Benefits of Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

If you’re considering installing electric vehicle charging stations to attract eco-minded tenants, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the range of benefits electric vehicle charging stations can offer.

In addition to reinforcing an eco-friendly image for your property, installing EV charging stations can give your property a competitive edge, as plug-in electric vehicle sales are expected to increase to 3 million worldwide by 2020, according to a report by Navigant Research. However, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Here are some additional benefits to consider:

1. Brand Enhancement
If you’ve worked to develop an eco-friendly reputation for your property, installing electric vehicle charging stations can help reinforce this reputation and contribute to your building’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, a standard for buildings constructed using sustainable materials and practices.

For those managing commercial properties, EV charging stations can help attract commercial tenants that value sustainability or want to project a progressive stance on transportation to their employees, according to a 2012 report by the U.S. Department of Energy.

2. Increased Visibility
Installing electric vehicle charging stations can set your property apart from those without this amenity, attracting residents who currently own an electric vehicle or are considering one, says Jordan Perch, an electric vehicle expert with DMV.com, a website that helps drivers navigate their state’s DMV rules and regulations. “Given that the electric car market is expected to grow, the demand for apartments in buildings with charging stations will surely be high in the future,” he says. 

One Maryland-based developer and property management firm, The Tower Companies, believes prospective residents will view electric vehicle charging stations as a standard amenity in a few years, says Eugenia Gregorio, The Tower Companies’ director of corporate responsibility. “It will help attract and retain clients because EV stations will most likely become an amenity that is standard, just as fitness centers and bike rooms are amenities that residents have come to expect,” she says.

The purchase and installation of a Level 2 electric vehicle charging station— which can charge a vehicle’s battery overnight — can cost $12,000 to $18,000, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. However, federal and state grants may be available to help you defray the purchase cost for each unit. In addition, property managers can offset installation and operational costs by charging drivers — both tenants and non-tenants — to use the stations.

The Towers Companies, which operates nine charging stations on its properties, has made all stations available to the general public. If an EV station is located in a public garage where parking is not free, charging stations cost users 55 cents per hour for the first four hours and $1 per hour after that, Gregorio says. In locations where there is no additional parking fee, charging stations cost $1 per hour for the first four hours and $2 per additional hour.

3. Additional Revenue
Electric vehicle charging stations can help your property bring in a little extra revenue, should you wish to sell advertising space on the charging stations’ user interfaces. “There are a few surfaces on a charging station that can be branded,” Perch says, “which certainly gives your building a slight edge over other properties that don’t have this additional advertising space.”