“Ask Kari” is a monthly, Question & Answer feature from Kari Negri. Kari has two decades of property management experience, is a featured speaker at many industry trade shows, such as AAGLA’s annual trade show, and is the CEO of SKY Properties, Inc. in Los Angeles.
Hosting Electric Vehicles at Your Building
Norris from Los Angeles asks, “Hi Kari, what do you advise about providing for electric vehicles at my building? I have prospective residents who want to plug-in.”
Hi Norris. Great question! Here’s what you need to know about electric vehicles at your building.
Many people in Los Angeles rent. Many also want to own an electric vehicle. One of the primary tensions with renters owning an electric vehicle (EV) is lack of access to a charging station where they live. As a building owner, you can increase the demand for your units AND increase your building revenue by installing EV charging stations.
But first, let’s talk briefly about a few different types of electric vehicles. There are hybrid vehicles, plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles. Hybrid vehicles utilize both gas and electric powered motors. Essentially, the vehicle harvests energy from the gas motor and other operating mechanisms to draw a charge. Thereby, the engine can switch from gas powered to electric powered as necessary. With plug-in hybrids, there is a third option to harvest energy: plugging the car into a standard, home 120v outlet. Lastly, there are fully electric vehicles. These vehicles operate only on electricity and no other fuel. Some can be plugged into a home, 120v outlet or, most optimally, a charging station.
As building owners, we want to provide the best living experience for our residents while controlling costs. One issue we are beginning to see across our portfolio is EV owners plugging their vehicles into their home outlet, adding $70 or more per month to the power usage. This problem is certainly exacerbated if the owner is paying for electricity at the building. Additionally, an EV must be on a dedicated 15-20amp circuit to both get a proper charge, and not trip the circuit. To solve for this tension, you might consider adding conditions to your leases for electric vehicles, such as, where a resident may plug it in, running extension cords (trip hazard), additional electrical costs not covered by the owner, etc.
Another solution gaining traction is installing charging stations at your buildings. The options are developing similarly to solar. There are purchase options, and no out-of-pocket revenue generating options. Essentially, you can either purchase each station, from a company such as ChargePoint, and earn revenue by charging a fee for use to your EV owning residents, or allow a company such as PowerTree to rent parking spaces and install the charging stations. In this scenario, the building owner receives revenue from both the parking space rental and shares revenue generated by the charging station.
In conclusion, offering EV charging options at your building will add value and marketability to your building, let your residents know that you welcome environmentally conscious vehicle owners, solve for potential issues which might arise from an EV owner who simply needs to charge their vehicle at home.
Powertree Services: www.powertreeservices.com/
ChargePoint, Inc.: www.chargepoint.com/sectors/multifamily-homes
As always, please remember, I am not an attorney. Seek clarification through your attorney. All articles are simply an opinion. Stay in touch at www.GetSky.net
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