September 3, 2020

Charged Up! EVs in Commercial Real Estate

Charging Station Charging Station

Electric vehicle (EV) adoption in the United States has grown dramatically in recent years. While the number of passenger EVs on the road is still quite small in comparison to the total number of vehicles, there is no doubt that the movement towards zero-emissions automobile technology is real. In 2018 the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) celebrated 1 million EVs on the road in the US and further estimates that by 2030 there will be more than 18 million EVs on the road! As the EV market continues to grow and evolve, so must the infrastructure supporting it.

As drivers seek a more convenient travel experience, public charging infrastructure for passenger cars is becoming increasingly important. The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that there are over 1.5 million private charging points in the US. In contrast, there are only about 77,000 publicly accessible charging stations throughout the country. While it is clear that most charging is done at work or home, there is an effort to minimize wait times at, and shortening distances to, public charge points in order to enhance the convenience and safety for EV drivers. The drive to support this buildout provides unique opportunities for commercial real estate developers and business owners to consider as they plan for the future.

Development, Installation, and Accommodations for EV Infrastructure

While once considered just a nice amenity or talking point within a development, publicly accessible EV charge points are becoming a necessity as cities and states adopt broader clean energy standards and beef up their renewable energy portfolios. The need to address the clean energy revolution provides unique opportunities to not only enhance real and perceived property value but also to participate in the large-scale infrastructure build out of an EV network across the US.

With this, however, comes a separate set of challenges and considerations that owners and developers must consider as they evaluate accommodating EV infrastructure on their properties. Questions arise regarding parking ratios, safety, ADA considerations, landscaping, and site specific placement of the EV charging stations. In addition, getting power to the desired locations is often one of the biggest hurdles related to the development and installation of the charging station. These considerations are not necessarily unique to EV charging stations, but owners and developers must learn the ins and outs of the EV industry in order to properly evaluate adding EV amenities, minimize cost and disruptions, and maximize the long-term value of their property. 

Westwood’s team of professionals are uniquely qualified to evaluate and administer opportunities in the expansion of EV infrastructure. Having participated in the advancement of over 200 EV sites in the US, we are able to couple our services and solutions in the commercial real estate market with our vast experience in the renewable energy and EV industry. Having a partner that understands how commercial developments work while also having a working relationship with public utility companies can prove invaluable as you navigate this new landscape. 

The EV industry is charged up. It’s time to join the ride, so contact us today!

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