Automakers and politicians are betting big on electric vehicles.
Tesla is the world’s most valuable car company; Ford just committed $29 billion to EVs; GM promises an all-electric fleet in 15 years; and political leaders such as President Joe Biden and Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak are pushing the accelerator toward the transition to EVs.
But will there be enough charging capacity to keep EVs humming, particularly at apartments, which must provide parking for hundreds of cars.
Matt Frommer, a senior transportation associate with Southwest Energy Efficiency Project, said property owners should be preparing now for the move to EVs. He told State of Nevada that new apartments can “future proof” their complexes by installing the higher-capacity electrical equipment that EV chargers require.
His group has proposed changes to building codes that would require new multi-family projects include EV-ready wiring, and that doing so is cheaper during new construction.
“The cost to do this during new construction is about $900 to $1,000 per parking space, compared to the cost of doing it later during a stand-alone retrofit, which can be as much as $6,000 per parking space,” Frommer said, adding that those costs are just for the higher-capacity connection and do not include the charger.
Susy Vasquez, executive director of the Nevada State Apartment Association, said that more of her members are providing charging facilities for tenants, but supply needs to be matched with demand.
“As the demand grows we will add more and more of those stations,” she said. Vasquez also said that a “significant number” of current apartment charging facilities go unused.
Clark County Commissioner Justin Jones, who campaigned for office on his environmental record, said the government might be able to provide incentives to apartments for offering EV charging.
“In other jurisdictions, one of the things they've been able to offer (in return for mandating EV-ready infrastructure) is a tradeoff in terms of parking requirements" because of the move toward more transit-oriented development.
Frommer, the transportation expert, said municipalities have an opportunity this year, during the once-every-three-years update of building codes, to include language that promotes EV-ready construction.
Justin Jones, Clark County Commissioner; Matt Frommer, senior transportation associate, Southwest Energy Efficiency Project; Susy Vasquez, executive director, Nevada State Apartment Association