Dallas Firm Is Charged Up About Putting Renters In EVs
One of the biggest challenges for electric vehicle owners is finding a place to charge their cars. Unless you own a personal charger, you might have a problem finding public charging stations – at least until the federal government completes its plan to build 500,000 new EV charging stations across the United States. The challenge is particularly daunting for apartment dwellers who don’t have their garages to charge up at home.
For EV manufacturers, apartment renters represent a huge potential market they aren’t tapping into. An estimated 44 million U.S. households live in apartment communities. If mass adoption of EVs is ever to happen, it will have to involve a large portion of the rental community.
“And for them to drive EVs, they need access to charging, just like I have in my garage,” Farrukh Malik, CEO of Amperage Capital, told Canary Media in a recent interview.
Malik has plenty of expertise in this area. His company is an infrastructure investor and operator that aims to address the problem by ramping up the number of residential EV charging solutions in apartment communities.
Amperage, based in Dallas, launched in January with plans to finance construction and other costs for assigned EV charging stations in apartment communities. Funding was also provided by The Shields Group and other Dallas area wealth managers.
“Apartment residents often have to share charging stations, which can lead to a frustrating customer experience and prevent them from fully benefiting from electric vehicle ownership,” Malik said in a press release announcing the launch. “To address this issue, we believe that apartment residents should have access to designated home charging spaces rather than relying on shared charging stations.”
One reason apartment communities haven’t embraced assigned charging stations for tenants is that it requires a big investment – without much tangible return. These kinds of projects require long-term infrastructure capital, which is where Amperage Capital comes in. The company provides apartment owners and operators with 100% of the long-term capital needed to cover construction costs. The company also handles management, design, permits, and implementation of the entire process.
Amperage’s first order of business was to analyze rental properties in markets with high EV penetration to find sites where its business model might pay off. That model – a single third party owning and managing assets at another party’s property – might be the only economically feasible way to get EV chargers installed at apartment communities, Malik told Canary Media.
Landlords are wary of the expense, not just in terms of the electrical and construction work needed but also because assigned chargers would contribute to massive electricity bills. Beyond that, apartment community owners are unlikely to see much return on the investment, at least over the short term.
Likewise, most tenants wouldn’t want to pay for the installation of EV chargers even if their landlords agreed to it because the tenants might not live in their apartments that long.
Because of these hurdles, many apartment dwellers who might otherwise consider buying an EV are sitting on the sidelines.
“While billions of dollars in federal and state funding are being allocated to build out DC fast charging along America’s highway corridors, there is a significant void in funding the build-out of charging infrastructure for apartment complexes, where more than one-third of Americans live,” said Loren McDonald, CEO, and Lead Analyst at EVAdoption.
The ability to conveniently charge overnight where you live and then wake up with a replenished battery is “one of the biggest advantages of driving an EV,” McDonald added. “Amperage Capital’s no-cost and no-risk charger deployment approach for owners of multifamily properties is long overdue and critical to building out this much-needed infrastructure for tenants at apartments.”