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BLOG / 02.22.21 /Eric P. Blaha

State Incentives Reduce Sticker Shock of Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Stations

GM recently announced that it will eliminate fossil fuel vehicles by 2035. It seems inevitable that multifamily property owners, including co-op and condo boards, will need to make arrangements to install electric vehicle charging stations to meet anticipated demand by resident owners long before then.

As part of NY’s effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030, for a limited time Owners may take advantage of a host of incentives to defray between 80-100% of start-up costs to purchase, install and maintain up to twenty (20) standard charging stations (a/k/a “level 2 wattage units”), including rebates from NYS and discounts through local utility companies (plus state and federal tax credits, if applicable).

The “Charge NY” initiative through NYSERDA provides incentives for multifamily properties that can cover 80+% of the cost of purchasing each charging station ($4,000 per charging port for a two-port station), plus the cost of software that manages each station for up to 3 years (e.g., $375 per port per year for EV Connect, one third-party vendor). For more information see the NYSERDA website.

In addition, New York’s “Make-Ready Program” is available through all NY utilities, and can cover 90-100% of the installation costs (up to $10,000 per station). Click here to learn more about Con Ed’s program.

When these incentives are “stacked” (station + software + installation) they can result in savings of between 90-100% of the total cost of installation. Beware: (a) the rebates can only be applied once, so that any subsequent installations would not be covered by these programs, and (b) once the NYSERDA money runs out the incentive is over and done.

There is not enough space here to list all installation and subscription options available; however, there is no shortage of company websites to introduce options and price points, including EV Connect, ChargePoint and EV Charging Installers to name just a few.

One vendor, EV Connect, considers itself a turnkey provider, and promotes its “1-stop service” for multi-family residential owners. EV Connect states that it assists the owners to identify an appropriate site and number of stations, provides free engineering services (required to qualify for state programs), assists with software tie-ins for computers and i-phones, manages software programs and billing (sending 97% of station revenue back to the board), and assists in the application process for the NY incentives described above.

Charging stations may serve as revenue generators through usage charges built into the software. Therefore, even if incentives are no longer available, some vendors have said usage charges can result in a return on investment in approximately 5-years (depending on a number of factors including amount of usage).

Some additional board considerations may include that disabled owners and tenants should be given equal access to charging stations so as to comply with ADA requirements. Plus, the cost of any wattage upgrade (5.4 kW per hour for each level 2 station – a little more than a refrigerator) will be the board’s responsibility.

There can be no greater convenience than plugging in and recharging in garages and parking areas at home. So whether you want to make your building more attractive to renters, or your Board wants to support NY’s effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or just provide a convenient alternative for electric vehicle owners, it’s time to get the buzz going before state incentives run out.