Why Multifamily Properties Should Invest in EV Charging Stations

Electric vehicle (EV) ownership has grown rapidly over the past few years. In 2019, consumers purchased a record-smashing 2.1 million EVs. In 2022, the number of EVs purchased surged to 7.8 million in a single year. In 2023, the EV market will continue its rapid expansion with a projected 13.6 million electric vehicles purchased, an astonishing 74% increase from the previous year. The rising popularity of EVs can be attributed to an ever-expanding EV charging infrastructure network and increased support from the government in the form of rebates and incentives for EV charging station installation. Multifamily properties often have 100% of their installation costs covered.

If you own or manage a multifamily property, you may be considering installing EV charging stations for your residents.


Benefits of Installing EV Charging Stations

Installing EV charging stations at your multifamily property has many benefits.

1. Attract new residents.

Tap into the rising number of people who own EVs by installing EV charging stations right where they live. Research shows that 75% of EV owners charge at home. The availability of EV chargers on-property is a deciding factor for many potential new residents.

2. Retain current residents.

Give current residents a reason to renew their leases by installing EV charging stations. Many existing residents are making the switch to an EV and will choose to live somewhere they are able to charge their vehicle.

3. Get ahead of your competition.

Many multifamily properties are installing EV charging stations to meet rising resident demand. Stay ahead of your competition by installing EV charging stations as soon as possible. Acting now will also help you maximize any available rebates and incentives provided by your local utility. There are currently many rebate programs available.

4. Create a revenue stream.

The vast majority of EV owners charge at home. EV charging stations at your property create an entirely new, lucrative stream of revenue from your residents. Property owners have full control – set pricing per kWh consumed or by time used; break even by charging only to cover your costs or earn a profit by choosing your own price.

5. Offer a valuable amenity.

Instead of charging per use, offer additional value to your residents by providing EV charging stations on your property as an attractive amenity. EV charging stations advertise the property as modern and luxurious, with costs easily incorporated into existing monthly amenity or HOA fees. Some competitive properties even offer charging for free.


How Do You Install EV Charging Stations at Your Multifamily Property?

Developing an effective EV charging strategy that works for your residents today and scales easily for the needs of tomorrow can be done in partnership with experts like Chargie. As a turnkey provider, we manage every step of the process.

1. Survey and evaluate.

Every property is different, so there isn’t a one-size-fits-all EV charging station solution for multifamily properties. Chargie works with properties to consider many important factors like space limitations, power requirements, aesthetics, available rebates, and future needs. We also evaluate your current electrical system to determine what, if any, upgrades are needed. This ensures there won’t be any surprises or obstacles after the final design.

2. Plan and design.

Next, we plan and design your EV charging stations. Our team of expert engineers will work closely with you to design a charging station layout that meets your property’s needs.

3. Permit and approve.

Chargie handles the details of getting any required permits and approvals from local government agencies so you don’t have to. This includes maximizing any rebate and incentive programs available for your property. Most of our clients have 100% of their installation costs covered.

4. Install and validate.

Chargie manages all parts of the EV charger installation including building the physical infrastructure, deploying a wireless network to connect it, and conducting extensive testing. This installation process takes as little as two weeks and minimizes any disruption to your residents.

5. Manage and operate.

Our work doesn’t stop once your stations are installed. We’ll help you manage and operate your EV chargers with 24/7 monitoring and support.


Get Started with Chargie EV Charging Stations

With over 15,000 EV charging stations installed, we’re experts at installing and operating EV chargers in multifamily communities. Multifamily properties have specific needs for charging station installations, and Chargie helps you navigate those needs. We handle the entire process, from a site survey to designing your charging stations to completing the physical installation. We’ll even take care of finding and applying for available local rebates and incentives. We’ll maximize every program your property qualifies for to help offset hardware and installation costs, often completely eliminating them. If you’re ready to get started, reach out to us today.

California Launches New $30 Million Dollar Program to Fund EV Charging Infrastructure

Last year the California Energy Commission (CEC) announced that it would be launching a new $30 million dollar program through their Clean Transportation Initiative, Communities in Charge.

Communities in Charge is a market-accelerating, light-duty electric vehicle (LDEV) infrastructure incentive project implemented by CALSTART and supported in partnership with GRID Alternatives and Tetra Tech. This program is designed to expand Level 2 charging infrastructure statewide with intentional outreach, engagement, and technical assistance helping make EV charging accessible to communities.

What is Level 2 Charging?

Level 2 EV chargers are most commonly found in locations of longer dwell times, like multifamily communities and office buildings. Drivers using a Level 2 EV charging station can typically expect to return to a fully charged car after a couple hours. Learn more about the differences in charger types here.

Which properties are eligible for the Communities in Charge Incentive Program?

The Communities in Charge program is open to a wide variety of property types including multifamily, commercial, school, healthcare, local government, non-profit, congressional, and tribal properties. The program aims to incentivize “Ready to Go” projects while also prioritizing projects in Disadvantaged and Low-Income Communities. Reach out to a program expert to assess your property’s eligibility.

At minimum, projects must adhere to the following:

  • Premises must be well-lit, secure, and in compliance with all US federal, California state, and local laws, ordinances, rules, codes, standards, and regulations.
  • Any Level 2 EVSEs made accessible to the general public must be available at least 18 hours a day, seven days a week, excluding holidays. (Project sites for businesses and organizations that provide charging primarily for their workers and multi-family housing sites are exempt from this requirement).
  • All Level 2 EVSEs must be shared and may not be assigned or otherwise allocated to any one individual.
  • Single-family dwellings (detached), duplexes, triplexes, individual townhomes, and individual mobile homes are not eligible site types for installation of Level 2 EVSEs with this incentive project. However, installations may include shared-use Level 2 EVSEs made available to residents domiciled in these housing developments.
  • Installations for school bus charging are not eligible for incentives.
  • Project sites that have already been commissioned are not eligible for incentives.

When Are Applications Due?

The application window starts on Thursday March 23rd, 2023. Applicants have 45 days to submit their incentive request through CALSTART’s online Incentive Processing Center (IPC). This process can be a little intimidating – that’s where Chargie can lend a hand.

Chargie is Here to Help

Interested in taking part in the program but not sure where to start? Our team of experts are available to help. We handle everything from applying to the program and submitting the required paperwork to installing and managing the ongoing maintenance and support of the EV chargers. With Chargie, property owners get a truly turnkey partner, and drivers get simple, intuitive charging. Learn more about our turnkey solution.

The places you park most of the time become the places you can charge at any time. Our 98%+ availability means you’ll return to a fully charged car and our 24/7/365 customer care provides drivers and clients the support they need at every turn.

How To Estimate Your EV’s Charging Time

When contemplating the switch to an EV from a gas powered car, charging time is one of the first considerations everyone looks into. The process of fueling up an EV can feel like an unknown when a driver has spent years filling up an ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicle. While pumping gas takes a few minutes, how long does it take to charge an EV?

How Long Does It Take To Charge An Electric Vehicle?

An EV’s charging time depends on two major factors: how much charge (kWh) is needed, and how much power (kW) the EV charging station provides. Divide the charge needed by the power provided to get the estimated hours of charge time required. There are other variables that play into this calculation but these two factors are the most significant variables when estimating your electric vehicle’s charging time.

Calculation for EV Charging Time:

To calculate your charging time, divide the amount of charge needed by the power provided by the charger. Use the formula and example below to help estimate your charge time.

Charge needed (kWh) / Charger power (kW) = Hours of charging time

A Tesla Model 3 with an 80 kWh battery size parks at a 7.68kW Level 2 charging station with 20% battery left. They would like to charge their EV to 80%.

Find charge needed:
80% – 20% = 60% needed
80kWh x 0.6 = 48kWh needed

Calculate charging time:
48 (kWh needed) / 7.68 (kW charging speed) = ~6.25 hours of charging time

How Much Charge Does My EV Need?

To estimate how much charge your EV needs, subtract the EV’s max battery capacity (kWh) from the amount of charge it has left. Most, if not all, EVs will display the remaining battery percentage or number of kWh left within the battery. Just as most people do not wait until their gas cars are completely empty, EV drivers will always have some charge left in the batteries when they stop to refuel.

According to an EV Consumer Behavior report, about 70%-80% of EV drivers charge at home or at work every day/night or every other day/night. The average American drives around 250 miles per week or roughly 36 miles per day. This equates to around 10-13 kWh of charge per day or 20-26 kWh every other day. The average EV battery size is around 40-50 kWh, providing around 150 miles of range or 2-4 miles per kWh. Knowing your EV’s battery size and efficiency will help shape your charging routine when estimating your EV’s range. Tips on how to improve your EV’s range.

How Fast Is The EV Charger?

Charging speed is determined by the amount of kilowatts (kW) a charging station can provide per hour (kWh). There are 3 types of EV charging stations, all with varying levels of charging speeds: Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 (DC fast charger). As the names suggest, the higher the level, the faster the charging speed. Most chargers will display their charging speed either on the charger itself or within a connected charging app.

Level 1: 12A/120V

  • Kilowatts per hour: 1.44 kWh
  • Range per hour: ~4mi

Level 2: 32A/240V

  • Kilowatts per hour: 7.68 kWh
  • Range per hour: ~24mi

Level 3 DC Fast Charger: 100A/480V+

  • Kilowatts per hour: 50kWh+
  • Range per hour: 150mi+

The majority of EV charging happens on Level 2 and Level 3 charging stations as Level 1 chargers are generally too slow for most drivers. While Level 3 is faster, Level 2 chargers tend to be more practical for installation and supporting most drivers’ daily needs. Check out the difference and which charger or configuration of chargers is best for your property.

Other Factors To Consider When Charging an EV

Other factors such as load sharing, temperature / weather conditions, EV battery protection settings, and EV charge acceptance rate can play a role in an EV’s charging time. While these factors are unique to the car model and charging location, they are important for EV drivers to know and take into consideration when starting a charge or planning their route for the day.

EV Charger Load Sharing:

EV charger load sharing is when two or more EV charging stations are connected to the same circuit and power / load is distributed between all the stations connected. In most cases, the power is only split if multiple EVs are charging at the same time on the same circuit. So if four chargers were installed on one circuit, you would receive 100% of the power if charging by yourself, and 25% of the power if every charger was being used. While this can potentially increase a driver’s charge time, load sharing is a great strategy for properties looking to manage their electrical load and/or add a larger number of chargers to their property.

Weather and Temperature Effects On Charging:

Weather and temperature conditions can play a role in the efficiency of your charge. Charging stations and EVs will often charge slower in extreme temperatures to preserve the health of the batteries. Many EV drivers will also stay inside their cars while charging at public charging locations. Running the climate control while charging can increase charging times, especially on very hot or cold days. Allocate some extra charging time or find charging stations in more protected environments when charging in these conditions. Extreme temperatures can have an even larger effect on an EV’s range.

EV Battery Protection Settings:

Many EV manufacturers will have default or recommended battery restrictions, driving modes, and other settings to protect the short term and long term life of the battery. For instance, some manufacturers recommend charging their batteries to 80% max and avoid going under 5%. While following these kinds of guidelines may decrease the range of one charge, they are meant to preserve the lifespan of the batteries with an added benefit of saving some charging time by not having to go all the way to 100%. Of course most of these are just recommended settings and can be changed at the owner’s discretion.

EV Charge Acceptance Rate:

The EV charge acceptance rate is the maximum kW an EV is able to consume or accept from a charging station. Many EV manufacturers will throttle or cap the rate of power their EVs can consume . The acceptance rate for an EV can decrease as it gets closer to 100% charged. For example an EV could be charging at a 100 kWh Level 3 fast charger and receive 100 kWh from 10-80% but slow down to 65kWh from 80-100%. This information will be noted in the manufacturer’s specifications of the vehicle.

Chargie powers up drivers and property owners

Fast, reliable charging for drivers

We provide EV drivers fast, reliable charging through our network of Level 2 and Level 3 charging stations. Our 98%+ network availability ensures drivers come back to a fully charged car and our 24/7/365 support allows us to help at every turn along the way.

Easy turnkey installation for property owners

Add value, not work, with our turnkey solution for commercial and multifamily properties. Our in-house teams provide properties with end-to-end project management, installation, and ongoing operations and support. We’ll even do all the rebate paperwork and applications for you. Reach out to our team of EV infrastructure experts for a free installation evaluation.

What is the Difference Between a Smart EV Charger and Dumb EV Charger?

The difference between a smart EV charger and dumb EV charger is its level of functionality and control. While dumb chargers are only capable of providing electrical charge to an EV, nothing more, a smart charger has the ability to provide additional functionality such as energy load management, restricted access, remote start / stop, status / session monitoring and much more.

For property owners installing several chargers, understanding the difference is crucial.

What is a dumb EV charger?

A dumb EV charger is an electric vehicle charging station that provides an electrical charge to an electric vehicle when plugged into the vehicle and connected to a power source. Like most electronic device chargers, its only function is charging an EV while plugged in – no monitoring, no controls, just charge.

It is also important to note that dumb chargers are not networked. This means the charger hardware is not connected to or in communication with a larger network. Because of this lack of communication, the charger is not capable of being monitored or tracked. While dumb chargers do not contain the hardware or software required to be connected to a network, smart chargers can be installed as non-networked chargers if desired.

What is a smart EV charger?

A smart charger is an electric vehicle charging station that has the ability to monitor, control, and report on its charging functionality to an operator via a centralized or cloud based network. Smart chargers contain hardware and software that can control its functions such as the ability to load manage available power, restrict charger access, report charger availability, relay charging session information, alert to hardware abnormalities, support and troubleshoot issues remotely, and much more.

Smart chargers are often referred to as networked chargers because they are usually installed and connected to a larger integrated network via Wi-Fi, SIM, or hardwired to an internet source. The network connection is what provides EV drivers and property owners the ability to control and monitor the charger’s functions from anywhere. While dumb chargers can never be smart / networked chargers, smart chargers can be installed as a dumb / non-networked charger if desired. This can provide the owner the ability to connect it to a network in the future and turn on networked charger functionalities.

Is a smart EV charger better than a dumb EV charger?

In most cases, yes, smart chargers come with more capabilities and controls which benefit EV drivers, homeowners, and commercial / multifamily property owners. The primary benefit of getting a dumb charger over a smart charger is they are typically cheaper to buy and install. While fewer capabilities translates to a lower price tag, for most, the benefits from the added software and functionality in a smart charger greatly outweigh the difference in price.

Also note that some EV charger rebate and incentive programs require properties to install smart, networked chargers in order to receive project funding.

How to choose the right smart EV charger

Finding the right smart charger for your property boils down to how much control and functionality is desired. While a single family homeowner might just be interested in seeing analytics on their charging sessions or be alerted when their car is finished charging, owners of commercial and multifamily properties often need much more. Commercial and multifamily property owners might want to charge EV drivers for their electrical usage, restrict access for private parking spaces, set up a charging valet service, load balance their power consumption, and more. Choosing the right smart charger means choosing the right network provider for your needs.

Join Chargie’s network of smart EV chargers

We are an industry leading EV charging network providing property owners with the installation, management, and support of their EV charging stations. Our turnkey solution makes it easy for property owners to get chargers installed quickly – from engineering and design to installation and support, our in-house team does it all. Reach out to our EV charging experts to learn the best configuration for your property.


Different Ways to Start a Charge with Chargie

There’s more than one way to start your EV charging session with Chargie. We created multiple ways to start a charge to provide drivers with easy and intuitive options that fit their lives best. Here are all the ways EV drivers can start their charging session with Chargie.

How to start your EV charging session:

1. Plug-in your EV

2. Start charging by:

a. Scanning the QR code:

Scan the QR code located on the charger through the Chargie app or device camera. The session will start automatically.

b. Typing in the Station ID Number:

Press “Scan QR Code” in the Chargie app and type in the Station ID # located on the charger. The session will start automatically. This is a great way to start your session remotely.

c. Tapping your RFID tag:

Look for the RFID symbol on the charger and tap your Chargie RFID tag on it. The charging session will automatically start. *NOTE* A Chargie RFID tag must be registered to your account prior to initiating a charging session.

d. Using the Payment Terminal: (Level 3 – Fast Chargers Only)

Follow the detailed instructions on the station display screen. Payment terminal accepts both credit card and mobile pay to start charging.

e. Contacting Support:

If you’re ever feeling frustrated or need some assistance, call or message our 24/7 support team. All they need is a Station ID number and they’ll be able to start your session.

For more information, check out our step-by-step guide to using an EV charging station.

EV charging in a low connectivity environment:

Some stations may be located in environments with low or no connectivity. While our stations were designed and installed to always have connection, that doesn’t mean your phone always will. After plugging in your EV, use the following methods to start your charge when you have low or no signal:

1. Plug-in your EV

2. Start charging by:

a. Scanning and Moving:

Scan the QR code located on the charger then move to an area with connectivity without closing the app. After scanning the QR code, it will display and stay on the “Preparing” screen until your session has started. To start your session, keep the app open on the preparing screen and move to an area with connectivity. Once your device is reconnected to the internet, your session will begin and display on the app.

b. Remembering the Station ID #:

Take a picture or remember the Station ID number located on the charger. Once your device has a connection, go into the Chargie app, press “Scan QR Code,” and type in the Station ID # to start the charging session.

c. Tapping your RFID tag:

Look for the RFID symbol and tap your Chargie RFID tag on it. The charging session will automatically start. *NOTE* A Chargie RFID tag must be registered to your account prior to initiating a charging session.

d. Using the Payment Terminal: (Level 3 – Fast Chargers Only)

Follow the detailed instructions on the station display screen. Payment terminal accepts both credit card and mobile pay to start charging.

e. Contacting Support:

If you’re ever feeling frustrated or need some assistance, call or message our 24/7 support team. All they need is a Station ID number and they’ll be able to start your session.

Chargie EV Charging Stations

Chargie is building the most reliable, consistent EV charging network by a mile. The places you park most of the time become places you can charge any time. Our 98%+ network uptime means you’ll return to a fully charged car and our 24/7/365 customer care gets you the support you need at every turn.

How to Improve Your Electric Car Range: 7 Proven Tips

An EV’s range can play a major role in the lifestyle of its owner. Being aware of how far you can go between charges and what factors affect your battery life can shape your daily schedule and how you plan your route. Perhaps you have an alert on your phone to remind you to start charging at night so you have the range for the next day, or maybe you plan your errands around your favorite Chargie charging station so you can get some charging in while out and about. Whether you’re looking to maximize the miles between charges or need to conserve power when getting nervously low, here are some tips on how to improve your EV’s range.

What is electric car range?

Put simply, an electric car’s range is the maximum distance an EV can drive based on the amount of charge within its battery. An electric vehicle’s battery size is measured in kWh and range is determined by the make and model’s efficiency to convert that power into movement – on average, most EVs get around 3 miles/kWh. Check out your EV’s specifications to learn its range and efficiencies.


1. Feather the throttle

While this isn’t the most fun tip, one way to significantly improve your EV’s range is to be gentle with the accelerator whenever possible. Of course, sometimes you need to stomp on the “gas,” but if you can avoid it, accelerating slowly will consume less power, extending your range. If your EV has an “Eco” mode, this also helps ease up on the acceleration.

2. Watch your speed

Being the slower car on the road (safely, of course) will boost your EV’s range. Whenever possible, try to drive just under the speed limit. To give some perspective, you can save 14% of your car’s energy by reducing your speed by 10 mph. Wind resistance increases dramatically at speeds above 65mph so staying at or below the speed limit will greatly help the conservation of energy. As a bonus, you’ll be much less likely to get an expensive speeding ticket.

3. Take advantage of regenerative braking

Use the electric vehicle’s energy restoring regenerative braking at its maximum setting. This advanced braking system can recharge the battery a little bit each time you let off the accelerator or use your brakes. On average, drivers using regenerative braking regenerate around 8% of their battery capacity with some reporting as high as 30% (going up and down large hills). Just note that the amount regenerated is dependent on the terrain being driven.

4. Ease up on climate control

This is another less-than-fun tip, but whenever you can comfortably reduce your use of climate control (your heater and air conditioner), you are significantly boosting your electric vehicle’s range. Unlike with gas powered vehicles, knowing how the weather can affect your EV is crucial to estimating your range. We’re not suggesting eliminating climate control completely, but using it less to increase range. For extreme heat and cold, turn on the climate control while your EV is plugged in before leaving. Bringing your car’s cabin to a comfortable temperature while plugged in makes less work for the climate control once you’re on your way. If you’re ever seriously short on a charge, turn off climate control completely to help get you to the next charging station safely.

5. Take care of your tires

Make sure your tires are properly inflated and aligned. Not only will this increase your safety, but it will also increase your EV’s range. When your car’s tires are properly aligned and inflated correctly, it takes less energy to move your EV and increases the life of your tires. It is advised to have your alignment checked every 6,000 miles and if your car doesn’t have a built in tire pressure sensor, to use a portable tire gauge to check your tire pressure and refill as needed.

6. Unload your car

The less you have in your car, the lighter your vehicle will be and the less energy it will take to move. Of course, having some essentials in your car is good, but do you need those extra kettlebells? The more you unload out of your car, the more significant your range increase will be.

7. Think about aerodynamics

Consider the extra things you add to your car. Luggage racks and bike racks increase weight and wind resistance, making your EV work harder and use more energy, which reduces range. The minor loss of range may be worth it to you, but it’s a good thing to consider before installing additional equipment.


Electric vehicle charging with Chargie

Wherever you choose to go, Chargie can help you get there. Charge your electric car quickly with our 98%+ network availability and easy to use app. Our customer service representatives are here for you 24/7/365, and can help you with the click of a button. If you’d like a Chargie station at your workplace, apartment, or multifamily home, reach out to be connected to a Chargie team member.

The Time Is NOW To Add EV Charging To Your Properties

This article originally appeared on CleanTechnica.

Electric vehicles (EVs) are becoming increasingly popular in the US, with EV sales outpacing every other market segment in recent years — and that was especially true in 2022, which saw North American EV sales climb 49% year-over-year, even as the overall new car market was down 17%. Most industry experts are projecting that this trend will not just continue into the future, but actually accelerate from here … and, with more and more EVs on the road, there’s a growing need for places to charge them.

The good news is that the public infrastructure buildout is underway, thanks in part to wide-scale Federal funding in the form of the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) program and the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. Both have made it easier to not just buy and own an EV, but to develop the kind of interstate charging network needed to support mainstream EV adoption.

While that’s all great, it doesn’t change the fact that the vast majority of EV charging is done at home. In fact, the US Department of Energy (DOE) says that 70-80% of all EV charging happens either at home or at work — and that message is being received loud and clear by EV shoppers, who will expect to be able to do just that when it becomes their time to switch to electric. That means multifamily, workplace, and commercial properties will become critical locations for the installation of EV charging stations, and developers who are looking to fill those properties will be expected to offer EV charging sooner than later.

These charging stations, sometimes called “Level 2” for 240V AC models and “Level 3” for higher-output DC fast chargers, are rapidly becoming just as essential for developers looking to attract tenants as they are for people who already own an electric car — but where do property owners start?

Modern Problems Require Modern Amenities

Accessible EV charging stations are an effective way for properties to remain competitive in a modern housing market. More and more consumers look for places that offer EV charging, and they’ll be more likely to pay higher rents to have access to the amenity.

But installing these chargers can be a complex undertaking, requiring resources dedicated to engineering, permitting, construction and more. Companies like Chargie offer developers and property managers a turnkey solution for EV charging infrastructure – this includes detailed site evaluations, engineering, design, installation, operation, monitoring, ongoing maintenance and customer care. “We make it easy for property owners to turn their parking spaces into places drivers can charge anytime,” said Chargie CEO Zach Jennings. “When it comes to the rapidly changing world of electrification, we’re helping drivers get charged up and properties stay ahead of the curve.”

Furthermore, developers can capitalize on available federal and local government rebates, incentives and credits to help recoup their installation costs. Chargie can assist properties with that too. “Finding the right programs and applying for funding takes time and resources. Our team can advise on how to maximize the money available and handle applications on a property’s behalf,” Jennings said. He also noted the importance of acting quickly. “These rebates and incentives won’t always be around. Some are first come, first served. If you’re thinking about installing chargers, the time to act is now.”

Chargie level 3 charger in outdoor parking lot
Chargie Level 3 Charger Station

Smart Tech Is Smart Business

Installing EV charging stations at multifamily, workplace, and commercial properties is not only a smart investment for developers, but it is also an important step in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and meeting the growing public demand for more sustainable transportation options. And, as the global demand for electric vehicles continues to surge, the need to install Level 2 and Level 3 chargers at these properties will only become more urgent.

By installing EV charging stations now, developers and property managers can help ensure that their properties are ready to meet the demands of future tenants and their electric cars, and that they’re able to take advantage of available rebates and incentives before they run out.

In Conclusion

Given the continued rise of EV sales, it’s already imperative to install EV chargers at multifamily and commercial properties within the US market. This will not only help meet the increasing demand for EV charging, but it also keeps properties modern and competitive and contributes to making the world a greener, more livable place.


Demand soars for EV charging at multifamily properties

This article originally appeared on Multifamily Dive.

Infrastructure options and cost incentives have become more complex as the electric vehicle revolution gears up.

In late 2021, after apartment owners and operators started inundating Park City, Utah-based RET Ventures about EV charging stations, the multifamily-focused technology investment firm created a working group and launched a comprehensive evaluation of the technology. It found a lot of dissatisfaction.

“The chargers are offline a lot. They’re broken a lot. Residents start calling the leasing office, and the people in the leasing office aren’t EV charging experts and don’t know how to troubleshoot,” RET vice president Jameson Hartman said. “It just creates this headache from an operational standpoint and general dissatisfaction for the residents.”

Whether they like it or not, multifamily owners and operators are being forced to start wading through EV charging options as demand intensifies. EV sales have soared, increasing by 67% from 2021 to 2022, according to Kelley Blue Book, and the U.S. Department of Energy has adopted an International Code Council provision requiring apartment communities to provide EV charging infrastructure for up to for 20% of lots with 25 or more parking spaces.

“Electric vehicles are expected to account for nearly 30% of sales by 2030,” said Ted Weldon, executive general manager of development for the Chicago office of global real estate developer Lendlease. “It is inevitable that the number of renters looking for a place to charge their electric vehicle at home will increase.”

Renters are willing to pay a premium for the capability. In a 2022 National Multifamily Housing Council survey, 27% of renters said they were interested in EV charging stations, and respondents said they would pay $28.12 more per month for them.

“Very soon, it’s going to move from being an amenity to table stakes,” said Jill Brosig, managing director and chief impact officer for investment management firm Harrison Street, which installed nearly 300 Xeal charging stations at senior and student housing properties in California, Massachusetts, Texas and Virginia this year.

Costs and incentives

Before Harrison Street invested in chargers, Brosig’s team surveyed their properties about their EV charging needs and desires — a step she said is crucial.

Multifamily properties can install two types of chargers. Level 1 (L1) are the most affordable at $300 to $1,500 per station, but they can only charge about 5 miles of range per hour. Level 2 (L2), the most common in apartment buildings, can cost up to $7,500 and are able to charge multiple vehicles faster — about 16 to 25 miles of range per hour — and can also network and balance electrical loads.

The cost of installing chargers can be mitigated in some states, where governments and utilities offer rebates and incentives, but wading through the options and filling out the applications can be a heavy lift. California utilities have provided at least $240 million for EV charging infrastructure at multifamily properties since 2016, and Colorado provides rebates of up to 80% of charging station costs for multifamily properties.

The Inflation Reduction Act, passed by Congress earlier this year, reinstated a tax credit of up to 30% of the cost.

“Incentives can get very complicated,” Brosig said, which is why she recommends partnering with a vendor that “is able to basically be your eyes on the ground in terms of what’s happening in various municipalities.”

At Chicago-based RMK Management Corp. which is installing L2 charging stations at most of its properties in Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Minnesota, executive vice president Diana Pittro said costs range between $5,000 to $15,000 per charger, depending on where they’re located and the amount of concrete or wiring that has to be done on sites that require retrofitting. (Installing chargers on existing properties can cost three to five times more than including EV ports in new builds.)

Managing risk

Chicago-based real estate management firm The Habitat Co., which has been installing EV chargers at its multifamily properties for 10 years, looks for at least a three-year payback for the cost of the chargers, said senior regional manager Wendy Deetjen.

“We see discounts by buying in volume, and we try to take advantage of that,” she added.

Following its evaluation, RET Ventures determined that L1 charging with L2 support is the best path to widespread adoption. It recently invested in Plugzio, a hardware-agnostic, cloud-based charger management system that integrates with established Level 2 providers. The $300 device, which plugs into traditional outlets, charges 10 miles of range per hour — about halfway between L1 and L2 — and can be managed through a central dashboard.

“There’s lower capital at risk,” RET Venture’s Hartman said. “So, in five years, if the industry turns over and battery swap becomes the thing — great. Even if you’ve deployed Plugzio across your portfolio, you spent a fourth of the capex that other people did, so you’re not nearly as upset.”

Operations and marketing

Before committing to any type of charger, experts recommend contacting the local electric utility to determine whether service is adequate and inquire about special rates or rebates.

Determining how many chargers to install is highly dependent on property type and location. Chris Vargas, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Culver City, Calif.-based Chargie, which specializes in charging stations for multifamily properties, said he’s working with a luxury 300-unit property in Orange County that is installing 300 chargers — but each building is unique in its needs.

“If I had a crystal ball and were to look into the future, probably 80% of parking spots at multifamily properties will have Level 2 charging access,” Vargas said.

Operators must also develop policies and procedures to manage charging, determine whether and how residents will pay for it and make plans to promote the service to residents and potential residents.

“The marketing piece is a big piece,” Brosig said. “How are you going to use this to your advantage? Are you talking about it on your website, in your marketing materials? Is your property manager emphasizing it? The last thing you want to do is install this technology and not tell anybody.”

Bisnow Multifamily Annual Conference West

Find out how multifamily development and investment groups are utilizing innovations like Chargie’s EV charging solution to future-proof their multifamily portfolios. Chargie CEO Zach Jennings will be speaking with fellow industry experts on how to effectively stay ahead of future demands.

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Chargie’s Turnkey Solution

At Chargie, we specialize in finding the best programs to plug into to provide our clients with EV charging stations at little to no out-of-pocket costs. We handle everything from applying to the programs and submitting the required paperwork to installing the charging stations and providing ongoing maintenance and support. With Chargie, property owners get a truly turnkey partner, and drivers get simple, intuitive charging. Learn more about our turnkey solution.

The places you park most of the time become places you can charge at any time. Our 99% availability means you’ll return to a fully charged car and our 24/7/365 customer care provides drivers and clients the support they need at every turn. Reach out to learn more.


Houston Bisnow Multifamily Annual Conference

The Rise of EV Charging: 5 Things You Need to Know

Join Chargie and real estate developers, owners, managers and more as they discuss trends in the Houston multifamily market and what’s to come. Chargie SVP of Business Development Chris Vargas will take the stage to share the key things stakeholders need to know about EV charging’s role in the future of multifamily.

Learn more and buy tickets


Chargie’s Turnkey Solution

At Chargie, we specialize in finding the best programs to plug into to provide our clients with EV charging stations at little to no out-of-pocket costs. We handle everything from applying to the programs and submitting the required paperwork to installing the charging stations and providing ongoing maintenance and support. With Chargie, property owners get a truly turnkey partner, and drivers get simple, intuitive charging. Learn more about our turnkey solution.

The places you park most of the time become places you can charge at any time. Our 99% availability means you’ll return to a fully charged car and our 24/7/365 customer care provides drivers and clients the support they need at every turn. Reach out to learn more.

Ask for Chargie

The place you park most of the time can become the place you charge any time.
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