Reducing fossil fuel reliance and electrifying the built environment is a critical step towards Net Zero. Electrification will help eliminate the dependency of commercial property on fossil fuels, enabling the built environment to transition from one of the biggest planet-warming polluters to an active contributor to a decarbonised world.

Electric vehicles (EVs) have also taken off, representing a consumer-driven step towards an electrified world. New EVs are expected to meet a record-breaking 20% worldwide in 2023, up from 16% in 2022.

Given the efficiency of electric technologies relative to fossil fuel-based alternatives, electrification can significantly reduce carbon emissions and environmental impact. But as electrification takes hold, commercial building owners face challenges, such as the high cost of installing electrical infrastructure and increased electricity consumption.

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EV Charging Infrastructure

The rise of electric vehicles presents a particular challenge (and opportunity) within commercial real estate. By the end of 2023, a 35% year-on-year increase of EV sales in expected globally, with the largest markets in China, Europe, and the US.

With electric vehicle sales steadily increasing and a growing demand for charging stations at commerical spaces (offices and shopping centres), commercial building owners must integrate EV charging into their existing properties. Within the next decade, on-site commercial charging will need to become a standard building feature to keep pace with consumer demand but EV charging at scale usually requires an upgraded electrical distribution system and upgraded electrical grid infrastructure.

 SEA Consulting can assess a building in its entirety, not just its EPC potential. We can guide you on the limitations and opportunities of your site, to give you a clear understanding of how the installation will affect your current electrical infrastructure and the sales potential from EV charging on-site. We can even discuss how you can save money and generate additional revenue from renewables like solar panels. 

The Benefits of Electrification and EV Charging Points

Commercial real estate owners and investors looking to increase the value of their property portfolios will be well served to invest in EV charging stations and other electrified amenities as a benefit to tenants.

    Among the benefits of adding EV charging infrastructure are:
  • Attracting tenants: Whilst recent EV adoption has slowed the direction of travel is inevitable, drivers will be looking for office spaces where they can charge their vehicles, making commercial spaces with EV chargers a signifcant asset for building owners looking to attract premium tenants.
  • Preventing stranded assets: According to PwC, 17% of all charging points will be at workplaces by 2030. Property owners who don’t add EV charging stations risk getting left behind as commercial tenants increasingly require EV charging and other electrified upgrades in their leases. Government mandates may also soon require EV-compatible upgrades.
  • Increasing property value: EV charging stations and other electrical upgrades are increasingly in demand with commercial tenants, who are attracted to modernised commercial properties with upgraded infrastructure. This translates directly into added property value, though the precise ROI should be calculated against the cost of any upgrades. On average, building owners report a 9% increase in value for ‘green’ assets, across both new contruction and retrofit projects. As regulations increasingly work to incentivise energy efficiency, this value will only rise.
  • Adding revenue streams: Retail properties in particular can monetise their parking to provide an additional revenue stream. They can also enjoy increased spending from EV drivers who spend more time shopping while they wait for their vehicle to charge.

As building owners across the globe consider the best route to electrification, experts agree that the green transition will be necessarily slow. The power grid lacks the capacity to support fully electrified cities without widespread system upgrades. But plans for an electrified built environment are well underway, and building owners should start planning now for our electrified future.