The Commercial Inspector | Should You Add EV Charging Stations to

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Should You Add EV Charging Stations to Your Property?

 March 16, 2022 |  Investment, CRE News |  real estate trends, business tips, commercial electrical, building renovation

Today, almost everyone is making the move to being fully electric. The living and transportation sectors in particular have undergone major changes within the last few years alone. Vehicles are cutting away from gas engines and homes and businesses are using more energy efficient systems and appliances to reduce their carbon footprint.

CRE and Electricity
Commercial properties as of late have seen a surge in swapping out natural gas components for electric ones. This process has been accelerated by “green laws” that prohibit new constructions from using natural gas appliances like heaters and stoves. While it’s taken contractors a bit to adjust to the new regulations, it won’t take long before building gets going again. Along with installing required electric features, putting in some additional ones can really make a property stand out.

Electric Vehicles
Electric Vehicles or “EVs” have been gaining momentum as the top way for people to reduce their environmental impact. In 2020, close to five percent of all new vehicle sales worldwide were electric. The growth of electric vehicles has been rather slow but steady over the last four years. It’s projected that EV sales will represent 10 percent of total vehicle sales, putting 10 million of them on the road. All those new cars on the road means they’ll need places to charge as well.

EVs and CRE
With so many drivers opting for electric, they’ll need more locations to recharge their batteries. Right now, there’s a ratio of 16-18 EVS per every one charging station. That ratio is better than its gas counterpart, but there’s still a need for more stations. Rural areas especially are in need of chargers for people on longer travels. While some gas stations are placing electric ports alongside pumps, commercial properties have also seen the benefits. Multi-family buildings are more marketable to EV drivers and businesses can draw more foot traffic while customers charge their cars.

Types of Chargers
There are three choices when it comes to electric vehicle chargers. 

  • Type I chargers are usually designed for personal use and installed in homes. However, they can be used at public buildings as well. These chargers are the slowest, so they may be more optimal in places where people will be parked for a long time, like offices or hotels. 
  • Type II chargers are the most common for commercial locations. They can charge 4-5 times faster than Type I, making them perfect for places where people will only be parked for a short amount of time, like shopping centers. 
  • Type III chargers are the fastest by far. With an output of near 500 Volts, Type III chargers can take a car from nearly empty to full in under an hour.

Finding Your Fit
If you’re looking to install EV chargers on your property, you’ll have to do a bit of research into which will be the most beneficial. You might have to take a survey of how many people visiting your building drive an EV. This data collection could take some time to get a solid bearing on the average monthly number of electric vehicles at your building. You’ll also have to establish a budget that makes sense for you. Type III chargers, while the most attractive, can run you a tab of $50,000. Even choosing Type I or II stations can add up if you install multiple stations.

The Verdict
With more people switching to electric vehicles, there are certainly benefits to installing charging stations on commercial properties. They can make your property more valuable and set you apart from others. However, chargers aren’t cheap. You’ll have to do some lengthy research to see if it makes sense for you to install any. You may have to pass the bill on to your tenants or customers in order to offset some of the costs. But if they see it as a benefit, they most likely won’t mind paying a bit extra.

A professional commercial inspection by NPI can help you know more about your building. Schedule your inspection today!

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