On-site EV chargers now ‘crucial to long term viability and value protection’ for real estate sector

Electric vehicles will have a major impact upon real estate and sites that cannot accommodate the needs of EV users at sufficient scale will be less attractive to occupiers. That was the conclusion of a report on e-mobility from property company Knight Frank, which says that all property sectors will be affected by the shift.

Highlighting the likely effect on retail, work, industrial and logistics sites, it says, “The time when e-mobility could be ignored as niche and not something for the real estate sector to consider is over. Understanding the impact of e-mobility on real estate and ensuring real estate assets have a strategy that considers this trend is crucial to long-term viability and value protection.” 

It says charge points will become key to a landlord’s customer proposition, “vital to encouraging tenants to renew leases and attract new occupiers,” especially for business parks “where commuter accessibility by car is vital to their survival”.

It expects workplace EV charging to increase as charge-point costs fall, major refurbishment or new build project is an opportunity to install points at least cost.

The  report also highlights the opportunities that will come from having charge points as a way to generate greater footfall and extend dwell-time. “Retail sites can experience an increase in dwell-time of up to 50% for customers charging an electric vehicle at the site. This in turn translates into average increased spending.”

It is interesting to consider that this evolution is happening at the time during the recovery from Covid, when there are other potential changes in consumer behaviour such as more local or home working

It says the role of the fuelling station will be affected by at-site  charging and the benefits from ‘vehicle to grid’ commercial models. “Charging behaviour is likely to replicate how we charge other electronic devices … intermittently throughout the day and when needed,” so there will be less need for traditional petrol stations”. Noting that in Europe, 79% of the public charging infrastructure is currently being operated by oil and gas companies or utilities, the report says that “it is highly likely that we will see the end of the traditional petrol station operating model in the next ten years and multiple new commercial charging hub models emerging.”

The report highlighted ‘last mile’ logistics hubs as sites where grid capacity would be needed to charge EV fleets.

Read the full report here.


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