Remember when the first mass-produced hybrid entered the US market? Every comedian from Portland, Maine to Portland, Oregon had something funny to say about it. Yet the days of the Prius as a target of ridicule are now long gone. Decades later, society has matured and the electric vehicle has blossomed in the public’s perception from something of an oddity to the better option worldwide.

Investing in EV charging stations no longer requires a leap of faith but rather an acknowledgment of the writing on the wall. December of 2017 was the 27th consecutive month of sales gains for electric vehicles with little over 26 thousand units sold in the US and almost 200 thousand sold throughout the year. Research also shows that the number of fast charging stations will grow from a mere six thousand in 2013 to 200 thousand by 2020. Recent analyses from the UBS Evidence lab shows that the cost of owning an electric vehicle will decrease to that of an internal combustion engine vehicle in 2018.

Location, location, location!

Gas stations require room for the gas tank and a specific location for the single purpose of refueling. Electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) only needs power and parking spaces. This very short list of requirements for installing EVSE makes it ideal for properties, both residential and commercial.

Since charging electric vehicles is still a rather lengthy process, EV owners can really benefit from charging stations wherever they choose to park their car. If EVSE is made available near their apartments or condominiums, EV owners can recharge their cars at home, either overnight or after coming back from work. A Level 2 station will complete the process in just a few hours. Level 3 DC Fast Charging (DCFC) is even more convenient as it allows for much shorter charging times. DCFC is ideal for commercial properties where people spend less time, like retailers, restaurants and parking garages.

The Benefits of Being a Station Owner

While EV owners have a lot to gain from a future ubiquity of charging stations, they’re not the only ones. As a building owner or property manager, you can reap benefits yourself. While the return on investment (ROI) is still difficult to quantify, purchasing stations can make an impact and allow for proven soft returns.

Today, standing out from the crowd is difficult and attracting future buyers and tenants often rely on innovation. Fitting your property with EV charging stations will put you ahead of the curve and increase your visibility. Those who own electric vehicles and those who plan on purchasing one in the near future will avoid properties that don’t accommodate their needs and turn their attention to those who do.

By adding charging stations to other environment-friendly amenities like renewable energy or green roofs, you won’t have to play catch-up with the ever-changing sets of regulations that are, now more than ever, focused on curbing the effects of climate change. But it’s not just about laws and regulations. It’s also about gaining a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating that will increase your visibility even further.

Last but not least, purchasing charging stations for your properties is also about making a difference and adding another point to an ever-growing grid. With each small effort, we turn a notion of the future into the reality of the present.