EV Charging For Multifamily Properties – A Guide For Owners

EV Charging For Multifamily Properties

The market for electric vehicles (EVs) is booming, and the demand for charging options is increasing right along with it. Of course, most charging happens at EV owners’ homes, but what about EV drivers who do not live in single-family houses? That is where EV charging for multifamily properties comes in.

Even in urban areas where driving patterns are an excellent fit for EVs, most apartments and condos do not have EV charging capabilities on-site. But residents of multifamily properties also buy EVs. So they will not only seek out charger-equipped properties but also pay a premium for the convenience.

Owners of multifamily properties can take advantage of this growing demand by offering EV charging on-site. Adding charging capability enables property owners to attract and keep residents. At the same time, owners can create a marketing differentiator, establish a new revenue stream, and increase property value.

EV charging for multifamily properties equals happier tenants and a higher NOI

Charging an EV is still time-consuming and inconvenient for drivers who cannot charge their vehicles where they live. Public charging stations are growing in number but are still scarce compared to gas stations that service conventional cars. Using public charging stations also wastes time waiting in line for an available charger and then waiting for charging to complete.

That is why most EV charging occurs at home and why tenants will favor properties that allow them to charge where they live. For many multifamily dwellers, on-site EV charging will become an amenity for which they will pay extra.

Besides convenience, many tenants want to make more eco-friendly decisions and live a more sustainable lifestyle. As a result, driving an EV and charging it at the property where they live is an attractive option.

The bottom line is that on-site EV charging for multifamily properties increases net operating income (NOI) while promoting tenant satisfaction.

But where do you start?

What comes next once you decide to offer EV charging at your multifamily properties? Before beginning an installation, consider these key factors:

  • Charger type and location.
  • Installation preparation and assistance.
  • Potential cost offsets such as grants or other incentives.
  • Impact on NOI.
  • Property location.

Consult this guide on EV charging for multifamily properties for insights and tips on how to proceed.

Types of chargers

Property owners may consider various chargers, but a Level 2 charging station offers the best balance of speed and cost for multifamily usage. Level 3 chargers provide the fastest charging speed but are extremely expensive, while Level 1 charging is prolonged, taking up to 20 – 30 hours for a charge.

Level 2 chargers need a 240-volt outlet but offer up to seven times faster charging speed than Level 1 chargers. For example, drivers can add 80 – 120 miles of range in four hours using a Level 2 charging station. Some Level 2 chargers also offer smart charging that collects usage data, charges fees, and signals drivers when charging is complete.

When selecting chargers, look for charging stations that operate with any plug type. It will enable charging of almost any EV, helping to increase resident satisfaction and potential revenue.

Installation preparation and assistance

Installing EV chargers in existing buildings may require modifications to electrical panels and other infrastructure to ensure sufficient current and safe operation. Before undertaking an EV installation project, have an expert electrician assess the current electrical infrastructure and estimate the cost of needed modifications to support EV chargers.

Compliance with electrical and building codes is essential. For example, many communities are updating regulations to encourage or require EV charging in multifamily properties, so your project must meet local requirements now and in the future.

EV charger installation can be complex, so it is crucial to contract with a certified installation company with expertise in EV charging for multifamily properties. Let an experienced professional handle your project.

If your EV charger installation project is for an exceptionally large property or multiple properties, you may want to consider a partner specializing in industrial purchasing and data driven procurement. For instance, such a partnership can help net discounts and smooth supply chains to ensure the lowest cost and most suitable delivery of chargers and other equipment needed for your installation.

Grants and loans can offset costs

Whether you are working with a new or existing structure, you may find that many grants and loans exist to help defray the costs. For example, there are government and utility company incentives and rebates to encourage new EV charger installations and help owners offset their costs. However, some incentives are due to expire, so check into these as soon as possible.

Revenue and impact on net operating income

As you would with any investment, you need a thorough analysis of the financial aspects of an EV charger installation. Carefully scrutinize the project’s impact on revenues, costs and NOI. You will need to make some specific financial decisions. For instance, will you charge residents for the service or offer it as a no-cost resident benefit? If you decide to charge residents, will you add a monthly rent surcharge or collect a fee for each use?

Location and driving habits

Before deciding to offer EV charging, carefully consider the property’s location and the driving habits of residents and prospective tenants. While most multifamily properties are excellent candidates for charging capabilities, some properties may not be a good fit due to location and resident demographics.

For instance, rural areas have experienced lower EV adoption rates as commuting and travel habits can differ from urban patterns, and drivers may travel long distances regularly. While the median EV driving range has increased to more than 250 miles on a single charge, some rural drivers still prefer a gasoline-powered vehicle.

In addition, some urban areas are well served by public transportation, so residents are less dependent on personal vehicles. So weigh these factors before investing in on-site charging to ensure a favorable NOI.

Executive Summary

As with any amenity offered to tenants, thorough research and analysis to determine costs, suppliers, and NOI impact are critical. In addition, it is essential to contract with a certified installer with experience with EV chargers for multifamily properties. Property owners can also seek grants and incentives to help defray the initial costs. Done right, implementing EV charging in multifamily properties serves residents, owners, and the environment.