By Calvin Cornish
December 28, 2017 – When it comes to innovation, you can either reject it and try to compete or embrace it and find new ways to grow your business. In my experience, I’ve found that only one of these really ever has any success.
While still in the early elite stages of the product cycle, it won’t be long before electric vehicles (EV) become accessible to the mass public. Bloomberg reported on the surge of electric car sales earlier this year (with some compound growth rates as high as 40%), and The International Energy Agency (IEA) announced that ownership had recently surpassed the 2 million unit mark globally in 2017.
Many homeowner associations, condominiums and co-op communities are already getting out in front of the trend. They’ve begun researching how adding electric car and EV charging stations to their premises can bring value to their organizations and tenants. Property managers are recognizing the value in being first to market with electric car charging options. It’s not just about accommodating for the growing market. It’s about accommodating for your residency and upgrading your amenities standards.
I’m sure you have your concerns reading this – be they budget or space-related in nature. Perhaps you are feeling that you are already falling way behind. Allow me to put your fears to rest. Here are some important points to consider with regards to EV charging at your property.
Making A Property More Attractive to Future Home Buyers
One area where charging stations are making an immediate impact is visibility. They make a remarkable first visual impression on prospective tenants. Furnishing your neighborhood with electric vehicle charging stations injects it with an aura of affluency and environmental sensibility. High visibility is vital to attracting new residents and home buyers, and communities that add and include them are passing by those who neglect to do so in the eyes of public perception.
Complying with Emerging HOA Laws & Building Standards
Laws around EV charging have been developing quickly over the last couple of years, with California at the forefront of this legislation. Early occupancy agreements included prohibition of the installation or use of electric vehicle charging stations in a parking space associated with the property. But in 2016, municipalities began mandating that EV spaces account for at least 3% of parking for any new multi-family facilities with 17 or more units.
It is only a matter of time before similar legislation spreads to other major metropolitan areas. As demand grows, existing facilities will be pressed to fall in line. It might be beneficial for you to get out in front of the trend.
Meeting Condo Owners’ Requests for EV Charging Stations
The first step to meeting owner requests is to have an EV charging policy in place. Owners are often planning for the future. Consider that prospective residents are limiting their decision about where to live based on the available charging.
With that in mind, you’ll want to have a clear-cut policy in place – one that you can readily provide to an inquiry that will show how your association is forward thinking, well run and inviting. Will the charging be community or is private charging available? What products will be accepted? How will costs be handled for both installation and charging? Answering these questions now will allow you to show demos and robust capabilities that will put inquiring minds at ease and give you a leg up over others.
Properties that offer an electric car charging option are going to help usher our society into a new era. We’ll need the charging stations to accommodate the cars, and we’ll need cars to validate the need for EV charging stations. That said, it’s not going to happen overnight. While the industry continues to make inroads, property managers are getting out in front of it so that they are prepared once EV’s are the norm.
The first step in that process is to sit down with your energy advisor to discuss the potential options for your building. Developing a plan for the future and establishing a policy will put your association in the best possible position going forward.
About The Author
Calvin has served as a Sr. Energy Strategy Advisor at Nania Energy Advisors since 2010. He specializes in preparing property management boards to make informed decisions on energy efficiency through proper industry education. His clients include apartment complexes, condominium associations and senior living facilities. In his free time, Calvin enjoys music and coaching youth sports.