Slowly but surely, electric vehicles (EVs) are becoming more common on our roads. The number of new EVs purchased in the U.S. quadrupled just between 2019 and 2022. That number is sure to rise significantly as we get closer to 2035. That’s when New Jersey will begin mandating that all new cars sold be electric.
This is literally going to change the landscape of our cities – and commercial real estate (CRE). It’s not too soon to begin planning for the EV charging stations that will be required on both existing and new properties.
Considerations for charging station planning
Part of any CRE developer or owner’s due diligence around charging stations includes utility coordination. It’s necessary to verify the availability of electrical power sources for these stations, for example.
The type of property will also determine the type of chargers needed. For example, retail locations and entertainment venues where people spend a relatively short period of time will require stations that charge vehicles more quickly than multifamily or office properties where people typically park for longer and therefore can use slower chargers.
If you’re involved in developing a new site, you’ll likely need to get professionals like electrical engineers as well as EV hardware vendors involved in the design and placement of your charging stations. You’ll also need to determine how many chargers you require based on the type of property and the number of cars that park there on a daily basis. The number of EVs a particular area has as opposed to traditional gas-powered vehicles (which will, of course, still be around) will also be a factor.
Handling (and passing on) the costs
Government funds are available to help commercial property owners with the cost of these installations. The more quickly you have a plan and can apply for these funds, the better the chances are of getting the financial help you need.
As EVs become more common, it will be necessary for virtually all commercial property owners throughout New Jersey and beyond to accommodate their tenants and those tenants’ customers with charging stations and to work out how they will be addressed in their lease agreements.
For example, how is the cost being passed on to tenants and do tenants with a station close to their business have higher rents? With experienced legal guidance, you can better tackle the challenges of incorporating EV charging stations into your contracts.