Electric vehicles are the future, there’s no escaping it. It seems there are more electric and hybrid vehicles on the road every day. There have been more than 800,000 electric vehicles purchased in the last few years, and more each day. Though a barrier to an electric car for some tenants is that they can’t charge their car at home.
Maybe you’ve had a tenant ask for you to install a charger in the garage or near their parking spot, or maybe you’ve noticed that it’s harder to find and retain tenants who are becoming environmentally conscious. Or, if you’re like me, you’re trying to stay ahead of the curve, and you’re thinking of installing Electric Vehicle Service Equipment (ESVE) in your rental property to compete with other listings in your area. Before you commit, here are a few considerations to make:
The return on our investment drives our every decision with our rental properties, so when we think of adding something that’s likely going to be costly, we wonder what the ROI will be.
Looking into the market, and there isn’t much out there, but I would argue that having ESVE in the home would likely add $20 a month to the rent price. Depending on your property’s situation and what it can handle, installing ESVE or upgrading your current power grid could help you see return fairly quickly.
Say the parts and install costs you $500, with $20 more a month from rent, you would see profit in 2 years.
What Level of Charging is Right for Your Rental?
There are 2 “Levels” to ESVE: Level 1 and Level 2.
Level 1 charging allows cars to plug into a three-pronged plug. Most electric cars come with a Level 1 charger that plug into a “standard” plug. These are slow to charge a car with only 120V output.
Adding a “standard” plug near the parking at your rental likely requires the least work. The essential thing here to prevent outages is to make sure the plug isn’t on the same breaker as important and demanding appliances, like the fridge or washer/dryer.
Level 2 chargers plug into plugs that offer 240 volts, making for a quicker charge, but is a more involved process to install. Just like installing a plug for an appliance, adding a level 2 charger will require a professional who knows not only how to install the equipment, but also any codes and permits required.
How to Market Your Rental with ESVE
When listing your rental online it’s important to outline the major amenities your rental offers, and considering this is a pretty novel thing to have, we suggest mentioning it in the very beginning of the description.
Make sure you understand the logistics and details of ESVE so you can effectively explain what it is you’re offering. If you have a plug that sends 120V, explain that to the tenants so they know that they can plug their car in overnight to charge. If you decide to install a 240V plug, mention that this is for quick charging that goes above and beyond the charger they got with their car.
Know your audience here, as some tenants might want an electric car but have felt like they couldn’t get one because they couldn’t charge it at their rental home. While those who already own a car might know what you’re talking about, you may have to do a little convincing to potential tenants who don’t have an electric vehicle yet.