By Joseph Tohill
Maintaining a progressive, forward-thinking corporate image is crucial for companies in the commercial real-estate industry. Not only does this improve a company’s reputation and competitiveness, it will increase profit margins in the long-term.
One of the latest developments to hit the commercial real estate industry is the installation of EV charging stations. More and more developers are recognizing the benefits of providing infrastructure for the emerging EV economy.
And although the EV market is still in its early stages, there are competitive advantages to be had by installing EV charging stations at commercial real estate developments. In particular, EV charging stations can enhance property value ROI because they provide a much needed amenity for the emerging EV economy.
The Emerging EV Economy
Although the EV market only saw tepid gains in 2011, EVs are gaining traction as a form of transportation and will become an increasing share of the automobile market over the next few years. Nearly every major automaker has an EV in the works, and reports from Pike Research suggest EVs could feature a 43% compound growth rate between 2011 – 2017, with annual sales achieving 360,000 by 2017.
However, the biggest issue faced by EV drivers is where to charge their cars. Although charging can typically take place at home overnight, there is a demand for charging stations during the daytime. Commercial real estate developments are in an unique position to be able to fulfill that market demand for charging stations, and increase property value ROI in the process.
What Value Do EV Charging Stations Provide?
Unlike other amenities, EV charging stations are valuable at almost any commercial real estate development .Whether it’s an office building, a hotel, an apartment complex, or a convenience store, the value of an EV charging station should not be underestimated. EV owners that visit or reside in these locations reap great benefits by having access to charging stations. And since they will be in these places for an extended period of time anyways, they may as well make the most of their trip by charging their EVs.
The Influence of EV Charging Stations on Property Value ROI
Although EV charging stations require an initial monetary investment, the multiple benefits they provide can more than offset (or even pay for) their initial costs.
Take an office building, for example. As increasing numbers of people drive EVs, they will always be on the lookout for places to charge their cars. An office building is an ideal location for an EV charging station, because it allows workers to charge their cars while at work. In an aesthetic sense, the charging station will make the building looking more cutting edge and sustainable. On the practical end of things, it provides a much need amenity for EV owners.
In a few years, EV charging stations could be one of the things that companies look for when deciding where to locate their offices. As a result, an office building with EV charging stations will feature decreased vacancies and improved tenant retention.
Ultimately, all of these variables improve the ROI of an EV charging station and can increase property values. And although the example of an office building was given, these variables also come into play in numerous other commercial developments.
People will still be driving cars long into the future. But as more and more people embrace EV’s, they will constantly be on the lookout for new charging stations. Commercial real estate developers are therefore in a unique position to capitalize on the increasing number of EVs on the road.
Joseph Tohill is a freelance writer and online communications specialist for organizations in the sustainability sector. He has a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of British Columbia and spent most of his academic career studying sustainable urban development; namely the interdisciplinary relationship between built form and natural environment.