-5/load, and while it is your choice, we don’t do it as we think it’s an amenity we provide free of charge with your stay. We certainly have looked for and appreciated hosts who provide laundry as an amenity while road tripping.  It depends how you want to run your listing and short term rental and who you are catering to.