Getting Ready for Electric Vehicles
Changes are ahead for property owners and operators as demand rises for all-
electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). Rising gas prices, policy support, environmental awareness, improvements in battery technology, charging infrastructure, and the allure of new models from automakers have all laid the foundation for more consumers to transition from gas vehicles to EVs and PHEVs.
According to Energy.gov, sales of new light-duty plug-in electric vehicles, including EVs and PHEVs, nearly doubled from 308,000 in 2020 to 608,000 in 2021. EV sales accounted for 73% of all plug-in electric vehicle sales in 2021. BloombergNEF¹ asserts that electric vehicle adoption will continue to rise sharply through 2025.
To further increase adoption of EVs and PHEVs consumers must be able to easily charge their vehicles. While there are more and more charging stations being built, the U.S. will need an optimal mix of home, workplace, and public charges to accommodate consumer needs.
Where do renters currently fall in consumer demand for electric vehicles?
The 2022 National Multifamily Housing Council/Grace Hill Resident Preferences Survey showed that 2% of renters said EV charging stations were a requirement to rent. However, in the same survey, over a quarter of respondents were interested in having charging stations at their communities. While it appears we still have a few years before charging stations are a must-have amenity at multifamily communities, they can give properties a competitive edge today. Having charging stations onsite is a unique way for multifamily communities to stand out from competitors, appeal to renters, retain residents, and foster an environmentally friendly community.
Even though current demand might not be enough to prompt owners and operators to action now, the push from federal and local governments should be enough to act. Now is the time to take advantage of tax rebates and financial assistance while it’s still available. As electrical vehicles become as common as a gas fueled car and government mandates take effect, we are likely to see these incentives disappear.
Part of taking on any new project is knowing where to start. A resource to turn to is the U.S. Department of Energy. A section of their Alternative Fuels Data Center website is dedicated to multifamily housing https://afdc.energy.gov/fuels/electricity_charging_multi.html. Owners and operators can access guidelines for vehicle charging stations for multi-unit dwellings, EV readiness guide, procurement and installation, resident surveys, case studies and much more.
As more renters transition to electric vehicles now is the time to plan for installing charging stations, make sure you are taking advantage of incentives before they disappear and get ahead of the curve.