July 11, 2023

Understanding the Latest in EV Charging Technology for Multifamily Properties

10 Min. Read

There are more than 44 million renters in the United States, more than 16 million of whom live in apartments. This is a significant population of potential EV owners who need charging access at their place of residence. Additionally, as more Americans are switching to electric vehicles (EVs), multifamily properties are increasingly considering electric vehicle charging solutions for their parking lots, causing demand to soar for this sector.

Property owners and managers can capitalize on this trend by providing charging solutions to their multifamily buildings. Harnessing the EV charging technology and electric vehicle charging solutions benefit your tenants and can also increase the value of your property.

Here’s what you need to know to make the most of this opportunity:

  • Advancements in charging solutions for multifamily properties allow you to add value and amenities.
  • Evaluate your available space and renter interest before choosing the best charger level for your property.
  • Working with qualified installers safely ensures you’re providing the latest EV charging technology.

We’ll cover these in more detail below so you’re better equipped to make the most of electric vehicle charging solutions.

EV Charging Stations for Multifamily Buildings – Advancements & Trends

As the electric vehicle industry rapidly evolves, multifamily property owners and managers must stay current with the latest advancements in EV charging technology. With these new technologies, you can upgrade your charging infrastructure to provide comprehensive and efficient services to your tenants.

Smart Charging Stations

Smart charging technology allows EV drivers to charge their cars while also taking advantage of the lowest utility rates, as well as scheduling and remote monitoring capabilities. This helps property owners and managers save on electricity bills, monitor usage in real-time, and even grant access to specific tenants during certain times.

Smart EV charging stations are also connected to the internet, allowing tenants to control how and when their vehicles charge from anywhere.

Dedicated EV Charging Spaces

To help apartment dwellers easily identify the charging station at their multifamily building, many property owners are now opting to install dedicated EV parking spots with clearly marked signage. This helps tenants quickly locate and plug into the charging station without any hassle.

Additionally, placing these chargers in a preferred parking area will help encourage other residents to make the sustainable switch to electric vehicles and boost the enjoyment and satisfaction of residents already driving electric vehicles.

Multi-Unit Charging Stations

Multi-unit charging stations can be used to charge multiple EVs at once from a single location. This not only saves on space but also allows for more efficient management of the charging stations.

You will need to choose a multi-unit charging station that fits your dedicated parking space, as well as install appropriate wiring and electrical components that meet industry standards.

Bidirectional Charging

Vehicle to Grid (V2G) technology, or bidirectional charging, allows EV owners to utilize their vehicles as a power source, which can be used to drive or store energy and makes it possible for electric vehicles to feed electricity back into the grid. This can help property owners and managers save on electricity bills by using the stored energy from EVs to cut down on demand charges.

This could help balance power demand in multifamily properties and provide an additional revenue stream, as owners can benefit from selling excess energy, and residents can use this to power their homes in times of emergency.

Solar Panels for EV Charging

Solar-powered EV charging presents an excellent opportunity to help manage the electricity supply and demand changes in multifamily properties. This method weather dependent, however you can utilize parking lots, carports, and building rooftops for your solar array. Smart EV charging will respond in real-time to changes in electricity supply.

Value-Add of Electric Vehicle Charging Solutions for Multifamily Buildings

When it comes to charging at multifamily properties, renters are frustrated they can’t find a place to plug in their electric vehicles.

With millions of people currently living in apartment housing and condominiums, this is a large and growing market. In addition to meeting this rising demand, electric vehicle charging solutions also offer a variety of benefits for both landlords and tenants.

By understanding the value-added benefits of electric vehicle charging solutions, multifamily property owners and managers can make an informed decision about whether or not to incorporate EV chargers into their properties.

Here are a few value-added benefits that EV charging solutions can offer:

  • Increased Tenant Satisfaction: Installing EV charging stations at a multifamily property gives tenants a way to charge their vehicles conveniently and quickly from where they live without relying on crowded public access chargers. This helps ensure tenants have satisfactory, reliable charging, which in turn leads to higher resident retention rates.
  • Increased Amenity: The addition of EV chargers makes renting from you more desirable among an untapped pool of eco-conscious tenants. This attractiveness can allow you to charge more for the rent of the units, thereby generating extra income.
  • Reduced Energy Costs: Smart EV chargers allow property owners and managers to monitor electricity usage in real-time and make adjustments as needed. This intelligent charging technology is equipped with sensors that actively monitor and optimize your electricity consumption.
  • Increased Property Value: Having EV charging solutions can be a great draw for potential tenants, which means that having these solutions installed can help increase the value of your property in the long run.
  • Improved Air Quality: Everybody prefers clean air over noxious fumes. EVs can help to improve indoor air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions at multifamily buildings, making them an even more attractive option for tenants.
  • Boosted Revenue: Upgrading multifamily properties with EV chargers will become more urgent, as more than 125 million EV motorists are projected to be driving on roads by 2030. Multifamily housing will reap the most benefits of EV charging, creating a winning situation where tenants have all their charging needs met, and owners can boost their bottom lines.

How to Select the Right EV Charging Station for Your Multifamily Property

Choosing the right EV charging station for your multifamily building depends on several factors, including your budget, tenant needs, and the size of your property. It’s also going to depend on whether there are special rates or rebates in your area.

Some tasks that you should consider when selecting the right EV charging station for your multifamily building include the following:

1. Evaluating Your Space and Utility Service

Before making a purchase, it’s important to evaluate the space you have available for installation and the power options your area offers. It is recommended that an electrician or other qualified professional be consulted before any installation takes place.

2. Conducting a Survey to Determine Renter Interest

Conducting a renter survey can also be beneficial in helping you understand the demand and preferences of your tenants. This will help you determine how many charging stations are needed, where to place them, what type of chargers should be installed, and how much it may cost. If no one expresses interest, then it may pay off to wait and see.

3. Choosing the Right EV Charger Level

Depending on your budget, you may choose from the different chargers available on the market. There are basic Level 1 charging stations, as well as Level 2, and more advanced Level 3 (DC fast) EV chargers for those who need their vehicles charged as quick as possible.

The most common types of EV charging stations for multifamily buildings are Level 1 and Level 2 EV charging stations. Type 2 chargers are the most commonly used in residential settings, as they can deliver higher charging speeds while still being compatible with most EVs. They also charge multiple vehicles faster, which makes them an ideal choice for multifamily.

4. Exploring Combination Charging Station Options

Level 2 chargers for a multifamily application cost $1200 to $3000, with standard installations ranging from $2000 to $3000. This installation cost can be more if trenching across the parking lot is required. If cost is a barrier, and if resident surveys indicate that cheaper Level 1 charging stations are acceptable, a possible compromise might be to use Level 1 or a combination of Level 1 and Level 2 charging stations.

5. Considering Smart Charging Station Solutions

Property owners and managers should also consider installing smart charging solutions. Smart charging solutions are equipped with sensors that actively monitor and optimize your electricity consumption. This helps to reduce energy costs as well as provide you with additional data on the usage of EV chargers in your building.

6. Researching Local Incentives and Rebates

Installing EV chargers can help you take advantage of various government, utility, and corporate incentives and rebates to offset your costs. For example, federal incentives include a 30% tax credit towards the cost of any EV charging station installation for multifamily property owners, and many utilities will offer discounted rates for EV charging.

Maximize your savings by applying for federal EV chargers tax credits, as well as any utility, local, or state-level incentives and rebate programs available in your area.

Features and Benefits of Different EV Charging Stations

Let’s explore the features and benefits for multifamily buildings that Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 Electric vehicle charging solutions provide:

  • Level 1 Chargers: These chargers feature the slowest charging speed. They’re generally not suitable for larger electric cars or SUVs as they take up to 40-50 hours to fully charge a depleted battery electric vehicle (BEV). The benefits they offer include lower installation and operational costs.
  • Level 2 Chargers: These chargers feature a faster charging speed than Level 1 chargers, usually taking up to 4-10 hours for an average BEV to reach full charge. They are generally installed in residential and multifamily buildings, as they can provide electricity to multiple vehicles simultaneously.
  • Level 3 (DC Fast) Chargers: These Level 3 EV chargers feature the fastest charging speeds by providing direct current electricity directly to the car’s battery and can often charge a vehicle in less than an hour, but frequent use can lead to long-term battery degradation. They offer distinct advantages to public places such as shopping centers, malls, or gas stations. Multifamily property owners, however, will likely find them off-putting because of their cost and complexity.

Safety First

Keep in mind that implementing electrification technologies involves working with 240 volts of power. Accidents can be serious and even fatal, and damages can be extremely expensive with property damages, liabilities, and voided insurance and warranties if an improper installation leads to damages, injuries, or property loss.

Unless you have expertise in working with 240 volts, and these installations specifically, it is wise to use the services of a licensed electrician.

The Basics of EV Charger Installation and Maintenance

Installing an electric vehicle charging station should always be performed by qualified professionals. This precaution ensures that the charger will operate safely and effectively. These professionals are trained to look for any challenges of installing multifamily EV charging stations, such as access to an existing power source or any outdated infrastructure.

EV charger maintenance can help ensure they continue to work properly and efficiently. Regular checks for damage or signs of wear, as well as checking for proper connections, are recommended.

When it comes to upkeep and maintenance, make sure that the electrical contractor is certified in the installation of electric vehicle charging stations to ensure any future repairs or updates are done correctly and meet safety standards. A qualified technician should also be able to quickly diagnose and repair any issues related to the EV charging station.

Qmerit is the EV Charging Partner for Your Multifamily Property

As the leading installer of charging stations in homes and multifamily properties in the U.S. and Canada, Qmerit is the most trusted installation network for EV charging stations and other energy transition technologies by top brands and businesses nationwide with over 269,000 EV charging stations installed in homes and businesses across North America to date.

With vast experience in EV charging and a proven track record of success, Qmerit will help with your electric transition from start to finish, ensuring your project is a success and your residents are satisfied. Learn about our multifamily EV charging solutions and contact us today to help navigate your next electrification project to success.

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