Contrary to what you might think, electric vehicles have been around for a while. Thomas Davenport, Robert Anderson, and Sibrandus Stratingh all independently developed their own kinds of electric vehicles in the 1830’s. The first successful EV in the United States, according to the US Department of Energy, was invented by William Morrison around the 1890’s. The New York Times even wrote in 1911 that women preferred driving electric cars because the earlier gasoline cars were difficult to crank up. EV innovation slowed down after the introduction of the low-cost Ford Model T, but the whole industry has been revving its engines again since Tesla came on the scene.
Electric vehicles are our past and our future. Pretty soon, we’ll all be driving them.
But besides the fact that there are fascinating innovations happening in EV technology, why else should you care about electric cars? How are they relevant to you and your property?
The fact of the matter is that EVs are here to stay. They’re not a trend or a niche car design. If they don’t already own hybrid or fully electric vehicles, your tenants and customers parking at your buildings will soon. So far, US EV sales are 35% higher than they were at this time last year. IHS Markit predicts that by 2040, 30% of new car sales will be EVs. And as more people buy electric vehicles, the more places they’ll need to charge.
So who buys an EV?
A June 2017 survey by CarMax and Clean Technica found that electric vehicle buyers are pretty evenly spread out between Millennials, Generation X, and Baby Boomers. That means that people buying EVs could be anywhere from 21 to 70. 70% have at least a four year degree, and 69% make at least $75,000 per year. These are your employees and your clients.
Unlike the driver of a traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) car, an EV driver truly needs to plan out where they can refuel. Most drivers charge in their home garages, which is much more restrictive when compared with the many gas stations they pass on their commute to work. Pew Research Center found that more Americans rent homes and apartments than any other time in the last 50 years, meaning that even more Americans are parking overnight in parking lots. EV drivers want – and need – more places to charge. In fact, according the CarMax and CleanTechnica survey, “More than two-thirds [of respondents] said they’d be more likely to buy an electric car if their employers made charging stations available at work.” Employers who install EV charging stations make it easier for their employees who live in rental homes to buy eco-friendly cars and make their businesses more valuable to clients who drive EVs.
Besides the fact that tenants and clients will choose your business or property because you have EV chargers, you also get a boost in your LEED points and sustainability efforts. Consumers today expect the businesses they patronize to have a sustainability plan that reduces carbon emissions and helps create a better future for their children. An electric vehicle charging station shows your commitment to the environment and your care for our planet.
As we celebrate World Environment Day today and World Oceans Day this week, many drivers will commit to decreasing their impact on the environment. Make this the week when you take your own step to create a more sustainable world.