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Do you think your properties are ready for EVs? Maybe you think you’re ahead of the curve because you’ve added a charging station or two to your property. That’s where you’re mistaken.
Some estimates show that by 2030, over half your lot could be full with electric vehicles.
Consider that many properties have outdated electrical grids that can’t support charging stations, or only one or two. That could be an unexpected and expensive construction project to upgrade when you need more chargers.
When a property adds EV charging stations, they normally go to a manufacturer, order a station or two, pay someone to install it, then ignore it. The station is supposedly an amenity that’s doing its job by existing, like a swimming pool or tennis court. There are clear issues with this implementation strategy.
Bringing EV Charging to a Property
Multifamily properties are racing to implement charging stations for electric vehicles to meet the increased demand. They’re running into issues with vendors who don’t understand multifamily, onsite staff who have never handled EV charging, and often aren’t preparing for a growing future with more and more electric vehicles.
When planning to service the property with a manufacturer, the representative for the property is often the property manager, who is also unlikely to be familiar with electric vehicle charging and the best practices for managing it. That puts the property manager in the expert’s seat.
Here’s a few questions that the property manager will need to answer:
- Which types of chargers should be used?
- Should the property own & manage the equipment themselves or hire a 3rd party?
- Should the property charge for the electricity or offer it as a free amenity?
- If charging is free, what are the predicted additional expenses for free charging?
- Where would be the best place(s) to add charging stations?
The answers to each of these questions can make or break the NOI gained from adding charging stations. Since every property has a distinct history, there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution. If the property manager isn’t prepared to answer these questions, the non-expert manufacturer will answer the questions for them.
Properties should have an expert multifamily EV charging consultant to prepare for the installation and future management of any chargers. They’re able to take industry knowledge from both sides and use that to make properties more profitable.
Thinking Long Term
As ESG laws and guidelines develop, as electric vehicles become more popular, what properties need to be equipped with will continue to change. Some state and local governments are developing requirements for a minimum number of charging stations on properties.
When these factors hit, one station with two plugs might not be enough for your property.
By thinking longer term, you can future-proof your property and improve your NOI. Will you have enough chargers for the next 5-10 years? Should you own and manage the chargers or hire a 3rd party? How can you encourage residents to use them?
Like with any product, it’s important to talk to an expert on how it will work in multifamily.
Our client, Refuel EV Solutions, helps properties get electric vehicle charging set up on multifamily properties effectively. They know the ins and outs of EV charging for apartments, from the technology to the installation.
Most property managers aren’t prepared to handle EV charging alone. Make sure they have the right partner to work with.
Patrick Antrim is the CEO of Multifamily Leadership, Chairman of the Multifamily Innovation® Advisory Council Multifamily and Strategic Multifamily Advisor.