Electric vehicle (EV) chargers are popping up everywhere across the U.S. Thanks to increased private and public investments in charging infrastructure, PwC forecasts that the number of available charging ports will balloon from roughly 4 million today to 35 million in 2030. Even more notable is the fact that multifamily properties—historically underserved by EV charging—will account for 6 million of those charge ports.
Among those multifamily properties, apartments and condominiums represent significantly different opportunities. While apartments are often home to a more transient population that’s been slower to adopt EVs, condos typically house committed property owners, many of whom are eager to embrace electrification.
For homeowners associations (HOAs) and condominium associations (COAs), EV chargers represent a crucial investment opportunity. As charging stations transition from enjoyable amenities to essential appliances, HOAs can’t afford to ignore the benefits of EV charging. Here are four reasons to consider adding EV charging at your property.
1. EV chargers are smart marketing
EVs are projected to grow exponentially. Current forecasts expect EV sales to land somewhere between 40% and 50% of all passenger vehicle sales in the U.S. by 2030, compared to just 4.6% in 2021. Such rapid growth points to a fast-expanding swath of the population that will soon need a place to charge their vehicles at home.
By adding condo EV charging to your property, you put your condo in a position to appeal to this growing population. If you don’t seize that marketing opportunity, another landlord will. In major cities across the U.S., HOAs and COAs are aggressively investing in charging infrastructure.
The 600 N Lake Shore Drive Condominium Association is just one example of these forward-thinking associations. The COA, which represents 401 units and nearly 1,000 residents in Chicago’s downtown neighborhood of Streeterville, partnered with Enel X Way to install dedicated chargers for over 100 parking spaces. As more EVs hit the road, we’re certain to see more projects like this at condos and other multifamily properties—the marketing opportunity is just too good to pass up.
2. Stay ahead of changing laws
Consumer demand isn’t the only force expanding the nation’s charging infrastructure. Policy changes, particularly on the local level, are forcing property owners to adapt.
Headlining these policies are “Right to Charge” laws in states such as California, Colorado and New York. These policies ban HOAs and similar organizations from prohibiting tenants from installing EV chargers. In some cases, they’re not even allowed to charge an installation fee.
Building code requirements can go even further. Based on recommendations from the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), developers who build new properties or update existing ones may be required to install some or all the necessary electrical conduits and charging equipment to give residents EV charging access.
As such regulations continue to expand, condo associations will be forced to update their properties. By making changes now, they can get ahead of these regulations and attract early EV adopters.
3. Support sustainability initiatives
Electric vehicles are one of the most important tools we have for fighting climate change and investing in a more sustainable future. Reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions is crucial for keeping global warming under the Paris Agreement target of 2 degrees Celsius, and battery-powered EVs yield 43% less CO2, on average, than gas-powered vehicles.
That means condo EV charging is more than just a marketing play. It’s the right move for environmental justice, and it shows that your HOA is serious about playing a part to support the electrification of transportation.
To take it a step further, you can make EV charging one aspect of a complete sustainability initiative for your condos. Whether you’re updating your property or building a new one, consider how you can boost your climate impact by installing solar panels and batteries, LED lighting, energy-efficient appliances, green spaces for air quality, and more.
4. Create new revenue streams
At first glance, it may seem that the best option for condo associations is to simply set up the charging infrastructure and leave the purchase and installation of condo EV chargers to residents. This option will certainly keep upfront costs to a minimum, but it may represent a missed opportunity for your COA.
By fully funding EV chargers for the condo, the association can retain full ownership of the chargers and create an additional revenue stream. Whether by billing condo owners directly for their charging station usage or including it in their HOA fees, the association can benefit from retaining management and control over the stations. Especially in condos that already have—or anticipate having—a high proportion of EV drivers, it’s easier overall to maintain control and offer charging stations as built-in appliances for condo owners.
Invest in your condominium
Purchasing and installing EV chargers for your condo represents a major investment. However, the growing demand for this amenity means that you’re adding value to your property. Whether you mean to attract tenants in the short term or sell your property in the long term, you stand to gain a significant return on your investment.
Plus, current tax incentives for installing EV chargers are likely the best they’ll ever be. Commercial customers, including multifamily property owners, can get up to $30,000 in federal tax credits toward the cost of EV charging stations. Note that installations on or after January 1, 2023, must meet census tract requirements to qualify including beign deployed in a low-income or non-urban area. Many states offer additional incentives. These programs significantly cut down the upfront cost of condo EV charging installations, making your investment even more appealing.
Condo associations that make this investment now stand to gain the most in the years ahead. The good news is that this isn’t a decision or project you have to take on without guidance. Just as we did for the 600 N Lake Shore Drive Condominium Association, Enel X Way can help you plan, execute and manage charging stations for your condo with our line of commercial charging stations.