Why Your Next Apartment or Condo Must Have EV Charging

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Your Next Apartment or Condo Must Have EV ChargingKentaroo Tryman - Getty Images
  • In many new multi-family buildings being built, it is now a must-have to have EV chargers incorporated into the development.

  • One company working toward fitting these apartment and condo developments with chargers is Autotech Ventures, which has hired several former Tesla Supercharger engineers as it ramps up its charging and software development divisions.

  • As it is still early days for these types of charging station builds, ideal configurations are still being figured out in terms of the number of parking spaces per charging port, how tenants pay, etc.

The US has just eight new electric vehicle charging stations so far from a $7.5-billion program, and even automakers like General Motors and Ford Motor Company that have gone all-in on EVs are starting to pull back as interest in such zero-emissions vehicles levels off.


Then there’s the question of what will happen to the transition away from internal combustion engines if Donald J. Trump wins the November presidential election.

“You’re not going to be able to sell those cars,” he has said at his campaign rallies, where he has promised to hit EVs built in Mexico with a 100% tariff, according to The New York Times. (Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal Thursday reported that the ex-president and Elon Musk are in talks for a potential role for the Tesla CEO in a Trump White House.)

One pro-EV development that will not soon slow down is that electric vehicle chargers are now a “must-have” in new multi-family buildings going up, and many existing apartment buildings and condos are being retrofit with them, says Ivy Nguyen, principal for Autotech Ventures.

The venture capital firm specializing in high-tech for ground transportation counts as part of its portfolio Volta, an “advertising sponsored, free electric vehicle-charging network,” and a charging software company in its early stages, which Nguyen would not name.

Volta and the unnamed company are part of an EV charging industry that is helping expand the nation’s charging network in all sorts of locations, public and private.

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Volta wants to make it as easy as possible to incorporate charging stations in apartment or condo building parking areas.onurdongel - Getty Images

“The software company is working with a network of installers, trying to make software to make it easier” for EV drivers to recharge their vehicles, Nguyen says. While there have been reports of how Tesla has cut much of its Supercharger team—about 500 employees—Nguyen sees Autotech Ventures’ companies benefitting from the layoffs by helping fill the void.

The software startup has even managed to hire a few of the former Tesla Supercharger engineers, a number Nguyen says is “in the high-single digits.”

Volta’s and the software company’s goals are, “How can we make it as brain-dead-easy as possible?” to incorporate charging stations in the apartment’s or condo building’s garage or parking lot, Nguyen says. That includes minimal costs and minimal overhead for the landlord or developer.

“Often the bottleneck is how much power the utility is sending to the property and how much it can handle.”

It is still early days for multi-family property charging. Nguyen says configurations are all over the map, in terms of the number of parking spaces per charging port, how non-tenant visitors are restricted from using the chargers, and how tenants pay.

“The payment is still being worked out on a building-by-building basis,” she says. “Some are baked into the rent, others are pay-as-you-go.”

While charging stations are being added into new buildings and existing stock most prominently in states where Teslas are most popular, oil-producing states and the Midwest, for example, are not being left out.

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“The IRA and NEVI funding are related, but not the primary reason” for this universal popularity, Nguyen said, referring to the Inflation Reduction Act and the New Electric Vehicle Infrastructure programs.

Many municipalities have new zoning regulations regarding a minimum number of chargers, and the IRA and NEVI funds distributed to states through this year will recharge millions of EVs already on American roads for years to come, no matter who is in the White House.