Dees Stribling, Contributing Editor
Dallas–UDR Inc., a REIT that specializes in multifamily properties, recently acquired six ChargePoint networked electric-vehicle (EV) charging stations for the Belmont, its 464-unit apartment property in Dallas. According to the company that makes the stations, Campbell, Calif.-based Coulomb Technologies, the Belmont is the first installation of EV charging stations for an apartment development in the United States.
“Electric vehicles are especially well suited those who live in apartments and condominiums,” Coulomb Technologies CEO Richard Lowenthal, tells MHN. “There are challenges in these locations, like allocation of costs to the drivers and not to everyone else in the building. Our stations address the question of allocating costs, and even more importantly, lowering those costs.”
The acquisition of the charging stations, besides being an amenity for tenants and visitors, is also part of UDR’s effort to obtain Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification through the U.S. Green Building Council. Under the LEED-certification scheme, EV charging stations count as part of the point total that properties must meet to win certification.
A second Dallas-area UDR community, the Savoye, located at the Vitruvian Park development in the suburb of Addison, also features newly acquired electric-car chargers. That property just opened last month.
The Belmont and Savoye’s charging stations are open to all drivers of plug-in vehicles, providing authentication, management and control for the networked EV charging stations. Among other features, the network provides charging status by SMS text or email notification; location of unoccupied charging stations via smart phones; authenticated access to eliminate energy theft; and a ChargePoint iPhone App, among other things. Future payment-option features will include using any smart credit or debit card to authorize a session, or using a standard credit or debit card at a remote-payment station.
Lowenthal predicts that his company will see a lot more business from multifamily property owners in the not-too-distant future. “We have very high expectations for the multiple-dwelling home market,” he says, “and very high interest levels for our business software for that environment.”