With experts predicting that at least 125 million EV drivers will regularly travel American roads and highways by 2030, electric vehicle charging infrastructure will become critical, instead of just an attractive amenity, for landlords, employers, and retailers alike.
There’s a lot of talk about adding EV chargers to multi-unit dwellings (MUDs). Three simple truths erase any doubt that these are needed:
- 413,000 EVs were sold in the U.S. during the first half of 2022 alone; by 2030, they will represent nearly half (47%) of all vehicles sold in the U.S. annually.
- 80 million Americans live in multi-unit buildings (including half of all California residents)
- 88% of EV owners charge their vehicle primarily at home
MUD residents need access to on-site charging facilities to help meet America’s decarbonization goals. In determining the why, what, and where of on-site charging stations, MUD owners and managers need to consider the user experience of EV owners.
Here are ten benefits MUDs can immediately gain from adding EV charging infrastructure for their properties.
EV Charging Space (Pixabay.com)
1. Sustainability Incentives Can Offset EV Charging Station Equipment Costs
If cost is a barrier, MUDs can access local, state, and federal sustainability programs that use rebates and incentive programs to help offset the equipment acquisition cost you will incur. California utilities, for example, have approved about $240 million in funding since 2016 to build EV-make-ready infrastructure for multifamily properties.
- The U.S. Department of Transportation and the U.S. Department of Energy is investing at least $5 billion over the next five years to create a 500,000-station national EV charging network by 2030. The legislation also encourages EV charging stations in multi-unit dwellings, public parking lots, and along national highways and roadways. Funding for the first EV projects under this legislation began in September 2022.
- The federal government also provides the Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property Tax Credit, which creates a 30% offset (up to $30,000 maximum) against the cost of installing charging stations.
- 45 states and the District of Columbia provide some EV infrastructure incentives through rebates, tax credits, or emission testing exemptions.
- The U.S. Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuels Data Center provides a convenient search tool for federal and state incentives available in your area.
By taking advantage of these programs, MUDs can realize near-term cost savings and ensure they are ready for future EV charging mandates.
2. EV Charging Stations Enhance Your Property’s “Green” Image and Commitment to Sustainability
Vehicles classified as medium- and heavy-duty make up about 5% of all cars on the road but generate nearly 30% of carbon dioxide emissions.
In comparison, EV cars use rechargeable, efficient lithium-ion batteries that produce less pollution, last 8-10 years, and don’t produce carbon dioxide emissions.
Why does that matter for MUD owners and managers? Your company is showing its support for environmental, social, and governance (ESG) responsibilities. By supporting EVs, you are being eco-friendly and helping make the world better for current residents and future generations.
3. EV Charging Stations Give Your Property a Competitive Advantage
The demographics of those who own and drive EVs are perfect for those who want to attract tenants to their MUD properties.
- TrueCar estimates that Gen X’ers (born 1965 to 1980) and Millennials (born 1981 to 1996) currently represent 75% of EV buyers. These generations are key demographic targets for MUD owners and managers.
- The state with the highest EV penetration, California, already mandates that 3% of all new parking spaces be “make-ready” for EV charging. You can differentiate and add value to your MUD community by installing EV charging years ahead of everyone else.
- Studies show that onsite charging can make a difference in an EV driver’s decision to move into or remain in a particular property.
Offering unique amenities gives your site an advantage with new and prospective tenants. EV charging is a cutting-edge amenity that’s rapidly becoming a competitive necessity. Potential renters see the presence of EV chargers, even if they don’t need them, as evidence of an updated, luxury place to live.
EV Charging Station at Condos (PlugInSites.com)
4. EV Charging Stations Allow You to Charge Competitive Rental Fees
According to a 2016 study by Multifamily Executive, 58% of renters are willing to pay a premium of between $5 and $20 more per month to live in a place that offers EV charging, in addition to any costs they incur for charger usage.
5. EV Charging Stations Show Your Commitment to Tenant Convenience
EV owners continually seek places to live, work, and play near charging stations. Although some consider it inconvenient to plan their lives around where EV charging stations are located, it’s much less problematic than running out of power before they run out of errands. As a result, any MUD, commercial building, or retail property with an on-site EV charging station automatically becomes more appealing.
By installing EV charging stations on your property, you are showing commitment to the convenience, schedules, and comfort of the EV owners among your tenants. Installing them now, before EV chargers become commonplace, shows that you are committed to being ahead of the curve on tenant-friendly initiatives.
Tesla Charging Station (Pexels.com)
6. EV Charging Stations Create New Revenue Streams
EV charging station equipment and management systems allow you to pass EV charging power costs to individual tenants based on their actual usage. You can also add a slight markup, creating a new revenue stream that can become significant over time as EV usage grows.
Additionally, by opening your equipment to non-tenants during periods of low tenant usage, you can charge higher markups, expand your revenue stream even more, and become listed in directories of public charging stations, such as those maintained by the U.S. Dept. of Energy and.Charged Future.
7. EV Charging Stations Create Possibilities for LEED Points
According to RentCafe, the number of LEED-certified MUDs has increased by nearly 300% In the past decade. Networked EV charging stations and EV-ready construction can help your multi-unit dwelling earn points toward LEED certification.
Earning LEED points in this manner requires that you connect to a network, support time-of-use charging, can accommodate Level 2 or faster charging, and are compatible with universal charging connectors.
In addition to points for the infrastructure, buildings can earn LEED certification points when at least 10% of occupants use EVs or other alternative transportation. LEED certification may also provide access to desirable building incentives such as tax credits, grants, expedited review, density and height bonuses, and more.
8. EV Charging Stations Increase Investor Interest
Increasingly, people are buying apartments and condos for rental income purposes rather than as their primary residence. Many real estate investment trusts (REITs) also depend heavily on rental income from real estate portfolios.
Real estate investors are looking for properties that offer the latest upgrades and amenities, as these appeal to long-term tenants. Demand by tenants for amenities such as onsite EV charging stations is growing rapidly.
EV Charging Station (Pexels.com)
9. EV Charging Stations Increase Property Value
On-site EV charging stations can also increase your market valuations. Studies reflect a consistently positive impact of eco-friendly initiatives on valuations, profits, and reputation in the marketplace.
According to a study by Realtor.com, areas with high numbers of EV charging stations feature higher home prices. In California, for example, a considerable EV market, apartments can increase their property value by up to 1.5 times more than the surrounding metro areas by installing EV charging stations.
10. EV Charging Stations Put You Ahead of Federal, State, and Local Regulations
Governments at the federal and state levels are gradually passing more regulations in support of EVs, such as requiring that a percentage of parking spaces either include EV-ready outlets or have EV chargers installed.
Globally, the UK is requiring EV charging stations in new homes starting this year and wants to ban the sale of petroleum-fueled cars altogether by 2030. More than 120 countries are planning zero-emissions policies, and over 20 countries have announced the complete phase-out of conventional fuel cars within 10-30 years.
The remainder of this decade is critical to achieving manageable, scalable, and ultimately profitable EV charging infrastructure nationwide. MUD owners and managers will reap long-term benefits both now and over the long term from decisions made now to install EV charging stations on their properties.
To learn more about EV charging infrastructure, join our EV Charging Summit and Expo.