It may surprise a lot of people to learn Texas, known for oil and gas production, has over 200,000 registered electric vehicles (EVs) currently on the road. That number is only going to increase over the next couple of decades as more manufacturers enter the EV market and states begin mandating that all new cars be EVs.
One business analyst predicts that “by 2050, EVs could make up about 90% of the car market.” As of now, by one estimate, only 5% of office and apartment buildings have EV charging stations.
There’s help available for commercial real estate developers, owners
That means those who develop and own commercial properties need to begin planning now (if they already haven’t) to accommodate EV charging stations. They’re going to be an expected element of apartment buildings as well as office buildings, retail and entertainment complexes and multi-use properties.
Real estate professionals generally agree that commercial real estate owners are behind the general public when it comes to EVs. As one of them notes, “Real estate owners are trying to grapple on what they need to build as more people adopt electric vehicles. There is a fear of the unknown.”
Companies that specialize in designing and installing EV charging stations are in high demand. The CEO of one of these businesses cautions that multifamily properties that don’t offer sufficient EV charging stations will lose business. That’s likely to be the case for most types of commercial properties.
Offsetting the cost by monetizing this service
He also notes that commercial property owners can help monetize their charging stations by partnering with installation and service providers. He explains, “People expect to pay for the fuel for their car. It represents an opportunity to develop a new revenue stream for multifamily owners.”
Cost is a significant factor in getting the necessary charging stations installed. So is electrical capability. There will need to be changes in the infrastructure to bring this capability to Texas properties in areas that don’t currently have it.
There are a lot of decisions to be made – including how many stations you need, where you place them, how you pass on the cost to your tenants and what kind of stations are appropriate for your property (for example, fast-charging stations or slower-charging ones). Your contracts will need to reflect this new service that you’re providing. Having sound legal guidance will help you navigate the changing landscape.