Electric Vehicle Charging Station
Last Tuesday, Naperville City Council members approved the installation of an electric car charging station at the Van Buren parking lot. According to council members, there is a significant need for such a station as members of Naperville and visitors to the city already own electric vehicles. This news comes at the heels of Governor Pat Quinn’s April announcement of making Illinois the nation’s largest network of fast-charging electric vehicle stations.
“We want Illinois to be the greenest state in America,” Quinn said. “By installing the largest network of cutting edge fast-chargers, Illinois will continue to support green jobs and provide people with environmentally friendly and affordable travel options,” as quoted in NACS Online. A list of current vehicle charging stations can be found at http://www.afdc.energy.gov/afdc/progs/ind_state.php/IL/ELEC.
So what does this have to do with commercial real estate? Well, as noted on the list a number of these charging stations are located at retail shopping centers such as Gurnee Mills. As the popularity, and thus sales, of electric vehicles grows over the next ten years, tenants will be attracted to centers with charging amenities for their clientele. Obviously in today’s market the availability of a charging station may not win you a tenant over a competing property, but perhaps in the future this could be a dealmaker. Furthermore, office users may look to provide this amenity for their staff. For example, the corporate office of Walgreens in Deerfield currently provides charging stations to their personnel.
If you own a retail center or even a large office building, we suggest you keep your pulse on the sales of electric vehicles and perhaps build a charging station into your upcoming budget.