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Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Are Fueling The Future Of Massachusetts Real Estate

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Americans purchased over 360,000 electric vehicles in 2018, a significant jump from the nearly 200,000 purchased in 2017. That number might be higher, except for one real estate problem — there aren’t enough charging stations, and travelers fear they could easily run out of battery. 

To eliminate consumers’ “range anxiety,” state governments and businesses are cooperating to build more charging stations to help early adopters of electric vehicles, quell concerns from skeptical drivers and help property owners prepare for the future of electric transportation. 

These charging stations aren’t just out on the road next to gas pumps — they’re at workplaces, hotels, movie theaters, tourist attractions, schools, and municipal and private parking garages. In fact, in residential buildings, they can be a powerful draw for eco-conscious tenants. 

Massachusetts recently joined eight other states in adopting a regional policy for low-carbon transportation designed to reduce transportation emissions. As part of this commitment, the state is increasing the electrification of the transportation sector and building out strategies to support connected and autonomous vehicles. 

“In Massachusetts, more than 40% of greenhouse gas emissions come from the transportation sector,” said Penni Conner, senior vice president and chief customer officer at Eversource, a New England-based energy company. “We are working with municipalities and businesses to provide electric vehicle owners with access to more charging stations, and the ability to save money and help reduce emissions.” 

To help the commonwealth achieve its goals, Eversource is working with property owners to install nearly 3,500 individual EV ports across Massachusetts by the end of 2020 through its EV Charging Station initiative, part of a $45M proposal to accelerate EV adoption. 

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A recent survey from AAA found that as many as 40 million Americans say they will at least consider an electric vehicle for their next car. As more EVs take to the roads in Massachusetts, the program gives property owners a chance to adapt for the future. 

James Cater, program lead for the Eversource EV Charging Station Initiative, said that EV charging stations could be a major selling point for properties that want to market themselves as green communities, attract environmentally conscious tenants and establish themselves as leaders in the surrounding community. 

While owners only have to commit to purchasing one charging station at the time of construction, Eversource will provide the infrastructure to support the easy installation of multiple charging stations. 

“Many people with EVs who live in apartments and condos rely on public charging stations, but are looking for the convenience of charging at home,” Cater said. “By installing EV charging stations as an amenity, property owners will be able to attract and retain residents while fostering an environmentally sustainable community.” 

These stations could be especially beneficial for owners of rental properties, Cater said, since a survey found that approximately 68% of millennials rent, and over half of Northeastern millennial drivers are either buying or considering an EV or hybrid for their next car purchase. 

The Eversource EV Charging Initiative covers 100% of the related infrastructure and implementation costs, an expense of thousands of dollars traditionally borne by the site owner. The site host is only responsible for purchasing and installing the charging stations. 

To date, Eversource has enabled the installation of a total of 176 ports, with another 556 ports currently in construction. Cater recognized that some owners may be concerned about the hassle of installing EV stations, but he said the Eversource initiative is entirely turnkey. 

“Our experts guide you through the project and coordinate all of the work required, including permitting and inspections,” Cater said. “Whether it’s new construction or an established building, our energy experts provide recommendations on the electrical configurations as well as help our customers find the right charging stations.” 

This feature was produced in collaboration between Bisnow Branded Content and Eversource. Bisnow news staff was not involved in the production of this content.