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Electric Vehicle Stations: Everything You Need to Know

The car of the future is already here. Auto makers sold 807,180 fully electric vehicles in the U.S. last year, or 5.8% of all vehicles sold, up from 3.2% a year earlier. The percentage of electric cars in the U.S. in 2022 has tripled, and the number is expected to surge. This rate is projected to grow 25% annually over the next five years.

 

Minnesota had 23,897 EVs at the end of 2021. This is a 241% increase from 2018 when there were 7,000 EVs in the state. Additionally, the number of EVs is expected to grow to 91,000 by 2030. This growth in EV sales has led to an increased need for electric vehicle charging stations, which can now be found in many locations, including mixed use developments, retail, industrial, healthcare, workplaces and multifamily dwellings. Minnesota currently has 2,625 public charging points.

 

INCREASING DEMAND FOR EV CHARGING STATIONS

Most EV owners — 80% — charge their vehicles at home. Of those, 40% live in multifamily properties. It has become a necessity for multifamily communities to provide EV charging stations as EV owners check on the availability of charging stations before selecting a property. If a multifamily property does not provide them, EV owners will search for one that does.

Multifamily properties need to provide EV chargers to attract and retain residents. In fact, 58% of renters are willing to pay more to live in a community offering EV charging. EV chargers help set the property apart from multifamily communities that don’t offer this amenity and can also be an incremental revenue stream. Additionally, residents may choose to remain in their current apartment for a greater period of time.

EV charging stations can be a revenue generator for retail establishments. Studies show that when drivers charge their cars in a retail setting, 89% will make a purchase. Publicly available EV chargers appear on national maps like PlugShare® and can be easily identified by EV drivers through the software in their vehicles.

Stores and restaurants that offer EV charging stations may attract new customers who want to charge their cars. Workplaces are installing EV charging as a new amenity in an attempt to attract employees back to the office. Companies that get ahead of the demand for EV charging stations will add value to their property and gain an edge over their competition.

 

ACHIEVING SUSTAINABILITY GOALS

EV charging stations help multifamily and commercial properties achieve their Environmental, Societal and Governance (ESG) goals for carbon reductions, which is an important consideration for customers and residents. Most EV charging stations are connected to a network that provides a reporting dashboard, which calculates the amount of CO2 reductions generated during charging. These stats can be used in the reporting required for a business’s sustainability goals and for future cap-and-trade carbon credit capture and monetization.

 

CHOOSING THE RIGHT EV CHARGING STATION

There are four types of EV charging stations — AC Level 1, which takes 16-40 hours for a full charge; AC Level 2, 3-10 hours for an 80% charge; and DC Fast Charger, 20-40 minutes for an 80% charge. The DC charging stations are most likely to be found along transportation corridors, such as at rest stations or truck stops. The most common charging station for commercial properties are AC Level 2 Smart (networked) chargers. In multifamily communities, AC Level 2 chargers allow residents to get a full charge overnight.

 

CHOOSING THE RIGHT EV CHARGING INSTALLATION PARTNER

When looking to get started on your EV charging journey you should turn to an electrical contractor that has completed the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Training Program (EVITP). Your contractor should have a stated process that takes the client through a consultative EV charging solution engagement process that includes initial discovery, identifying the availability of government or utility incentives, site consultation, identifying a product and network service partner, proposal development, construction and onsite training on the operation of the new EV chargers.

About the Author

Tom Halek

Ev Charging Solutions | J. Becher & Associates

Tom has been working in the Twin Cities transportation electrification space for the past four years. Tom currently works for J. Becher & Associates, a Twin Cities based electrical and technology contractor. He leads the JBA turnkey solutions team for EV charging stations across multiple segments.