What the increase in EVs means for Florida commercial property

On Behalf of | Dec 6, 2023 | Commercial Real Estate Leases | 0 comments

Like so many things, electric vehicles (EVs) have become a highly politicized issue here in Florida. Despite the pushback against them by some leading state politicians and even proposed legislation to tax EV owners, there’s no doubt that they’re part of the transportation future. Some states are even mandating that at a certain point (still more than a few years away), all new vehicles sold must be electric.

Meanwhile, planning for that future is underway in Florida. The Electrification Coalition says it’s working “to advance the deployment and adoption of electric vehicles, as well as the development of charging infrastructure.” This even includes medium- and heavy-duty trucks as well as school buses.

It’s getting a big assist from the federal government. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is providing Florida’s DOT with nearly $200 million over five years to invest in charging stations and build the infrastructure needed for a population that will increasingly be driving EVs. One business analyst predicts that “by 2050, EVs could make up about 90% of the car market” throughout the country.

Preparation requires more than installing charging stations

For those who invest in, develop, own or manage commercial properties, accommodating EV owners needs to be a critical part of planning. Charging stations will become a necessity rather than a perk of all types of commercial real estate – from office buildings to entertainment, hospitality, retail and multi-use properties. They’ll be crucial for multi-family housing of all kinds, from apartment buildings to retirement communities. 

That means not just making room for and installing the charging stations. It requires having the electrical capability to support them. While all of this costs money, even with the government’s assistance, commercial property owners can defray some of the cost by partnering with service and installation providers. The head of one charging station company says, “People expect to pay for the fuel for their car. It represents an opportunity to develop a new revenue stream….” 

That means passing the cost on to tenants of a commercial property or homeowners or renters of a multifamily complex, for example. Your lease agreements and other contracts will need to reflect this service and the cost to those who use it or have customers who use it. It’s crucial to have experienced legal guidance to help you navigate these changes.