February 21, 2024

The Influence of EV Demand on Urban Multifamily Buildings in 2024

6 Min. Read

The electric vehicle (EV) market is expected to increase in value by ten times over the next decade.

In certain parts of the country, more than 10% of all new cars sold are already battery-powered, and EV demand at dealerships in other states is double that. With the rising adoption of electric vehicles across the country, these vehicles will need a reliable place to charge.

Many EV drivers prefer the convenience of at-home EV charging overnight, but for renters, this can present a challenge if their communities are not prepared to support EV charging infrastructure and EV charger installation within their homes or even in communal spaces as an added amenity.

These drivers need a reliable place to charge their EVs and will begin to consider EV charging as a requirement within their homes. Properties without EV chargers will be unable to meet that demand and will find themselves unable to keep up with the competition—both in retaining current tenants and attracting new residents.

As a result, more multifamily property owners are considering the effect of increased electric vehicle sales on their properties and how they will need to update their property to keep up with the growing demand for EV charging in their community.

In this article, we explore the influence of EV demand on urban multifamily buildings and what property managers and owners need to keep in mind as they prepare their properties for a new era of electrified transportation.

Exploring the Impact of Electrification

The look and landscape of parking lots is just one way burgeoning EV demand is influencing urban life.

Densely populated areas with higher EV adoption are enjoying less air and noise pollution. To further transform inner cities and meet tenants’ future requirements, urban multifamily property owners need to support EV adopters with accessible EV charging stations.

Having adequate EV charging infrastructure along interstates gets attention when people talk about range anxiety. Nonetheless, most EV charging takes place at home. EV drivers living in apartments or condos are demanding access to charging stations at or adjacent to their complex.

Multifamily property owners have many electrification considerations in the near future to deal with rising EV adoption. These include creating additional value with solar and battery infrastructure, regulatory frameworks, and creating a convenient and accessible EV charging solution that is inclusive for all tenants to access and utilize.

Infrastructure Integration: Meeting the Surge in EV Demand

More than 44.2 million households rent their homes in the U.S. About 27% live in a condominium or other HOA-governed property. These residents will eventually be EV owners if they aren’t already. EVs are projected to comprise half of new car sales within the next ten years and these EV drivers will want the ability to charge at home.

EV demand is rising. As early adopters replace their EVs with newer models, the number of pre-owned electric vehicles being purchased will also accelerate and lead to more EV drivers among renters. For multifamily property owners and managers, this emphasizes the need for EV charging infrastructure in urban multifamily settings to attract or retain tenants.

However, not all buildings are easily able to accommodate more traditional EV charger installation without other electrical upgrades such as replacing an electrical panel. For example, your building may not have adequate electrical panel space or even available parking to accommodate EV charging stations, but running long extension cords for Level 1 EV chargers to vehicles on the street creates safety hazards and isn’t a viable or long-lasting solution.

A licensed electrician can work with you to consider all possible options that will work for your community. One such solution being adopted in some areas is curbside charging. Curbside EV charging stations on streetlight posts can provide a solution when other options are more costly, there is limited space available, or installing EV chargers would otherwise require extensive property upgrades.

Incorporating Solar and Battery Storage With EV Charging

Incorporating electrification technologies in addition to EV charging stations can increase energy efficiency, reduce utility costs, and appeal to tenants who want a more modern, eco-friendly home. Solar panels to charge EVs and power appliances allow property owners to generate free, renewable energy to charge residents’ vehicles.

Adding a battery storage system offers additional flexibility. The building can store excess power generated during the day, allowing you to capitalize on off-peak rates and optimal timing to manage energy usage cost-effectively.

Beyond attracting and retaining your residents with lower costs and added conveniences, you can also emerge as a sustainability leader in your community and achieve a LEED certification to further meet your ESG goals and attain added recognition and benefits for your sustainability efforts.

These options can further increase the attractiveness of your property to prospective tenants who value environmental awareness as well as cutting-edge technology.

Accessibility and Inclusivity in Planning EV Charger Installation

Property owners must follow Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility standards for wheelchair ramps, handicapped parking, floor space, and more. You must also be aware of the guidelines when ensuring accessibility and inclusivity in planning for and installing accessible EV chargers at your buildings.

Ensuring equitable access to the charging infrastructure at your property is also crucial. Some jurisdictions, notably California, have established EV charging station building codes.

While specific EV requirements don’t exist everywhere, provisions regarding access to facilities, lighting, and more are applicable. Your planning must incorporate inclusivity in developing EV-friendly spaces amenable to all of your residents, including those with disabilities or greater accessibility needs.

Regulatory Landscape: Navigating Evolving Policies

The EV regulatory environment is still evolving, particularly in areas that have not aggressively encouraged EV adoption.

Cities in various regions are grappling with rules on permitting and siting chargers. There is a need for state, local, and utility planners to look carefully at projected local EV adoption, electric grid capacity, and other issues impacting the siting of EV charging stations.

Many regional government agencies are striving to establish EV charging requirements for multifamily housing in their jurisdictions. These include minimum parking requirements based on types of units along with how many should be equipped with EV charging equipment.

Building codes are being established for EV readiness at new construction sites, and as more EV drivers hit the roads, demand for more charging stations at your property will continue to rise. Planning ahead by future-proofing your property for the installation of more EV charging stations in the future to meet EV demand is a great way to beat the competition.

Businesses and multifamily owners must stay informed and compliant with the changing regulatory landscape. Stay aware of any incentives that planning agencies, particularly those involved in the Clean Cities coalition efforts, may offer to take further advantage of any sustainability or electrification rebates or tax credits you may qualify for as you electrify your property and install EV charging stations.

EV Demand in Urban Multifamily Buildings—How to Meet It

Early EV auto adopters tended to be homeowners with disposable income. However, EV demand is now growing to a broader population, bolstered by an increased selection of lower-priced models, more used EVs on the market, and government incentives. The resulting bump in sales is expanding the need for EV charging capabilities at and around multifamily and commercial buildings.

Multifamily EV charging stations are an excellent opportunity to increase your property’s revenue and marketability. For property owners, connecting with industry experts to learn more about navigating the dynamic urban planning environment around EVs can help.

Finding a qualified electrical contractor capable of supporting your EV charging needs can be challenging, and hiring an unqualified electrician can lead to later challenges with station outages and even damage to property, but Qmerit can help.

As the leading provider of EV charger installations and other electrification services in homes and multifamily properties across North America, no one is more experienced or qualified when it comes to EV charger installation, and we will work with you to ensure a successful electrification project from start to finish.

With the largest certified EV charger installation network across the U.S. and Canada and over 269,000 EV charging stations installed to date, there’s a reason why we’re the most trusted installation network in North America.

Contact Qmerit today to navigate your multifamily project to success, emerge as a local electrification leader to beat the competition, and meet the EV demand of your community!

Author: Tom Bowen Tom Bowen President, Qmerit Solutions and Commercial Electrification