We need more EV chargers. We keep saying it, and everyone knows it, from state officials and company executives all the way to the White House. They’re being built, albeit slowly, but it’s happening (somewhat). Where chargers are needed most, however, is in downtown city centers, specifically for people living in apartments. Road & Track reports one startup is looking to help those living in apartments have access to charging and incentives property owners to build them by helping them make some money in the process.
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The state of New York, like many other states and countries around the world, is planning on a 2035 combustion engine ban. So things need to change quickly. To speed charging deployment for all these EVs that are expected to hit the streets, Brooklyn based startup itselectric has partnered with Hyundai Cradle — Hyundai’s mobility solutions arm — and New York City’s Economic Development Corporation. Itselectric wants to build curbside chargers of its own designs at apartment buildings and is currently planning to test installation of the chargers later this year
When things finally get cooking for the company, the startup says that it makes things simple. First, itselectirc will partner with property owners who have shown interest in wanting to install chargers. The company then analyzes the electrical panels and curbs of the property for charger installation viability. If everything checks out, itselectirc will secure the proper permits for installation. Itselectirc will then install the chargers at no cost to the property owner with the charger drawing power from the spare energy generated by the property. EV owners who become part of the charging network can then use the chargers and more interestingly, property owners can earn income from the chargers, as much as $1,000 per year per charger itselectirc says.
“Our technology is specifically built for cities to ensure that every community — no matter the median income or prevalence of driveways and garages — has access to clean transportation,” said founder and CEO of itselectric Nathan King.
The reality though is that it may take more than a few chargers to generate enough income to make something like this attractive for property owners. If $1,000 a year per charger doesn’t sound like much, that’s because it isn’t. And apparently the business of EV charging isn’t a cash cow just yet. EV charging companies have been either in the red or losing money on their ventures; BP admitted it’s been losing money on its EV charging network; Chargepoint just posted a loss after missing earnings even though revenue rose.
But if itselectric can prove that it can bring charging to the masses that dwell in apartments and condos in New York CIty and beyond, equitable charging access will pay off in the long run.