One of the challenges in building and managing multifamily properties is trying to plan for tenant wants and needs – both the needs of today and how those needs will change in the years to come.

Some of these requirements are fairly evergreen, such as pools, fitness centers and ample parking. But some are more nuanced, particularly as renters and their apartment wish lists become increasingly sophisticated.

With summer travel in full swing and gas prices at an all-time high, we thought we’d look into a very contemporary apartment amenity: electric vehicle charging stations.

When looking at a place to live, an on-site EV charger has become a key factor for electric vehicle owners, especially because it can take anywhere from 2 to 22 hours to charge a completely empty battery. Unfortunately, a lot of renters have discovered that the majority of rental properties aren’t keeping up with this growing trend.

At its start, the electric vehicle was almost synonymous with Tesla, which grabbed most of the early headlines for its luxury-class product. But as companies like Nissan, Mazda and Chevrolet edge into the market, so do affordable vehicles that are more within reach for renters.

This helped to more than double the sales of hybrid electric plug-in vehicles between 2020 and 2021, and increase all-electric vehicle sales by 85 percent in the same time period. That momentum is likely to grow with makers like Ford rolling out the F-150 Lightning, an electric version of America’s favorite pickup truck.

Currently, about 80 percent of electric vehicle owners live in detached single homes, but the proportion of multifamily residents who own electric vehicles is sure to rise as this car class becomes more attainable.

In an effort to prepare for this demand, government programs are being rolled out to encourage the installation of charging stations at multifamily properties. One example of this is Tucson Electric Power’s Smart EV Charging Program, which offers incentives as well as technical support to commercial businesses, multifamily complexes and nonprofit customers that purchase and install EV charging on their property.

At MC Companies, we’re anticipating the needs of our current and future residents by making charging stations a priority. This follows in line with a statistic we posted earlier this year, noting that 47 percent of respondents in an ALMI Residential survey said that sustainability influenced their choice on where to live.

Adding EV chargers is one way that we can support eco-friendly amenities and the trend toward sustainability that more and more renters are embracing. Happy charging!