Unleashing the Power of an Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Demand Survey

How to confidently assess the need for EV charging at your property to right-size your EV charging project.

In the world of property ownership and management, the significance of incorporating electric vehicle (EV) charging stations is a subject that prompts diverse opinions. Some proactive property owners and managers I meet recognize the inherent value of offering this amenity to their tenants, employees, and visitors.

And there are others who aren’t quite there, yet.

If you’re pondering which side you belong, consider this 3-minute article: Now or Never: Unveiling the Urgency of Launching Your Commercial EV Charging Journey

Nobody understands the value of EV charging than a property manager I recently spoke with. Let’s call him Jason. He oversees an 80+ unit condo association nestled in the vibrant landscape of the San Francisco Bay Area.

In a moment of urgency, he called me, saying, “Alex, we have to add EV charging to our parking garage for our homeowners immediately. Can you help us?”

He continued to tell me that over the past three months he lost three prospective homebuyers, all for the same reason. “Realtors approached us with offers on behalf of their clients, but each deal fell through from one simple question.”

“They asked if we had EV charging.”

He continued, sharing that one prospective homeowner chose a near identical high-rise across the street that had charging. “That decision translated to a $1.3 million sale, and collectively, we lost around $4 million in sales due to this oversight. We can’t keep this up.”

Power for the People

The anecdote underscores the tangible impact that EV charging can have on property values and sales. Consequently, providing residents or tenants a place to charge their EVs is increasingly important for property owners to contemplate. With EV charging projects often exceeding six digits, property managers want to make sure they’re starting on the right foot.

And EV charging demand is a moving target. Reports from Bloomberg New Energy Finance predict a 39% year-over-year increase in EV adoption in Southern California over the next five years. That means EV charging demand today will look very different than just 2-3 years from now in many parts of the country.

So what’s there to do? You don’t need to be an EV charging expert, you just need to know the steps to follow. Let’s lay it out.

Survey Says

While anticipating impending EV charging demand is a proactive step, you may find yourself wondering “OK, what specifically do I need to ask my tenants?”

Here are some crucial questions to cover in your EV charging survey:

  1. Current EV Ownership: Do you currently own or lease an electric vehicle (EV)?
  2. Future EV Ownership Intentions: If you don’t own/lease an EV, would you plan to in the next 3 years?
  3. Importance of EV Charging Stations: On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is access to EV charging at your workplace/residence to you?
  4. Value Add: If you’re considering owning/leasing an EV in the next 3 years, how important is EV charging in your decision on a 0-10 scale (10 is extremely important)
  5. Open Questions: Is there anything specific you would like to suggest or comment on about EV charging at your workplace/residence?

As an example, here’s a quick 2-minute EV charging assessment survey that I often share with partners like Jason.

Feel free to copy the questions and send them to your own community residents, customers, or tenants. Pro tip: people are busy, so consider sending 1-2 follow-up reminders spaced out by about a week to encourage higher response rates.

Next Steps

Whether you’re a property owner, resident, or property manager, staying ahead of the curve is not only wise, but it can save you a lot of money and heartache in the long run. By considering both today’s charging demand and future needs, you lay the groundwork for a robust charging strategy. And you’ll enjoy looking like you know what you’re doing – because you do!

It’s never too early to start thinking about your next EV charging project. Surveying your residents and tenants shows that you’re thinking ahead and concerned about their experience at your property. Having hard data will help you make better-informed decisions on planning for your next EV charging project.

With survey results in hand, you’re ready to move to the next stage of project development. Be sure to check out the next article: A Quick Guide to Right-Sizing Your EV Charging Project…the First time (coming soon)! 

About the Author

My name is Alex. As an engineer turned project development expert, I make it nearly impossible for property owners, managers, and operators to fail at adding electric vehicle charging stations to their properties.

Based in San Diego, I enjoy hiking, bicycling, traveling, reading, spending time with my wife and kids, and pondering the clean energy transition. You can contact me directly on LinkedIn.

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