October 25, 2022

5 Common Misconceptions About Multifamily EV Charging


5 Min. Read

EV charging stations are an excellent amenity to attract and retain residents already driving EVs or looking to make the switch to an electric vehicle in the future. There is a huge opportunity for multifamily property owners in adding these amenities as more people transition from traditional gas-powered vehicles to electric vehicles.

Property owners and property managers might be discouraged by several commonly propagated EV charging myths and misconceptions, missing out on the benefits of adding this valuable amenity as a result. This article will dispel five common myths about EV charging at multifamily properties.

Myth #1: EV chargers are too expensive.

One of the biggest misconceptions about EV charging is that it is extremely expensive. The average initial cost for a single Level 2 EV charger is $7,200, not including the installation and permitting costs. This initial investment can be discouraging for many property managers upon first evaluation, however, EV charging stations also offer a unique opportunity for a return on your upfront investment in addition to providing a valuable service to your residents.

Additionally, installing EV charging stations isn’t as expensive as other common upgrades for a property. For example, a new HVAC system can cost upwards of $12,500 per unit, and bathroom renovations cost an average of $10,788. Neither of these renovations would create financial returns outside of drawing in new residents looking to lease and current residents deciding to renew their lease or transfer to a higher-priced, upgraded unit.

Many government incentives exist to encourage sustainable energy growth, both on a local and federal level. You may also be eligible for benefits from your utility provider for electrification installations. If you install an EV charger on your property, you can receive up to a 30% tax incentive from the federal government alone.

EV charging stations also offer various opportunities to generate revenue. Once installed, an EV charger can help recoup the installation costs over its average ten-year lifespan.

Myth #2: No one will use them.

In the record-breaking Q2 for EV sales in 2022, customers bought 196,788 fully battery-powered vehicles. The adoption of EV technology is growing, especially as local governments and auto manufacturers commit to phasing out traditional gas-powered vehicles. The recently signed Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 has also added increased incentives for EV adoption and electrification.

There is a $7,500 federal tax incentive for passenger electric vehicle sales by North American manufacturers. Starting in 2024, customers will also be able to redeem this credit at the point of sale to lower upfront costs, rather than receiving this credit later when filing their taxes. While EV adoption is already increasing, these buyer incentives will only continue to drive demand and further this transition to greater electrification.

In a 2022 survey of EV owners, 78% said they don’t currently have a vehicle charging station at home. Facility managers can enter the market early and attract tenants with EV chargers, drawing in residents and revenue.

Myth #3: Generating revenue is complicated.

Many facility owners and managers think it is too complicated to generate and keep track of EV charger revenue. Fortunately, there are several options for a property to monitor and manage this information, depending on your preferences.

A property can bill tenants hourly for charging their EVs or request a flat monthly fee. Additionally, these chargers can use tracking technology already in use at their properties, such as amenity access cards. Networked EV chargers make documenting charging from individual tenants an easy process.

As you continue to expand your property’s EV charging stations, you can build a network of chargers. Facility managers can see who used the chargers and how frequently, as well as how much electricity was used.

Value can also be generated from a multifamily EV charging station indirectly. EV chargers are currently an uncommon amenity that many tenants would love. Installing charging stations will improve your image and attract more tenants.

Myth #4: Chargers are difficult to install.

The installation requirements for EV chargers depend on the type of charging station. Level 2 charging stations may require a few electrical upgrades.

You must also apply for the appropriate permits to install an EV charging station on a property. Having a qualified electrician can simplify installation and ensure you receive an EV charger to meet your needs.

Some of the biggest reasons you should hire a certified electrician for your multifamily EV charging station installation are:

  • Code compliance: Most US states require a licensed electrician for any electrical system upgrade. By working with an experienced contractor, you can receive the proper permit for the job to ensure it is up to code and in compliance with local requirements.
  • Liability protection: A certified EV installer holds insurance that protects you against damages from improper installation. To avoid costly repairs, it’s best to work with a professional electrician.
  • Proper installation: With Level 2 EV chargers using 240v, proper installation is crucial for safety. EV manufacturers also require installation based on the National Electrical Code for warranty protection.

Myth #5: Chargers will disrupt maintenance processes.

Many property managers or owners have limited staffing resources and are concerned that EV chargers will affect building maintenance and increase the workload of their maintenance personnel or maintenance teams. Fortunately, EV installers handle the maintenance and management of the charging station for you, removing the burden from your teams.

After installation, your staff won’t need to handle the system’s upkeep. Most EV installers offer service contracts to inspect and maintain a network of charging stations. According to the U.S Department of Energy, the average cost for maintenance is $400 annually per charging station.

Maintaining a multifamily EV charging station is crucial in maximizing the lifespan of your chargers. A professional and licensed electrician will help keep the charging station in peak condition.

Qmerit Can Help With Your Multifamily EV Charger Installation

EV charging stations are a great opportunity to generate revenue and attract responsible tenants. Our team at Qmerit helps to simplify EV charger installation and set your property up for success.

If you want to work with EV installers with experience in multifamily EV charging, our team is ready to help. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help add EV charging stations for your property. Our team will assist you in finding local rebates and incentives for your electrification projects!

Author: Tom Bowen

Tom Bowen

President, Qmerit Solutions and Commercial Electrification