Add Green Value with Blink EV Charging Station
- Dec 04, 2012
Michael Ratliff, Associate Editor
Electronic vehicle (EV) sales tripled in 2012 compared to 2011. There are over 65,000 highway-capable plug-in electric cars on the road in the United States and that number will only go up. A study by Pike Research shows that the annual sales of plug-in electric vehicles are predicted to reach 360,000 vehicles by 2017, with the greatest concentration of sales to occur in Hawaii, California, New York, Florida, Oregon, Washington D.C., and Delaware. What does this mean for apartment owners? It means it is time to consider a Blink charging station.
Produced by ECOtality, the Blink Pedestal charging station is an attractive and functional unit showing up with more and more frequency at retail locations, office buildings and restaurants across the country. Apartments are the next frontier. The stations are a perfect value-add for a rental community looking to attract and retain EV users. Drivers simply sign up to be a Blink member and ECOtality sends them a radio-frequency identification card (RFID) that can be connected to a credit card. When the user wants to charge, they simply wave their card (or mobile phone) and plug it in. If space is tight at your property there is also a Blink Wall Mount charger as an additional option.
While a Blink charger certainly boosts a community above the competition when it comes down to a certain tenant sector, it is important for owners and property managers to keep in mind that Blink, and EV charging stations in general, are not necessarily going to provide a big boost as far as ancillary income is concerned.
“One challenge is getting property owners to understand that this is not a get rich quick scheme,” says Brian Koontz, strategic corporate development at ECOtality. “There is not going to be a whole lot of monetization from electric vehicle charging, it is more of an amenity that draws customers and renters closer.”
But you can certainly expect to see Blink at more new developments and value-add plays in the future. Stations at a community can even be restricted from public access to ensure that your residents can always land a charge when they need it.
In case you are curious (or skeptical) about electric vehicles and their range, ECOtality has found that the average Chevy Volt driver goes 42 miles a day, while their gas counterpart only goes 28. New vehicles like the Nissan Leaf have an official range of 73 miles, which means that most users will need to plug in their vehicle at night, and your community can provide them with that ability.