Electric Vehicles: Charging Your Community

As auto manufacturers are steering away from internal combustion engines, making the drive straight toward electric motors, having charging stations on your property is becoming a must! The demand for electric vehicles is growing rapidly, and it is not expected to slow down soon. Now is the time to make sure your community can accommodate the need for electric vehicles, so let’s take a look at some key factors to consider when looking to install charging stations!

 

Charger Levels

It is important first to assess the number of chargers needed compared to the speed of the charge that your property can accommodate. Level 1 chargers are less expensive to install ranging from $1,000-$1,700 per charger, give 12 amps from standard electrical outlets, and usually take between 8-12 hours to charge a depleted battery. Level 2 chargers are a bit more expensive to install ranging from $1,200-$2,000 per charger, but they deliver 15-80 amps in less than half the time of a level 1 charger.

Keeping in mind your community’s budget, it may be beneficial to combine different levels. Say, for example, your community has many electric vehicles that require chargers. If your budget allows, it may be best to install mostly level 1 chargers and a few level 2s. With this combination, you can accommodate the need in general as well as supply some fast-charging level 2 chargers for those residents who have less time available for charging.

 

Location

A major factor to consider when looking to install charging stations is the physical location in which these chargers will be installed. Does the power grid of your community allow you to install them in your current parking locations? By installing charging spots, will there be sufficient non-EV parking spaces available for those residents who do not drive electric vehicles? Will you need to/are you able to build another parking location? Does this additional parking location exist in an inconvenient location for residents, negatively impacting retention and satisfaction rates? Questions like these are important to ask yourself when considering installing charging stations in your community.

 

Costs Associated

As mentioned previously, it can be quite pricey to install electric vehicle chargers, and something to consider in addition to installation costs is the electricity costs associated. First, think about your residents; Are they going to use these chargers? Does the demographic of your community line up with the need for charging stations? If you have a large amount of electric vehicles that will be using the charging stations, the electricity costs may drastically increase resulting in the increase in utility payments by residents. Perhaps a good way to help combat this increase in costs is to create a system where residents can pay monthly for the use of chargers, with an additional cost associated with using the speedy level 2 charging stations. Installing charging stations may create an additional need for on-call or on-site electricians in your community as well.

 

Electric vehicle charging stations are an investment for any property, but if it will be worthwhile for your residents, it is definitely worth considering. Installing these chargers can help target prospective families and middle-aged people if that demographic is of interest to your community. Consider sending a poll to your current residents to see if there is a need for these charging stations. If it would be necessary for residents to cover the costs of the electricity used in charging their vehicles, include this in the poll. Transparency amongst management is crucial for resident retention, so be open with your community’s residents about your desire to improve the community and how you plan to do so!

 

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