When Should Property Owners Install Electric Car Charging Stations

A year ago, I never got questions about electric charges. Today, I get several inquiries from our clients each week. When a client asks whether or not they should install a charger, I first ask, "What are you trying to accomplish?" If they say, "I want to meet demand and maybe make some money," I explain that there is no demand yet, and the only reason they should install a charger today is for the PR purposes of being a first adopter. Or perhaps the client can take advantage of the tax breaks before they expire. I go on to say, "You do not want to install more than a couple chargers, but you may want to build in the infrastructure to expand later on if it takes off."

A recent article "Charging Stations Multiply But Electric Cars Are Few" in the Wall Street Journal explains why electric chargers are multiplying much faster than the plug-in vehicles that can use them. While the federal subsidies help, some in the business community believe that the chargers will attract customers.

"Charging equipment is popping up largely because of subsidies. As part of a $5 billion federal program to subsidize development of electric vehicles and battery technology, the U.S. Energy Department over the past two years provided about $130 million for two pilot projects that help pay for chargers at homes, offices and public locations."
Although the subsidies will not last forever, the cost of chargers will fall as production rises, meaning that if you wait, you will probably not pay much more than you would today with the subsidy.

Posted in Beyond Parking on Oct 26, 2011

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