Car Charging As A New Source Of Apartment Revenue

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Car Charging As A New Source Of Apartment Revenue

Car charging at apartment buildings for the growing number of electric vehicles can be a new source of revenue for the multifamily industry.

By Peter Vierthaler 

If you own an apartment building with parking spaces, you have just struck oil.

New technology creates significantly more electric capacity to charge cars in your garage or lot. Car charging is a new source of revenue. Parking spaces with car chargers rent for up to $50 more per stall.

Early adopters of car charging will realize more income and less vacancy. The cost of electricity can be billed back to the tenants.

Electric and chargeable hybrid cars are a rising share of the automobile market.

  • Are you ready for them and the power that they will need to charge?
  •  Have you received inquiries yet from tenants looking to charge cars? If not, you soon will.

Adding capacity for car charging can be expensive, ranging from $30,000 to $100,000 depending on a number of variables: the size of your building, location of the electric strike, size of the main feed conduit, size of the electric room and the number of chargers wanted.

With adaptive power allocation, you don’t need to bring in additional power. Your existing capacity is all you need.

Adaptive power allocation means redirecting the available unused tenant electric capacity to car chargers. It redirects power instantaneously to and from chargers as available. If a stove is off, that power can be used to charge cars. This was never possible before. Suddenly every building has capacity to charge five, ten, twenty or partially charge up to a 100 vehicles using existing power.

Drivers simply enter their car type, miles desired, and time of departure.

The load management controller in conjunction with smart chargers does the rest. This comprehensive system bills vehicle owners for consumed power, it then notifies via a user’s smartphone the end of a charging session. For planning purposes, a tenants charging history is used to predict future charging requirements.

The price of extended range electric vehicles (over 200 miles on a charge) has now come down to $35,000. For a $35,000 base price a driver can buy a Chevy Bolt or a Tesla 3. For $25,000 they can buy the lower priced Nissan Leaf with a range of 150 miles.

Electric vehicles come within price range of middle-class buyers

This puts electric vehicles within reach of most middle class buyers and each of these buyers will need charging. 13 new entries of plug in cars just this year put electric vehicles in the price range for a much higher percentage of your tenants.

Market penetration is increasing rapidly. Tesla is ramping up production and has over 500,000 reservations. The Chevy Bolt is selling at 1,150 per month and the Leaf about 1,200 per month. Plug-in and electric cars are expected to increase market share from 3% to 15% in just a few years.

Car charging helps tenants looking for convenience and value

Pollution and environmental concerns have the largest economies in the world investing in electric vehicles. Be prepared for those tenants looking for the convenience and value in having car charging stations available near their residence. The demand is coming.

The winners will be those that control infrastructure cost through adaptive power implementation, add value to their buildings, and are prepared for the next generation of car buyers.

About the author:

Peter Vierthaler has been a multifamily real estate developer for 30 years, with a focus on apartment repositioning. He has taken a strong interest in clean technology and how it can be applied to the multifamily industry. Peter can be reached at peter@northwestpartnersllc.com or at 206-498-4708.­

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