By Michael Stein
Although the impact of the real estate and transportation industries on the environment has been well known for some time, there has been a significant push by these industries over the past decade to explore and implement methods to reduce emissions. . Becoming net-zero is a stated goal by many companies which includes the ever-increasing buy-in from various players in the real estate industry in general. The recent increase in electric vehicles (EVs) and the inclusion of their charging stations in modern development projects underscores the efforts of these two industries to work together to promote more environmentally friendly lifestyles in the pursuit of the future.
New real estate development and especially new multi-family and urban housing development projects
resulting from pandemic migration movements and relocations present a unique opportunity to increase
the availability of new charging stations that encourage the adoption of electric vehicles. New residential development, at
at the crossroads of post-pandemic trends and changing demographics, is an ideal opportunity to introduce
new lifestyles by offering new, more convenient options as well as partnering with
sustainable efforts to reduce carbon emissions. In questionable and even commercial housing
markets where CAP rates are a concern, adding EV options and charging stations only serves to increase
value of the property as high value equipment. The trend will also encourage rezoning in neighborhoods
with older building codes that have yet to kick in and make room for widespread EV adoption.
As an unwitting catalyst for the future of electric vehicles in residential neighborhoods, many cities and states have
passed legislation requiring them to reduce their overall emissions. Among these, New York, whose
Ambitious Local Law 97 aims to reduce emissions by 80% by 2050. As regulatory procedures
increase nationwide and particularly in urban and suburban, multifamily and other real estate areas
development will follow with more environmentally conscious plans in pursuit of compliance. There is no doubt that electric charging stations will be part of it to meet future expectations in terms of residential housing.
Preparing to achieve milestones
With that in mind, states like California have taken additional steps to foster the growth of electric vehicles.
and their infrastructure. In addition to the state’s own legislation requiring its emissions to be reduced by
40% by 2030, the state also requires that 100% of its electricity come from carbon.
free sources by 2045. In 2020, California also became the first state to offer a zero-emission vehicle
Mandate for large trucks. Taken together, these goals and initiatives will greatly encourage
utility investment in electric vehicle charging stations.
The real estate industry is going green
Leaders in the real estate sector have also taken steps to ensure that the path to increased EVs
adoption is done as simply as possible. For example, Pensam, one of the largest private real estate groups
investors and capital providers specializing in the multi-housing sector, worked with real estate
managing partner BH Management will include EV stations at 35 of their properties as part of their
company’s Go Green efforts. With each of these properties containing approximately 85 stations, Pensam’s Go
The green initiative was highly successful throughout 2021, saving more than 51 million kilowatt hours (kWh); for
reference, a kWh is roughly the amount of energy needed to sustain a device such as an air
conditioner or heater on for one hour. For example, Pensam’s Go Green initiative has helped
enabling significant efficiencies, cost savings and emission reductions to be achieved.
The past few years suggest that widespread adoption of electric vehicles can be achieved. Already we see
collaborative efforts and synergy between regulators and transportation and real estate sectors
Industries. Fortunately, these organizations and sectors seem to have come together and are making progress in the adoption of electric vehicles. In doing so, property developers are making major strides in reinventing
future development plans to include electric vehicles and other eco-friendly options and lifestyles.
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