EV Charging Guides

How to Add EV Charging to Your Multi-Family Property

Your complete guide for adding EV Charging to your multi-family property

The vast majority of electric vehicle (EV) charging happens at home — a shocking 85% (pun-intended). However, apartments and other multi-family properties typically do not have EV-friendly infrastructure set up. With 80 million Americans residing in multi-unit buildings and a global EV charging market currently valued at approximately more than $5 billion and expected to reach more than $25 billion by 2027, the demand for multi-family property EV charging stations is skyrocketing. 


“In February 2021, the U.S. had almost 100,000 charging outlets for plug-in electric vehicles. A large amount of these chargers is found in California, with nearly 32,000 power outlets.” — Statista


EV`adoption is projected to grow at an average rate of 25% over the next five years. Additionally, the cost of EV chargers and installation continues to fall. Between the demand and the lowered costs, EV charging is increasingly attractive for renters and more profitable for landlords and property owners. Installing EV chargers on your multi-family property is also an opportunity to boost its value and future-proof your building. 


In this 5-step mini-guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about adding EV charging to your multi-family property. Without further adieu, let’s get started!


Step 1 — Evaluating the current infrastructure


What kind of power are you planning on using — 110/120V or 220/208/240V?


Some things to consider: A 110V outlet and plug only has one hot terminal and the hot wire is always black. One of the key differences between 110 and 220 circuits; however, is the size of the wire. A 220-volt circuit carries higher current, which requires at least a 10 gauge wire compared to a 12 gauge wire for 110-volt circuits. 


How much power do you currently have? 


The majority of electric vehicles can use about 32 amps, generating around 25 miles of range per hour (RPH), so a 32-amp charging station should be more than enough to accommodate most types of EVs. However, if you do want to increase your speed or prepare for another vehicle, a 50-amp charger can add approximately 37 miles of RPH. 


How many chargers do you want to install?


On average in the U.S., there are 18.5 EVs for every one charging station. However, that number marks a shortage. It’s estimated that there should be at least one charger for every 10 to 15 vehicles. In other words, people tend to underestimate how much charging power they should make available — especially for multi-family properties. 


Also, keep in mind that:

  • Each 220V charger takes 32-40 amps of service
  • Each 110V charger takes 12-15 amps of service
  • You should take the service requirements and multiply by the charger count to obtain the amperes of service you need to accommodate your install
  • Have an electrician come and evaluate this if you are unsure
  • You may need to upgrade your service and you should discuss the cost of doing so with an electrician
  • Street parking
  • Needs to be free-standing
  • Needs to have power run underground
  • Open parking lot
  • Residential garage
  • Residential driveway
  • Purchase ShinePay charger — (why ShinePay)
  • Purchase PowerPay module
  • Purchase podium

Pro-tip: For new construction, it’s critical to think practically about the property and how to scale EV charging capabilities as the property ages. Several years ago, a minimal number of ports would be enough to service tenants; however, it’s recommended that at least 10% of all parking spaces at multi-family properties should accommodate electric vehicles. The exact percentage depends on jurisdiction and several other factors (we’ll get to that later in this EV charging mini-guide).  


Step 2 — Evaluate The Type of Structure

  • Combination of wall-placed chargers and free-standing
  • Wall-mounted charger
  • Wall-mounted charger
  • Possibly free-standing
  • Podium — Clipper Creek podiums are one of the more popular options
  • Bonus article: Home EV chargers


Pro-tip: In January of the past year, the International Code Council passed a provision that, if actualized by states and other jurisdictions would require multi-family properties with an excess of three units to have at least one EV-ready parking space; two for properties with up to 25 spaces; and 20% EV-ready parking spots for properties with an excess of 25 spaces. Plan accordingly. 


Step 3 — Purchase the equipment


Pro-tip: Check for financial incentives and subsidies at the local, state, and federal level to greatly minimize your costs. While these subsidies are subject to change, currently states like Massachessetts, Maryland, Hawaii, Colorado, and California offer a variety of incentives, ranging from nearly 100% subsidization, rebates for up to 80% of charging station installation cost, or $3,000 to $10,000 per port in subsidies. 


Step 4 — Hire an Electrician


Whether you need an electrician or a contractor will Depend largely on whether you are doing wall mounts or free standing and the number of chargers. You may need to run wire underground. But be sure in any case to hire a professional. This is not something we could recommend as a DIY project. 


Pro-tip: Be sure to figure out the scope of work before installation begins. Consider if it’s a retrofit, how far you will have to run conduit, how close the EV spaces will be to the electrical room, whether or not you will have to dig through landscaping or asphalt, and whether installers will need to x-ray the concrete. Oftentimes, it’s significantly more expensive to retrofit EV ports instead of building them into a new development. 


Step 5 — Installation


Set up your ShinePay account (takes less than 2 minutes).


Pro-tip: In addition to legal requirements, also be sure to do your research to find out the number of EV vehicle registrations in your particular market. For example, there’s an enormous difference between the number of EV drivers in West Virginia versus California.