As electric vehicles (EVs) become more popular, they’re generating major demand changes for businesses and residential complexes. Charging stations for EVs are popping up all over the place.
Places previously deemed impractical or unsuitable for installing EV charging stations are now offering great EV charging opportunities. At the top of the list is multi-family communities and more specifically apartments. A survey from the EV Project showed that 72% of electric-vehicle owners polled were very satisfied with their home charging experience. 21% of respondents relied entirely on their home charger for their charging needs. There’s no doubt that customers value EV charging stations provided by apartment owners.
With over 800,000 electric vehicles on the road across the U.S. (counting plug-in hybrids and all-electric vehicles like the popular Tesla), it’s easy to see why EV charging stations are becoming more of a necessity in apartment parking lots. With 37% of American households renting their homes, we should expect more people living in apartments requesting EV charging stations to be installed.
For apartment owners and managers of multi-family communities, understanding the ins and outs of installing EV charging stations in apartment complex parking lots is critical. Here’s what you should know about the process:
The Dilemma Apartment Owners Face
While apartment owners make the final decision when it comes to deploying EV charging stations on their properties, the process is usually complicated because several factors have to be considered by all stakeholders in the decision chain. While customers value EV charging stations, these factors create a dilemma for apartment owners:
Apartment Site Considerations – As an apartment owner, you have to evaluate resident demand for EV charging stations, power infrastructure, metering of energy, administration needed to manage the stations, recouping of costs incurred, and apartment parking models and configurations.
Apartment Management – What is the total capital budget for the property and priorities? How will EV charging drive occupancy demand and economics for apartment rental fees?
Apartment Owners – Apartment owners have to ask themselves if investing in EV charging infrastructure is worth it if the investment is short-term. How exactly does EV charging infrastructure increase overall asset value or net operating income?
Set Expectations and Wishes
When you consider the factors highlighted above, a lot of questions come into mind for apartment owners and property managers. What are the possible EV charging solutions for parking lots and how do you handle payments? Despite being aware that customers value EV charging stations, you need to set expectations and wishes before you take any step to install EV charging stations in your apartment complex’s parking lot.
Focus on the starting points.
The limitations of the current apartment electrical installation are perhaps the biggest challenge. Consider the expectations and wishes of your current and future tenants in the coming years, in regards to the use of EVs and the need for electric charging. How many tenants drive hybrid or electric cars at the moment? What type of charging stations do you need? Will the charging stations be public so every tenant with an EV can use them?
Follow These Simple Best Practices
Installing EV charging stations in your apartment complex’s parking lot should be a straightforward process if you know what steps to take. Here are some simple best practices for apartment owners installing EV charging stations that will help you increase customer value:
Have a Plan
Before you consider installing EV charging stations, get to know which tenants or residents drive an EV and whether there are more tenants who plan to drive an EV within the next year. Find out if the cars are hybrid or fully electric. With this information, you can now make a plan with all the necessary information. These details are critical to determining if the main connection in your apartment will be sufficient.
Follow the Right Electrical Installation Requirements
To ensure safe electric charging for EVs, it’s important that you get a professional installer or contractor who’s familiar with the installation and core requirements of electric vehicle charging systems to check if the current main connection can deliver enough power to charge the EVs. If a higher connection has to be installed, the kWh-rate will drop. The electrical installation process must comply with the apartment design specifications for the installation of the system.
Buy the Right EV Charging Station or Consult Tenants
Considering that in most cases, tenants or residents will request apartment owners to install an EV charging system if it’s not already provided, owners will likely have to consider the needs of the tenants when it comes to determining the right type of EV charging station to install. Customers value EV charging stations, so apartment owners are advised to consult EV drivers so they can choose which charging station will be installed. The best EV charging system should be reliable, convenient, and effective when it comes to charging different hybrid or all-electric car models.
Installation Costs & Settlement of Costs
Installation costs for EV stations can be paid by the EV owners. If there are multiple residents, the costs can be shared. Apartment owners can work out a plan to install EV charging stations for the tenants or residents and even enjoy greater benefits like state tax credits and fund grants to make installation cheaper and easier.
For settlement of EV charging station costs, you can have a charging station management solution like EV Connect as a customer value addition to help you set the kWh-rate per EV charging station so that EV drivers can either pay per charging session or get an invoice every month from the service provider. The collection of money can then be transferred to your bank account or property management account.
Ensure You Have Reliable Support and Management
Once EV charging stations have been installed in your apartment complex’s parking lot, and the management system has been properly set up, a situation may come up where professional support is needed.
Make sure you have reliable support to help with basic actions like unlocking cables, stopping a charging session, or resolving other hardware problems. It’s important to have a clear agreement with the installer about the service level and get into a maintenance contract to ensure the charging stations are periodically checked and well-maintained.
Get the Right EV Charge Station Solutions
Managing EV charging stations in apartment complexes can pose a challenge for property owners and managers. But with the right EV charge station solutions, you can easily deploy, manage, and provide operational EV charging services for your charging stations from anywhere. EV Connect offers quality EV charging station equipment with flexible and simple cloud-based charge station solutions that have 24/7 support that you can count on.
Discover how EV Connect works for you to improve customer value and ease EV charging station management as an apartment complex owner. Contact us for a free consultation.