Electric vehicle adoption is a certainty. With concerns over climate change and advancements in technology, there is growing demand for electric vehicles (EVs) across the US. To accommodate the transition from gas to electric, consumers need charging stations, and a lot of them. Indeed, the Federal government has set a goal to reach 500,000 charging stations across the country.
It’s clear commercial property owners will play a critical role in providing the community charging infrastructure to support EV growth and adoption. And while companies compete to get EVs to market, there is a clear business case to the inclusion of chargers.
Supporting the EV Arms Race
Today, 50% of Americans say they are thinking about buying an electric vehicle, and data from S&P Global Mobility estimates that EVs will reach 40% of total passenger car sales by 2030. “This is an explosive market, and we are seeing growth from every single angle,” says Mike Battaglia, COO at Blink Charging. “In some ways, this is a race to get new and innovative electric vehicles into the market while matching the pace with infrastructure, and that is resonating with consumers.”
Access to charging stations remains the main barrier to EV adoption. Here, the US is a laggard. China already has 1.2 million charging stations, and there are 400,000 across Europe. The US has only 140,000 charging stations, far short of the current Administration’s goal, which itself may be just a drop in the bucket to eventual demand. “All of the research points to the fact that the US is going to need to install millions of EV charging stations to support this growth,” says Battaglia.
An Opportunity for Commercial Property
People are demanding EV charging stations at all points of life, from their apartment community to their office and shopping center. Battaglia asserts that EV charging stations should be considered an essential amenity, akin to internet, water and electricity.
Multifamily industry in particular is forecasted to be one of the largest growth drivers, because people want the infrastructure at home. Apartment communities are Blink’s top area of growth, but offices owners are also investing in EV chargers. “We are working with a lot of companies that are installing EV charging stations because employees are asking for them,” says Battaglia. “They want the convenience of having an EV charging station at work.”
In addition to meeting demand, EV chargers are also proving to be a revenue-generating opportunity. As Battaglia says, EV chargers are essentially gas stations sitting in a parking space.
New auto manufacturers are rapidly introducing new 100% battery-powered vehicles into the market, and commercial property owners should start preparing today. “I would encourage property owners to start now and explore the configurations and the options,” says Battaglia. “Then, you aren’t rushing into this in a reactive way; you are being very proactive.”