The New EV Opportunity? Commercial Real Estate

RESTON, VA. – Will the 2020s be when the future of electric vehicles becomes more ubiquitous? The US is expected to have more than 18 million EVs in the next decade, driven by the Biden administration’s Pro-EV agenda, Forbes reports.

What does this mean for commercial real estate agents? An investment opportunity for charging stations. Currently, only 40,000 public charging stations are registered with the US Department of Energy, compared to around 150,000 US gas stations. The White House has a goal of half a million charging stations.

This means infrastructure investment fees should exceed $ 13 billion by 2026. The resulting opportunities for commercial property managers are simple: charging stations bring customers to retail locations, much like fuel pumps bring customers to convenience stores. Eighty-two percent of gas stations also have on-site convenience stores, with sales of $ 250 billion.

Of course, fuel traders see the benefits of entering the electric vehicle market. For example, Love’s Travel Stops has partnered with Electrify America to install chargers in some locations in six states. “There’s no doubt you’re going to lose a hell of a lot of fuel,” said Jacob Schram, a senior McKinsey advisor, about moving or adding EV charging stations. “But what you have to consider is how to replace that.” Schram was a speaker for the Super Session at the NACS Show 2019 in Atlanta.

An important aspect is the loading time. It takes a few minutes to fill up the gas, but it takes about 15 to 20 minutes to charge the electric vehicle, so there is plenty of time for shopping. A ChargePoint study found that EV chargers can increase browsing time by up to 50 minutes.

“There is definitely a commercial opportunity to take advantage of those who are already coming into your business,” said John Eichberger, executive director of the Fuels Institute. “So there is a definite competitive differentiation tool that could be used.”

The Fuels Institute has conducted an assessment of the electric vehicle market from a consumer perspective, including total cost of ownership, charging infrastructure requirements, expected consumer charging behavior, and the relationship of electric vehicles to competing technologies in terms of consumer acceptance. For more information, see “Introducing Electric Vehicles: Focusing on Charging”. In addition, the Institute’s Electric Vehicle Council will soon publish three new reports on options, regulations, and consumer behavior for the EV charging infrastructure.

Check out this YouTube video from the Fuels Institute and NACS for more information on EV infrastructure.
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