A Simple EV Charging Solution For Multi-Family Properties



The popularity of electric vehicles (EVs) is skyrocketing, and so is tenant demand for EV charging solutions. Are you searching for EV charging solution for your multifamily property? Fortunately, there are multiple options that can meet your budget and needs.

In the article, we’ll be providing an overview of different EV charging solutions and highlight an innovative Level 1, 110-volt solution from Orange Outlet that offers property managers an excellent spend-management solution for simple EV charging. This solution might meet your short-term needs while you develop your longer-term EV charging strategy for your tenants.

In the weeks ahead, we’ll be providing additional articles on all the EV charging solutions available to multi-family property owners so you can make the right decisions.

Why offer a simple EV charging solution?

Roughly 80 million Americans live in multifamily housing units. In addition, approximately 1 in 10 Americans drive electric vehicles, a statistic that is expected to increase dramatically among younger drivers. In fact, 66% of registered voters felt that developing green energy should be a high or very high priority for this Congress.

Offering a multifamily EV charging solution on your property could be a renter’s tipping point between signing a contract with you or with one of your competitors.

Is that not enough of an incentive? Then consider that many state and local governments offer financial incentives for multi-family properties installing EV charging stations. The result is a win-win situation for the property and the municipality. Your property offers a desirable service, and your municipality comes closer to meeting its decarbonization goals.

Hurdles of standard EV charging solutions

There is no shortage of barriers to installing even simple EV charging solutions in large, multifamily or commercial buildings. However, providing for increased electrical demands and additional electrical infrastructure is easier in new construction than installing charging stations in an existing building.

Managers of existing properties face multiple obstacles, including:

  • Setup requires thorough planning and retrofitting existing properties can be difficult.
  • Installation costs can be expensive if you don’t have sufficient electrical capacity and the electrical infrastructure to handle 240V equipment.
  • Planning for demand is challenging. Will you have too few charging spots available, causing frustration? Or will dedicated EV charging spots go unused and waste space?
  • Determining how to recover the cost of retrofitting and the increased cost of electricity is problematic. For example, do you only charge a higher rental fee to tenants with electric vehicles, distribute the cost among all tenants, or charge by actual usage?

Which EV charging solution best meets your needs?

EV charging solutions come in three different levels.

  • Level 1 chargers run on a standard, 120-volt household current. They charge at 3-5 miles of driving range per hour. A Level1 charger works well for tenants who have a short daily commute and can charge their vehicle all night; however, it’s not a good solution for tenants who drive a lot and expect to have a fully charged battery each morning. In addition, this is the least expensive option, as most multifamily properties already contain 120-volt wiring.
  • Level 2 chargers require 240-volt current, equivalent to a large appliance such as a dryer. A Level 2 charges at 12-80 miles of driving range per hour, offering your tenants faster charging times for longer trips. While most multifamily properties already contain 240-volt wiring to run large appliances, these chargers will likely require a significant electrical panel upgrade and new electrical runs between the charger and the main panel.
  • Level 3 chargers require direct current (DC), unlike Level 1 and Level 2 chargers that use alternating current (AC). The huge benefit of a Level 3 charger is their charging speed - they can charge an EV at 3–30 miles of driving range per minute. Your tenants can likely completely charge their vehicles in 30-60 minutes. However, the electrical infrastructure upgrades required, installation costs, and ongoing maintenance makes these too cost prohibitive for most multifamily properties.

Simple yet innovate EV charging solution

Currently, 51% of EV drivers use a Level 1 charger in a 110 volt outlet for vehicle charging and this solution works because they either have a short daily commute or they have Level 2 or Level 3 public chargers nearby. If you have tenants in this cohort, installing one or more Orange Outlets may make sense for your property because the installation cost is far less than a Level 2 charger.

The Orange Outlet is a very innovative multifamily EV charging solution. Unlike other EV charging systems, the Orange Outlet is simply an outlet. Tenants can use the charging cord provided with their vehicle or that they purchased, and simply plug it into the Orange Outlet.

Used with the Orange software, the outlet acts as a smart meter. The software manages user access and the amount of energy consumed. The user unlocks the outlet through the Orange mobile app and is billed every month, Orange then reimburses the outlet owner for the electricity used.

Is the Orange Outlet a solution for everyone? No because the charge time is so long but it does give your tenants an option for charging their EV. Level 2 chargers are the ideal solution because they can completely charge most electric vehicles overnight but installing Level 2 chargers require more planning and ROI analysis so the Orange Outlet can fill the gap while you develop your long-term strategy.

Stay tuned for our next several articles on EV charging options for your multi-family property. Be sure to subscribe to our blog so you are notified when we publish them!

Get exclusive discounts on EV charger equipment and more with Raiven!

Raiven has aggregated the purchases of all its clients to negotiate deep discounts on EV charging stations, electrical supplies, and equipment so you can save money on your electrification projects. If you become a member, you will have access to all these discounts. If you need certified electricians to install your electrification equipment at your property, contact Qmerit, they are the U.S. leader in EV charging station installations.

Raiven has also used its aggregated buying power to negotiate deep discounts on appliances, HVAC equipment, maintenance supplies and business essentials for multi-family property owners. All Raiven members have access to these discounts plus a centralized purchasing platform that makes buying simpler and more efficient.

Raiven’s multifamily clients like Lyon Living, Core Realty and Oaks Property Management all realize 7% - 25% savings from top suppliers like HD Supply, Ferguson, Grainger, and Graybar based on Raiven’s aggregated buying power.

If you’d like to reduce your maintenance expenses while improving NOI, contact Raiven today!