As EVs continue to grow in popularity, the need for electric charging stations is also growing and commercial real estate owners and managers are helping lead the charge to make them available for tenants, shoppers and visitors at office buildings, retail centers, big-box stores, hotels and multifamily properties. EVs are expected to make up nearly 60 percent of the light vehicle market in the U.S. by 2030, and more electric cars were sold in the U.S. in the first half of 2019 than all of 2016.
Industry leaders are embracing the EV by making charging stations available across large portfolios:
Simon Property Group now has more than 645 EV charging station at 110 properties in 20 states. The company has been installing them for nearly a decade, partnering with EVgo and more recently with Electrify America. In May 2018, Simon and Electrify America agreed to install charging stations for EVs and plug-in hybrids at more than 30 Simon centers, including King of Prussia in Philadelphia, Florida Mall in Orlando, Fla., and Gulfport Premium Outlets in Gulfport, Miss.
Walmart was also an early adopter, installing its first EV charging stations almost 10 years ago. Working with Electrify America, the retail chain offers more than 120 plus ultra-fast EV charging station at Walmart locations in 34 states.
Walgreens provides EV charging stations at about 400 locations. The stations feature either a high-speed DC charger that can add 30 miles of range in about 10 minutes or a level 2 charger that can add up to 25 miles of range per hour of charge.
More than 3,137 EV Level 2 charging stations are available at Marriott hotels across the U.S.
For some companies offering charing stations fits in with their own sustainability goals. For most, it also gives them a competitive edge.
“EV charging is an amenity. We are seeing it in a lot of Class A buildings. They are almost required to do it to stay competitive,” said Cara Carmichael, a principal at Rocky Mountain Institute and co-author along with Angelique Fathy of a recent report and blog post, Why Building Owners Should Care About Increasing EV Adoption.
At 71 S. Wacker, a 1.5 million-square-foot trophy tower owned by The Irvine Co. in Chicago’s West Loop, EV stations provide both a competitive edge and an amenity. “We’re a Class A trophy building driven by amenities,” said Jeff Venable, vice president of JLL’s property management group in Chicago and the general manager of the LEED Platinum tower.