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How EV Charging Boosts Value at Commercial Real Estate

Posted 08/14/2023

Commercial real estate and electric vehicle (EV) charging are a natural fit. According to research firm Nareit, commercial real estate in the United States was valued at nearly $21 trillion in the second quarter of 2021. And Statista calculates that EV charging revenue will grow to $816.4 million by 2028. Commercial real estate owners and investors are always looking for ways to increase the value of their properties. Adding EV charging infrastructure is an obvious way to increase property value while providing a much-needed public service. Here are five ways that EV charging benefits commercial real estate.

Who benefits from commercial EV charging infrastructure?

Virtually any type of commercial property would benefit from installing EV charging infrastructure. Some specific types that would see a boost in value include:

Basically, any property where tenants rent, lease space, and/or provide a service would benefit from having EV chargers installed.

Five benefits of EV charging for commercial real estate

There are five reasons to install EV charging stations at commercial real estate properties: attracting customers and employees, generating revenue, increasing property value, future-proofing your property, and promoting environmental leadership.

Attracting customers, clients, and employees

McKinsey estimates there will be 48 million EVs on US roads by 2030. Many of those drivers will look for businesses where they can charge their vehicles, especially when they will be parked for an extended period. Commercial properties that provide charging options will win EV drivers away from other businesses that don’t offer charging. Likewise, job candidates who own EVs are more likely to choose a company where they can charge their vehicle throughout the workday. PwC estimates that by 2030, 17% of all charging points will be at workplaces. In a US Department of Energy report, 80% of workplaces surveyed said on-site EV charging had helped them attract and retain top talent. In today’s competitive job market, businesses need innovative benefits that will help them hire the best employees. Installing EV chargers for your commercial tenants can help attract companies that are looking for this valuable amenity.

Adding additional revenue streams

While EV charging stations can increase commercial lease renewals, they can also add ancillary revenue for public users. In particular, retail and mixed-use commercial properties can benefit from attracting drivers and monetizing parking. With a current shortfall of public chargers in a large portion of the United States, commercial real estate owners can help make up that shortfall by installing public chargers in their parking lots. One of the best parts about commercial EV charging stations is that they can increase revenue. Not only will EV drivers spend more time shopping at a retail store as they wait for their vehicle to complete charging, but property managers can also monetize their parking. While some commercial properties offer free charging, the Blink Network allows property managers to charge drivers an energy usage or hourly fee for using the chargers.

Increasing property value

Property improvements like electric vehicle charging, smart technology, or LEED certification can help increase property value (and commercial rents). Business tenants looking for a modern workplace want commercial properties with EV charging infrastructure. Similarly, potential buyers are also likely to be attracted to properties with EV charging. Consider the impact that EV charger installation has had on residential properties. Real estate brokerage firm Properly analyzed home prices in Toronto and Vancouver and found that selling prices of homes with EV chargers increased by over 19% and 4.5%, respectively, year over year. It’s clear that property buyers are interested in EV charging and are willing to pay more.

Future-proofing your property

As the world turns more to EVs, businesses risk being left behind and missing out on the benefits of charging installation. Taking action now and installing charging equipment ensures your properties are ready for the EV transition. In fact, commercial tenants may increasingly require their commercial property managers to invest in EV charging as part of their sustainability strategy for them to renew their leases. In addition, while electric vehicle charging was removed from the 2021 International Building Code requirements, chargers may be required in municipal building codes and certain rebate programs. In the future, we can expect to see mandates for including EV charging infrastructure at new buildings and retrofitting parking lots at existing buildings. Future-proofing your property with commercial EV charging stations and make-ready infrastructure can help your business stay ahead of the regulations and display corporate sustainability leadership.

Being seen as an environmental leader

Finally, installing EV charging stations at your commercial property can boost your corporate image and marketing. Customers are increasingly seeking out environmentally friendly companies. In fact, online searches for sustainable goods increased globally by 71% from 2016 to 2021, according to one Economist/World Wide Fund for Nature report. Another report from IBM found that “84% of global consumers consider sustainability important when choosing a brand… And 62% of consumers now say they’re willing to change their purchasing behavior to help reduce the negative impact on the environment, up from 57% in 2019.” Consumers want to buy from sustainable companies, and EV charging equipment is an obvious visual cue to potential customers that you are leading the way. EV charging installation can also help you get recognized by sustainable accreditation organizations like Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), which can help your property attain tax breaks and other economic incentives.

How to fund your EV infrastructure installation

Numerous government incentives exist to help commercial property owners install EV chargers on their premises. Blink has compiled various state and municipal commercial incentives into an easy-to-search tool. Simply enter your zip code to see the available incentives in your region. Nationally, the federal government offers the Alternative Fuel Refueling Infrastructure Tax Credit, which provides a tax credit of 30% (up to a maximum of $100,000) for installing EV charging infrastructure at qualifying businesses. Is your property within 1 mile of the highway? The National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Programs will also fund installation at commercial properties near key roads. Blink provides resources to help qualifying businesses get Level 2 and DC fast chargers with the NEVI and CFI grant programs.

How to select a charging station

EV charging infrastructure is a fantastic investment for your commercial property to raise value, future-proof amenities, attract employees and customers for your commercial tenants, and increase lease renewals. But which EV chargers are best for commercial properties? There are two options to choose from:

  • Level 2 chargers

  • Direct Current Fast Chargers (DCFCs)

Which one you choose will depend on several factors, including:

  • Your budget

  • Your available power supply

  • The type of businesses that lease your property

Level 2 versus DCFC for commercial real estate

Generally speaking, commercial property owners will select Level 2 chargers like the Series 8, though the Series 7 is also recommended for locations with fleets. These powerful charging stations can deliver up to 80amp to charge an EV in a few hours and are ideal for businesses where customers will be spending more time, like a movie theater, mall, hotel, or spa. You can charge drivers for using them by the amount of electricity they use or charge by the amount of time their car spends plugged in. On the other hand, DC fast chargers like the Series 9 can charge a vehicle in under an hour. DCFC is quick, but they require additional electrical infrastructure that is unavailable at the typical workplace. DCFCs are typically found near rest stops, highways, or fleets where business owners do not expect drivers to park for very long. Notably, the installation costs of DCFCs are significantly more than Level 2 charging stations. While many properties already have 240V power, DCFC usually requires significant electrical upgrades to add 480V power. Level 2 chargers are less taxing on available power supply and budgets.

Blink network solutions

Commercial property owners and managers can also save money with Blink by taking advantage of features like local load management, which evenly splits the available power supply on a given circuit between all chargers. This allows properties to add more chargers without incurring high infrastructure costs. Choosing Blink also means you will be added to the Blink Network, which includes the Blink App to alert drivers about your chargers. Public EV charging maps like Blink or Google Maps can help you attract new customers to your property. The Blink Network gives property managers the tools they need to control all their chargers’ settings – like setting prices for different groups – from one central dashboard. Our smart access controls allow you to even offer private access or discounted pricing for major tenants! As the world transitions to electric vehicles, commercial properties will become the new places where drivers fuel up their vehicles with electrical power. Now is the time to future-proof your commercial real estate property. Contact Blink Charging today to speak to an expert and get a quote.

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