Gas Prices and Electric Vehicles

Gas Prices and Electric Vehicles

Posted on 18. Jul, 2012 by in Technology

While gas prices have leveled off in recent months, I think we can all agree that the days of cheap gas are over for good. As people continue to look for ways to save on gas costs, more and more are turning to electric vehicles. While hybrid (gas & electric) vehicles remain popular, the electric car is gaining in popularity, particularly on the west coast. But one of the problems that electric car owners face is recharging their vehicles. Home dwellers can easily recharge their car in their garage, but apartment dwellers face a greater challenge. But, this seems to be changing with the increased availability of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations.

Now found in public areas such as grocery store parking lots, convenience store parking lots and gas stations, these charging stations are beginning to make an appearance in multi-family apartment parking lots as well. If you’re considering installing an EV charging station, you’ll need to take these things into consideration:

  • Demand. Be sure to take a survey of your residents to make sure that legitimate demand is present. If 10% of your tenants drive electric vehicles, demand is there. If only one or two residents have electric cars, it will take a long time for your investment to pay for itself.
  • Electrical Capability. It’s important to have a professional electrician review your property prior to making the decision to install an EV charging station. Costs can vary widely based on the availability of electrical components. A building that has adequate panel capacity and conduit running from the panel to the parking space where the charging station would be installed will see relatively low installation costs of around $3,000 to $5,000. However, a building lacking sufficient electric capacity could see installation costs over $30,000.
  • Cost. Decide up front how you want to pass on the cost of installing a charging station. Will the cost be passed on to all tenants?  Will charging be fee-based where tenants and guests pay a nominal fee for using the charging station? Will the cost be capitalized and used to attract future tenants? Determining this up front will assist you in determining whether you should install a charging station now, wait a while, or if you should install one at all.

With ownership of electric vehicles continuing to increase, it may be an opportune time to invest in the installation of an EV charging station for your property.

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