Maximizing the Benefits of EV Charging Stations for Multifamily Properties

Electronic vehicles (EVs) are rapidly gaining popularity, and owners must charge them regularly. That's why EV charging stations are becoming a hot topic of discussion, especially for property managers of multifamily properties. If you own or manage a property with residents that drive electric vehicles, you need to consider installing an EV charging station. Not only will an EV charging station boost the appeal of your property to potential residents, but it's also an excellent way to remain competitive in the market.

Read on to learn how to maximize the benefits of EV charging stations for multifamily property owners, operators and residents.


1. Understand your residents' needs

Before investing in an EV charging station, you need to understand your residents' needs. The best way to do this is by surveying them to determine whether they own an electric car or intend to buy one soon. This information lets you choose the number of charging stations to install.

Keep in mind that charging time varies depending on the type of station. Level 1 charging stations use a standard 120-volt electric outlet and can take up to 48 hours or more, while level 2 stations use a 240-volt outlet and take 3-8 hours to charge.

Additionally, here are a few ways you can go the extra mile to make sure EV charging stations at your property meet your residents' needs:

Determine the number of parking spaces and charging stations

After conducting a survey, you should know how many residents have EVs and what equipment they use.

This information lets you determine how many charging stations you need to install. As a general rule, one charging station per four spaces is recommended. Ensure charging stations are placed conveniently and can accommodate different EV types.

Get professional advice

Speaking with EV charging experts and a certified electrician or installer is important so you have a general understanding of the process and so they can help you with equipment selection and installation.

A professional installer can help you decide on the best location for the charging stations, what type of equipment to purchase, the costs, and how to avoid electrical hazards on your property.

Consider the future

The growing demand for EV charging will only increase in the future. Therefore, you need to plan not only for current charging needs but also for future needs. As you install charging stations, consider the possibility of expanding infrastructure in the future. Ensure your chosen EV charging solution is future-proof and can evolve with your property's needs. 

2. Determine the best location for the charging stations

The next step is to determine the best location for the charging stations. The ideal location should be easily accessible and near or part of the resident parking. It would help if you also considered the charging station or building's proximity to electricity sources and the expected impact on landscaping, lighting, and accessibility for all residents.

Availability of Electrical Infrastructure

Before choosing a location for your EV chargers, it's important to consider the availability of electrical infrastructure. Do you have the necessary electrical capacity to support the chargers? If not, you may need to upgrade your electrical system before installing the chargers.

You should also consider the proximity of electrical lines to the potential charger location, as running new electrical lines can be costly and time-consuming.

Accessibility and Convenience

Another important factor to consider when choosing a location for your EV chargers is accessibility and convenience. EV drivers need to access the chargers and park their vehicles nearby easily. Consider areas close to your property's most frequently used entrances and exits.

You should also think about whether the chargers will be visible from the road, as this can help attract new residents who own EVs.

Space Requirements

EV chargers require more space than traditional parking spaces, so ensuring that your chosen location has enough room for the chargers and the vehicles using them is important. In general, EV charging stations require a footprint of at least 8 feet by 20 feet, although this can vary depending on your charger.

Additionally, you'll need to provide enough space for EVs to easily maneuver in and out of the charging and parking spots.


3. Choose the right type of charging station

There are two types of EV charging stations: networked and non-networked. OK2Charge networked charging stations have advanced software that allows you to manage and monitor usage, billing, and maintenance.

Non-networked charging stations, on the other hand, are less configurable and do not require network management. Networked stations may be more expensive initially, but they provide added value for your property in the future. With the ability to customize resident usage fees and bill back residents for electricity used, you can even profit from your chargers.


Consider the Charging Station Features

When selecting a charging station, consider the features that best fit your residents' needs.

Some recommended features include:

  • Access control driven by your PMS

  • PMS integration 

  • A platform that evolves with your unique property needs 

  • Optional net operating income from resident fees 

4. Consider financing options

The cost of installing EV charging stations can be high. Fortunately, there are several financing options available to property operators. For instance, the government offers tax credits and rebates for EV charging station installations. Some utility companies may also provide financial incentives for EV station installations. 


5. Promote your property’s EV charging stations

Once you install an EV charging station, you need to promote it to attract tenants. Use your website, social media accounts, and other advertising channels to showcase your property's EV charging capability. Emphasize the benefits your residents will enjoy, such as a more stable and convenient charging experience, reduced emissions, and cost savings on charging in public. 

Display Signage

One of the easiest ways to promote your EV charging station is by displaying signage. Invest in a bright and easy-to-read sign outside your property so that any passersby can see you have an EV charging station.

Additionally, place signs near the station, preferably in areas that are accessible to both residents and visitors. Make sure the signs are clear and have the necessary information, such as the cost of charging, how to pay, and how long they can use the charging station.

Promote to your residents

While your EV charging station will promote itself, promoting it to the right people never hurts. Your residents are the perfect audience for promoting your charging station. Email your residents or even place flyers in communal areas such as elevators, laundry rooms, or lobbies. Give a discount for residents using the charging station, or create a unique program for those who use it frequently.

Optimize your digital marketing efforts

You should also make sure that your digital marketing efforts include EV charging as an amenity at your property. It's important to position your property as a sustainability leader on your website and social media. This will appeal to EV drivers and eco-conscious prospects. 

Incentivize residents to use EV charging stations

People love incentives, and you can use this to promote your charging station. For instance, once a month, you can raffle off a gift card to a local coffee shop or restaurant to anyone who uses the charging station.

Alternatively, you can create a loyalty program with rewards if someone frequently uses the EV charging station.

In conclusion, installing an EV charging station is more than just an amenity. It's a necessity as demand for electric vehicles increases. Property managers and owners need to prioritize upgrading their properties to stay competitive.

By understanding their residents' needs, choosing the right charging station, choosing a good location and financing options, and promoting their property value and EV charging station, they can maximize the benefits for property operators, businesses, and residents. When it comes to EV charging stations, the benefits outweigh the costs in the end.

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