EV charging is the act of restoring the electric power stored in the battery of an electric vehicle. This entails linking the vehicle to a power supply, generally an EV charging station or an electrical socket, in order to transfer electricity and recharge the vehicle’s battery.
The demand for EV charging to be incorporated into commercial real estate has been steadily increasing as more and more businesses and individuals are adopting electric vehicles. With the growing concern for environmental sustainability and the push towards reducing carbon emissions, providing EV charging facilities has become a necessity for commercial property owners to ensure their properties remain competitive.
What Does EV Charging Need?
EV charging stations do not need much space for development. Commercial real estate owners, developers and investors can use this to their advantage by offering EV charging projects to local areas like shopping centers, restaurants, office buildings and more. The acreage required for an EV charging station can vary widely based on several factors, including the number and type of charging stations, parking capacity, additional amenities, and site-specific considerations. In general, the land requirements for an EV charging station are relatively modest compared to other types of infrastructure projects. The primary considerations for an EV charging site typically include the space needed for the charging equipment, parking spaces for EVs, maneuvering areas, and any additional amenities or infrastructure. The physical footprint of an individual charging station is relatively small.
Level 2 AC chargers may require around 2 to 4 feet (0.6 to 1.2 meters) in width and 1 to 2 feet (0.3 to 0.6 meters) in depth.
DC fast charging stations often require more space due to additional equipment such as power cabinets and cooling systems. A dedicated space with dimensions ranging from 10 to 15 feet (3 to 4.6 meters) in width and 20 to 30 feet (6 to 9 meters) in depth is common for a DC fast charging station.
For parking spot locations, the number of parking spaces required for an EV charging station depends on various factors. These include projected demand, regulations, and available space. Each charging station typically requires its dedicated parking spot to ensure accessibility. The number of parking spaces needed will depend on the anticipated demand and the charging station's capacity. Consideration should also be given to parking space dimensions and ADA accessibility requirements. Sufficient maneuvering space around the charging stations is necessary to facilitate easy access and egress for vehicles. This space should consider the size of different vehicles, including larger electric vehicles or vehicles with trailers, and provide enough room for safe maneuvering.
Discovering Potential EV Sites
The best places to have an EV charging station can vary depending on factors such as local demand, user needs, and the specific goals of the charging station owner or operator. LandGate’s EV charging data helps commercial real estate professionals review and prioritize potential sites for development. With LandGate’s data, professionals can view highlighted major highway exits, discover high value corridors that are incentivized by the Department of Transportation, and view electrical infrastructure in the area.
Common commercial EV charging station locations:
Workplace Parking Lots: Many people spend a significant portion of their day at work, making workplace parking lots a convenient and practical location for EV charging stations. Employees can charge their vehicles while they work, maximizing the time spent at the charging station.
Shopping Malls: Retail centers and shopping malls attract a large number of visitors, offering an opportunity to provide EV charging services while people shop or dine. EV charging stations can enhance the shopping experience, attract customers, and increase foot traffic to the retail establishments.
Hotels: EV charging stations at hotels and other hospitality establishments cater to the needs of guests who may be traveling with electric vehicles. Providing charging infrastructure can be a unique selling point and contribute to a positive guest experience.
Public Parking Facilities: High-traffic public parking facilities, such as parking garages, transportation hubs, airport waiting lots, and city centers, are excellent locations for EV charging stations. EV owners who require charging while they are away from home or are visiting a particular area can conveniently access charging services while they park their vehicles.
Highway Rest Areas and Service Stations: Installing EV charging stations at highway rest areas and service stations is beneficial for long-distance travelers who need to recharge during their journeys. These locations can facilitate intercity or interstate travel for EV owners by providing reliable charging infrastructure.
Residential Neighborhoods: Installing EV charging stations in residential neighborhoods can provide accessible charging options for residents who do not have access to home charging. Publicly accessible stations in residential areas can contribute to broader community electrification efforts.
This can also attract tenants to living in certain neighborhoods or complexes over others.
Taking Advantage of EV Charging Potential
The commercial real estate industry can take advantage of the electric vehicle (EV) charging potential in several ways. One of the most direct ways to tap into the EV charging potential is by installing charging stations on the property. Assess the parking capacity and the expected demand for EV charging in the area.
Consider offering a mix of Level 2 chargers (AC charging) and DC fast chargers (high-speed charging) to cater to different customer needs.
Partner with reputable charging infrastructure providers to ensure quality and reliable service.
As EV charging infrastructure is becoming increasingly important for tenants and customers, commercial property owners should take advantage of this! By providing EV charging stations, commercial properties can enhance their value proposition, attract environmentally conscious tenants, and potentially command higher rental rates. Promote the availability of EV charging as a desirable amenity in property marketing materials. Commercial real estate professionals should explore partnerships with EV charging network operators to establish charging hubs on high-value properties. These operators often have a wide user base and can bring additional foot traffic to the property. Collaborative agreements can include revenue-sharing models, where the property owner receives a portion of the charging revenue generated. To further maximize the benefits of EV charging, consider integrating renewable energy sources, such as solar panels or wind turbines, to power the charging infrastructure. This can reduce the environmental impact, lower operating costs, and potentially enable the property to generate and store its own clean energy. LandGate provides the tools to help combine EV charging with other renewable energy sources.