Commercial Properties and EV Chargers: The Future of Transportation Is Here

February 26, 2024
Electrical, EV Chargers

In Southern California, the region’s well-known car culture and the state’s commitment to preserving the environment have combined to make electric vehicles (EVs) a common sight on the roads. Gone are the days when buying electric meant a limited selection of expensive possibilities. More than 40 different models of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) were available to purchase in the U.S. in 2023 at increasingly affordable prices, showing that manufacturers are tapping into consumer demand.  

 With legislation mandating that all new cars and light trucks sold in California be zero-emission by 2035, the state is in the vanguard of electric-vehicle adoption nationwide. Sales of electric cars in California reached record levels last year, with 446,961 sold. That figure was up 29% from the previous year. However, sales slowed in the final quarter of 2023, and one significant reason why is the lack of the electric charging network needed to support the growing fleet of EVs on the road.  

While figuring out how to provide more chargers may be a headache for public policy makers, for the owners of commercial property, demand for EV charging stations is an opportunity. Commercial landlords of multifamily properties, office properties, and retail centers can leverage this demand to add value to their real estate portfolio and attract buyers, renters, and patrons. Alternatively, those who are slow to recognize the need may find themselves losing out to more proactive competitors.   

Why EV Chargers Are the New Must-Have  

Car-based amenities are nothing new to the world of commercial real estate. Who hasn’t considered whether it’s easier to drive an extra mile or two to a shopping center with a generously sized parking lot rather than having to circle the too-small lot at a nearby strip mall—and decided the trip was worth it? Or celebrated over finding an apartment or condo with two dedicated side-by-side parking spots in a secured garage under the building? For owners of EVs, the availability of chargers is the new must-have that is inevitably influencing where they buy, rent, and shop.  

Unlike filling up with gas, recharging an EV is a task that takes around 30 minutes at minimum (and that’s at a Level 3 charger; lower levels take longer). This means EV owners need to plan ahead for where and when they are going to charge up. Residential property owners can attract EV-owning tenants or purchasers by adding Level 2 chargers, which allow an EV to charge to 80% from empty in about 4 to 10 hours (up to 8 times faster than someone using Level 1 equipment with regular household voltage). This allows tenants to easily recharge overnight. By adding similar charging stations, owners of office buildings can attract tenants whose employees can charge their vehicles during the workday. 

5 Common Home EV Charger Installation Mistakes To Avoid

 Retail properties are better served by Level 3 chargers, which require higher voltage but considerably shorten charging time. EV owners who know they can charge their car while they’re running errands or enjoying a meal out will increasingly be factoring the availability of convenient chargers into their calculations of where to shop. While these have the steepest up-front cost to install, drivers are willing to pay more for faster charging—and the convenience will help attract them to your location, making it more attractive for commercial tenants as well. 

Mandates for the inclusion of EV chargers in new development also add to the urgency for owners of existing properties to determine how best to meet demand. Failing to make necessary upgrades runs the risk of increasingly losing out when prospective tenants or buyers identify lack of EV charging stations as a deal-breaker.  

Certified Electricians in the Los Angeles Area 

Retrofitting EV chargers into existing buildings can be complicated, but ProConnect Electric makes it easy for you. Our team of certified electricians is experienced in the installation of EV charging stations in existing properties as well as new construction. We adhere to the strictest safety standards to provide you with high-quality, expert upgrades. If it’s time—or past time—for you to add EV chargers to your commercial property, ProConnect Electric can help you determine the best solution for your needs. Contact us today to learn more.

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