Electric vehicle (EV) charging for multifamily dwellings, such as apartment complexes and condominiums, can help attract and retain tenants and foster a sustainability-minded community while increasing property value. In fact, residents in multifamily dwellings are already making it clear that they want to see EV charging in apartment complexes and condos. This is understandable, as 80% of EV charging takes place at home. Apartments with EV charging hold more appeal for potential tenants, not to mention holding more value for investors. Soon, EV charging will be a standard, not luxury, multifamily amenity. Some jurisdictions are already including EV charging in their building codes to ensure new structures have charging capabilities. Here is what owners and managers of multifamily residential buildings should know about installing electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE).
Get feedback from residents
The first step in developing a plan for EV charging in a multifamily complex is to determine your current and future charging requirements.
You can ask residents if they currently own an EV or if they are planning on purchasing an EV within the next five years. While it would be impossible to predict exactly how many EVs are going to end up being owned at a given complex, you can get a rough idea of what ownership will look like in the future by surveying your current tenants.
Conduct a site assessment
A site assessment is crucial for EVSE installation, as it will establish your site’s current electrical capabilities and reveal any electrical upgrades the site may require to accommodate electric vehicle chargers.
It also helps your electrical contractor and facilities manager determine installation costs and create a budget. Worried about cost? There are several ways to minimize costs, such as installing your chargers close to the electrical room. You can also utilize local load management to install multiple chargers with power sharing. Depending on your site, you can also use mounting options to save money on site work.
In the long run, it’s also best to prepare parking spots now for future EV charging expansion using “make ready” infrastructure. For example, you may choose to install five chargers now, and make five additional parking spots EV Ready, meaning that you install the wiring and conduits, but don’t actually install the chargers. When you are ready to install more chargers, it will be easier and less costly because the infrastructure is already in place.
Research funding options
The United States federal government, state governments, and even some utility providers have numerous funding options for the installation of EVSE at multifamily dwellings.
Administered by the Internal Revenue Service, the Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Tax Credit is a location-specific incentive that provides a tax credit for 30% of the cost of installing electric vehicle charging infrastructure up to $100,000 for commercial properties, which include multifamily dwellings. Only chargers installed in census tracts where the poverty rate is at least 20%, or the median family income is less than 80% of the state median family income level qualify for this tax credit.
The US Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuels Data Center has a list of federal funding programs and incentives related to alternative fuels and vehicles, advanced technologies, and air quality, which includes electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
As for state incentives, you can use Blink Charging’s Commercial Incentives tool to search for potential funding opportunities by using your zip code and the type of Blink charger you are inquiring about.
In addition to funding, the Alternative Fuels Data Center also has informational EV charging resources for multifamily housing units.
Which types of chargers should you install at multifamily residences?
Because vehicles will be parked for long periods of time, Blink Charging recommends installing Level 2 chargers at multifamily units. These chargers can fill an EV battery overnight, and they only require a 208/240 volt input. (While many people ask about Direct Current Fast Chargers, DCFC is generally excessive and unnecessary at multifamily communities where drivers park overnight).
With Blink, your chargers will be added to the Blink Network, which gives you full control over all aspects of the chargers, including access and pricing. You can even set different pricing for daytime versus nighttime charging, or public versus private users.
With the continued growth of EV ownership in the United States, more and more renters are buying electric vehicles. Installing EV chargers at your apartment complex or condominium help attract tenants and foster a sustainable community. Ready to get started? Contact Blink Charging today to discuss the electrification options for your multifamily dwelling.