Improve Tenant Satisfaction By Offering Apartment EV Charging

As more and more drivers transition to hybrid or electric vehicles (EVs), fast, readily available EV chargers are becoming more in demand every day. Installing EV chargers at your apartment complex or condo should be considered an investment, not a cost. As an added amenity, they will attract new tenants and help you differentiate from your competitors.

While there may be some home EV chargers that can simply plug into a wall, commercial EV chargers for apartments will require a licensed low-voltage electrician for installation. It's important to understand your existing electrical capabilities, how chargers may work in your parking layout, and how local building codes and regulations could impact your plans. Keep reading to learn everything you'll need to know about apartment EV charging.

EV car charger or electric vehicle. Power supply battery charging in technology energy innovation

What Are EV Chargers?

While most people are familiar with the idea of EV chargers, it’s worth establishing exactly what EV chargers are and how they work just to clear up any misconceptions. An electric vehicle charger is designed to convert electrical current from the power grid to a form that can be stored and used by electric vehicles. EV charging works similarly to charging your phone or laptop, just on a much larger scale.

EV chargers are generally available in three levels: Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3. Level 1 and 2 chargers are the most popular choices for homes and residential buildings. They deliver adequate charging speeds and depending on the specifics of your property, installation is usually not going to break the bank.

However, Level 3 chargers are a significant step up from Levels 1 and 2. Level 3 EV chargers offer lightning-fast charging, capable of charging most electric vehicles to about 80% battery in anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour. This type of charging requires high power loads, so typically these are only found in commercial settings like shopping malls, parking garages, and large apartment complexes.

While Level 1 chargers are usually only good for single-family homes, a Level 2 or Level 3 EV charger could be perfect for your parking garage. Keep reading to learn more about each of these charging options and which one is best for you.

Which EV Chargers Are Best For Apartments & Condos?

EV drivers with their own home charger usually have a Level 1 charger, and in some cases, a Level 2 charger. Level 1 chargers would not be suitable for use in a commercial setting, but Level 2 EV chargers are the happy medium for apartment buildings and other residential properties.

This charger provides the best cost vs. value balance, fits all-electric vehicles, and allows EV owners to charge fully overnight without straining the building’s electric infrastructure. However, apartments with 70+ units or luxury condos that cater to wealthy tenants might consider a Level 3 charger as an investment.

Level 2 EV Charging Stations

Level 2 charging (L2) is a more efficient charging method for EVs. They plug into 240V outlets and charge an EV within 3 to 8 hours. Level 2 chargers have a complex setup compared to L1 chargers, requiring a licensed electrician to install them.

While L2 charging stations cost more than L1, the increase in efficiency makes the price difference justifiable for most EV drivers. An hour of Level 1 charging will only give an EV a driving range of about 4 miles, whereas an hour of Level 2 charging will typically yield a driving range of over 30 miles.

Level 3 EV Charging Stations

Level 3 EV Chargers, also known as Direct Current Fast Chargers (DCFC), are currently the fastest EV chargers available on the market.

The step up from Level 2 to Level 3 is considerably different than the step up from Level 1 to Level 2.  While both Level 1 and Level 2 chargers operate on low-voltage installations, a Level 3 charger is a high-voltage electrical component. For this reason, Level 3 chargers can power up an electric vehicle exponentially faster than a Level 1 or Level 2  charger, but it also means the costs for the units and the installation will be considerably higher.

Because the upfront costs are much higher, Level 3 chargers aren’t the right choice for every apartment building or condo.  However, there are several circumstances that could justify installing L3 chargers. For example, if your building caters to wealthy individuals that are already paying exorbitant monthly maintenance fees, the costs for Level 3 EV chargers could be justified. If not, your tenants may be happy to pay increased maintenance fees in exchange for easy access to fast EV chargers.

Alternatively, if you plan to make your tenants pay to use the EV chargers, a Level 3 charger would be the best choice so that you can maximize the number of cars that can be charged per day. However, it’s advised you properly consider the demand your tenants have for paid EV charging before you begin the installation.

Does Your Apartment Building Need to Install EV Chargers?

As more drivers continue to switch to electric vehicles more people will require easy access to charge their vehicles. Property owners who install EV chargers today will reap the benefits of increased property value, higher energy efficiency, and an extra selling point that helps attract tenants. Here are some of the long-term and short-term benefits you can expect to receive.

Attracts New and Potential Residents

Installing efficient apartment or condo building EV chargers helps building owners, HOAs, and property management associations gain an edge in an increasingly competitive housing market.

EV drivers are more likely to choose a building where they can easily charge their vehicle. Installing EV charging stations can also help market your building or condominium as a sustainable, environmentally friendly community, a way of life many people are turning towards.

Potentially Adds Additional Streams of Revenue

Building owners who charge a fee for using EV chargers may enjoy an additional income source. If the charging fees are competitive, drivers will likely opt for the convenience of charging their vehicles at home.

Some EV charger projects may benefit from government funding. Local authorities may choose to help property owners finance apartment EV chargers. Contact your local government to see whether your EV charger installation would be eligible for incentives.

Increases Property Value

A building that gives its tenants better amenities boosts its value and is likelier to generate a higher rental income. Tenants are willing to pay a higher monthly rate in place of having to pay for each individual charge. If you plan to place your building on the market, adding EV chargers makes an attractive selling point that can drive potential buyers’ offers.

Future Proof Your Building

Right now, people may view a residential EV charger as a bonus, but building owners with a strategic outlook are already gearing up for a future where charging stations are a standard amenity. It is possible that within a decade or two, the number of EV chargers in a building will be one of the first things a tenant checks when they consider signing a lease.

If you aren’t sure how many EV chargers your building may need, it may be helpful to check how many of your tenants currently own EVs and estimate up to compensate for a portion of the current non-EV owners who may transition in the near future.

EV Chargers Can Act as a Source of Energy

Correctly installed and managed apartment EV chargers help your building optimize energy use. Some Level 2 chargers are equipped with the ability to flow back any unused energy to the building as a way to power its other amenities. This feature not only saves charging station energy from going to waste but boosts the building’s energy efficiency.

Upgrade Your Apartment With EV Chargers Today

While many homeowners can handle Level 1 EV charger installation without the need for an electrician if you’re considering installing EV chargers at your apartment complex for commercial use you should absolutely consult a professional. A licensed commercial electrician like Suncoast Power will ensure the chargers are installed correctly and in compliance with your local building codes. In addition, most contractors will be able to help you navigate the complexities of claiming local, state, and federal tax credits if applicable.

If you’re ready to learn more about getting EV chargers at your apartment, give us a call to discuss your requirements with our team. EV chargers can be installed at just about any location – from a small apartment complex to a massive residential facility. We will ensure your new EV chargers meet your building’s power needs and give you the highest possible ROI.

Call us at (754) 200-5872 or fill out our quote request form to get your EV charger installation project started.