The benefits of EV charging stations

Incentives offered under the BOMA Clean Connect program spur station installations
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
By Daniel Klemky

Electric vehicles (EV) are becoming increasing popular across Canada. However, before there can be a widespread transition to electric car usage, a sufficient network of EV charging stations must be created in order to reduce range anxiety for potential owners.

The majority of existing infrastructure is currently located in public areas, commercial spaces and single-family dwellings.

Property owners and managers may want to start thinking about including charging stations in their buildings, as being an early adapter can have its benefits, including:

Tenant attraction and retention

Offering charging is a direct way for property owners and managers to attract and retain tenants who own electric cars. Hosting a EV charging station is a highly visible way to exemplify a building’s or property management company’s environmental values.

This may help contribute to a green image that attracts and retains tenants and customers who share these values. By offering this service free of charge, as many facilities currently do, companies will add a new dynamic to their corporate branding.

User charging and parking fees

Charging-station hosts have the opportunity to generate revenue directly from people who use the station’s services.

Although the re-selling of electricity at a higher rate than specified by the utility is prohibited in British Columbia, owners can collect revenue for charging through pay-for-parking services.

Using these types of systems typically requires installation of advanced EV charging station products. However, it should be noted that to date, many facilities are opting out of charging for use of the station, and are instead providing it as a free service.

Employee attraction and retention

Buildings or companies that offer charging may be able to attract and retain employees who want to charge EVs during the day. In addition, it can be very important to many employees, even those who do not drive EVs, that their building or employer is proactive with transportation planning.

Advertising opportunities

Every time that an EV driver visits a charging station, there is an opportunity to advertise. A station host could advertise its own products or services in this way, or sell advertising space to another organization.

BOMA BESt credits

Installing a charging station will earn additional points towards a BOMA BESt (Building Environmental Standards) certification. BOMA BESt is Canada’s largest environmental assessment and certification program for existing buildings. It is a voluntary program designed to assess and improve the environmental performance and management of existing buildings of all sizes across Canada.

Becoming BOMA BESt-certified may contribute to improving an organization’s image, and thus attract environmentally conscious customers and employees.

Value of avoided carbon emissions

With a growing number of local and regional carbon-reduction policies, charging station owners may be able to benefit from the value of carbon emissions offset by their stations.

A program intended to support the increase of EV charging infrastructure was launched in May 2013. BOMA B.C., in partnership with the province of British Columbia, introduced a new incentive program for the purchase and installation of 125 electric vehicle-charging stations branded BOMA Clean Connect. The incentives offered under the program, which ends on March 31, 2014, include up to $4,500 per station port.

One of the most important considerations with this program was to ensure EV charging station diversity in location, organization and facility type.

Preliminary analysis shows that the EV charging units have been installed by 38 different property owners and managers, within six types of buildings and in 13 cities across the province.

BOMA B.C. received positive feedback on the program, and many participants stated that they would not have otherwise been able to install an EV charging stations without the financial and technical support provided by the program.

Daniel Klemky is energy and environmental manager at BOMA B.C.

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