We recently surveyed owners and managers of apartment complexes and other multi-family residential properties to try to understand how they are approaching the topic of electric vehicle (EV) charging, what they are getting out of it, and hurdles they’re facing. Below are our results.
The first chart, above, shows that nearly half of respondents (45%) indicated that tenants are increasingly asking for EV charging access. Almost the same amount (43%) said they were interested in having EV charging stations on their properties because they noticed an increase in EVs on the roads where they live.
Much smaller percentages indicated that laws were starting to require it (12%) or that they wanted to increase dwell time so that people would spend more money at commercial properties at the location (10%).
Regarding obstacles to installing EV charging stations, the top two obstacles were 1) the hassle of getting them installed, and 2) that they cost a chunk of money and don’t offer a clear return on investment (ROI).
Nonetheless, none of the potential obstacles affected 40% or more of the respondents.
Among respondents, many had not had charging stations in place long enough to judge the results, and others were in the process of putting them in. Some simply couldn’t indicate if the charging stations improved occupancy or not. A quarter of respondents, however, did indicate that having EV charging onsite improved occupancy, and 10% said that doing so led to greater customer retention.
In an open-ended way, we asked respondents how many units they had at their complexes. A little more than a quarter of respondents (26%) had 10 or fewer, 47% had a couple dozen to a few dozen, and 24% had ~100 to ~500. One respondent indicated that they had perhaps 70,000 across the country! A handful of respondents didn’t provide an applicable answer to the question.
Similarly, we asked about the number of parking spaces they had onsite, and responses similarly ranged from a handful to a few dozen to a few hundred, with that one high-rolling respondent indicating they had 200,000-ish across the country. (Jaw drops.)
I’m sharing all of that context to indicate that there’s wide variation in the type and scale of multi-family homeowners and managers who responded to our survey, so keep that in mind when looking at the results. The findings above are across-the-board findings that do not weight answers by number of units managed, by number of parking spaces, or in any other way.
We also collected some more qualitative information about the people and properties who responded if they wanted to offer that, and I just have to close with one personal side note. One of the respondents wrote: “Our property, Ecovillage at Ithaca in Ithaca, NY, is a 100 unit residential cooperative with a focus on sustainable living. We are about 70% complete on our goal to wire every carport with a 220v outlet, and have developed interesting ways to do this in a cost effective manner.” I did an internship at Ecovillage at Ithaca for one semester of college nearly 20 years years ago! I have not really been in touch since then, but I do recommend visiting if you are ever in the area.