October 12, 2022 |
Updated October 12, 2022
Increased demand for EV charging is just around the corner; owners and management companies must be prepared for the potential uptick of EVs at communities.
As climate change continues to alter the environment, people are becoming more conscious of their personal impact on the planet and making an effort to combat the climate emergency. While many strides have already been made to reduce energy consumption and minimize our carbon footprint, some notable advancements, like the use of electric vehicles (EVs), are gaining traction.
According to a recent KPMG survey, some of the country’s top auto executives say that by 2030 more than half of U.S. car sales will consist of EVs. At the 2022 Apartmentalize session, “Powering Up: Providing Charging Stations for EVs at Your Property,” panelists discussed how the expanded use of EVs is changing the way they design properties to meet the needs of modern renters and achieve their goal of reducing environmental impact.
“A lot of people are seeing the market changing with more EV drivers showing up at their communities,” said Gabe Schwartz, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Sitelog IQ. “The landscape is transforming right now. What you saw yesterday is not necessarily reflective of what you’ll see over the next several years.”
While the EV takeover is most prominent in major metropolitan areas at the moment, it won’t be long before it reaches the masses.
“We did a survey of 15,000 residents and found that 91% of respondents currently drive a gas-engined vehicle,” said Susan Picotte, Senior Vice President of Asset Management and Operations Support for Centerspace. “However, 37% indicated that they plan to purchase a hybrid vehicle in the near future. Furthermore, the average car owner keeps a vehicle for about seven years, which ties in closely to the predictions of where we’ll be in 2030.”
Susan Vickery, Principal for Caryatid Consulting, suggested that those survey results are based on what’s here now and that 37% will increase dramatically.
“I think that number will climb significantly when we start seeing a much wider variety and more affordable price range for EVs,” Vickery said. “The real issue right now is long-distance driving. That's the infrastructure hurdle that we need to jump and get additional super chargers in more remote places.”
Panelists pointed out that although the hesitancy behind consumers purchasing EVs is due to the perception that the vehicles are too expensive and there is a lack of infrastructure, it really comes down to a shortfall of knowledge. Regardless of where a buyers' mindset is at now, the shift is happening and operators need to be adequately prepared to supply EV charging stations onsite.
Schwartz noted that people overwhelmingly prefer to charge their vehicles at home in their own private parking area.
“Operators need to figure out how to accommodate that preference and decide on the smartest possible install design,” Schwartz said. “There are multiple considerations with it and there are requirements that must be met.”
The ideal time to implement EV charging stations is at the point of construction, but as Vickery highlighted, the design must be built in a way that allows for additional installations as the need grows. Whether it’s a new build or an existing community, the best way to achieve this is to take a coordinated approach. Operators should establish consistency across communities and choose a single EV network provider that includes a standard service package with a single point of contact.
“EVs not only address the environmental aspect of ESG by encouraging carbon reduction and things like that, but it’s also about community impact and enhancing the modern renter experience that makes people want to stay in your communities,” Schwartz said.
Andrew Ruhland is a Junior Account Executive and Content Writer for LinnellTaylor Marketing.