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There are now more than 500,000 electric vehicles (EVs) on the road in the United States, and soon there will be over a million – and 3 million worldwide. EVs are becoming more and more popular, as the big auto manufacturers are all finally getting on board and investing in this technology. Consumers will soon have a plethora of choices when it comes to EVs.

If you’re a building owner or property manager, you may be considering EV charging stations on your property. Maybe you want to attract upscale, eco-minded tenants or shoppers, but whatever the reason, it’s a good idea to acquaint yourself with the range of benefits electric vehicle charging stations can offer your place of business.

Installing EV charging stations can provide you with a competitive edge, but is the timing right? Do enough people drive EVs? How will your property benefit? Are EV charging stations the right choice for your property?

What type of property do you own or manage?

Is it a Class A property/retail establishment? We are seeing that the Class A properties tend to be the early adopters. EV charging stations on these properties are considered an amenity, like access to a gym or concierge services.In many parts of the country, it is expected that EV charging stations will be on the premises, especially with any new construction projects. In addition, property owners and property managers are quickly realizing that EV drivers make great tenants, with above-average income and education levels. EV charging stations are the latest green amenity that benefits everyone, not just EV drivers.

What kind of company are you?

Is environmental stewardship important? Many companies have worked hard to differentiate themselves by taking an eco-friendly approach to doing business and getting the full benefits from the marketing value that EV charging stations provide. Having EV charging stations on your property enhances your position toward the environment, and differentiates your brand: it reinforces what your brand is about and sets the tone for your property or business.
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In addition, EV charging stations can be part of a larger goal, like Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. LEED certification is a standard for buildings constructed using sustainable materials and practices. For those managing commercial properties, EV charging stations can help attract commercial tenants who value sustainability or want to project a progressive stance on transportation to their employees.

Is now the time to purchase EV charging stations for your property or should you wait?

Chances are, if you were to stroll around your parking lot, you would already see some electric vehicles; although, they are getting harder to spot, as many are starting to look like traditional cars. The fact of the matter is there are more models available than ever, with over 30 on the market today.
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And these numbers are only going to increase as the costs of batteries and production decrease. According to a recent analysis by UBS Evidence Lab, the cost of owning an EV will fall to the same level as that of a traditional vehicle with an internal combustion engine (ICE) as early as 2018. UBS came to this conclusion after tearing apart EVs and discovering that the cost of producing these cars is less than originally anticipated, and much less than ICE vehicles. That said, there is still potential for further savings, thus driving down the costs of EVs even more.

What about a revenue stream from these EV charging stations?

Yes, you can set what you want to charge per kilowatt hour or time spent. It may be free, you may wish to charge for just the cost of electricity or you can make a couple bucks per charging session. The fact is, these can eventually help your property bring in a little extra revenue and help pay for themselves, should you wish to sell the electricity at a higher price than you pay.

If you build it, they will come. According to a survey conducted by the Department of Energy, workers are 20 times more likely to buy an electric vehicle if their employers offer free charging at work. The simple fact is that EV drivers have enough battery range for everyday activities like going to and from work, but knowing there are EV charging stations at work could make the difference between choosing an EV or not. It can also provide drivers with the freedom to do lunchtime errands and after-work trips without experiencing range anxiety. So if you provide EV charging at your property, you will be encouraging people to drive EVs.

As you can see, the electric car revolution is happening – the train has left the station! Those who decide to get on board now can take advantage of the many benefits provided by offering this green amenity, while also making a statement about their company and its role in our future.