The electric vehicle (EV) revolution is here; and with it, a demand for property stakeholders to accommodate a growing volume of plugged-in commuters.
“This isn’t a passing trend – EVs are definitely here to stay,” says Brookes Shean, General Manager, Central Canada with FLO, Canada’s leading EV charging solution provider. “More and more people are realizing the benefits of driving an EV, not only from a cost-saving and environmental perspective, but also in terms of overall enjoyability and comfort. In fact, when you run the numbers, EV drivers are driving an average of 10-kilometres further per day than traditional gas drivers.”
Certainly, what may have once been dismissed as a eco-friendly fad is quickly becoming the new normal. That’s putting pressure on property managers and owners to support EV drivers with electric charging stations where they work, live, and play. Traditionally, however, the cost of installing, monitoring, and maintaining EV charging stations has made some cautious about making the investment.
And here is where FLO is taking charge.
With over 4,000 EV charging stations throughout the country, the Quebec-based company is already Canada’s largest charging network. Its goal is to foster that network by providing property managers with simple, affordable and manageable ways of bringing EV charging stations to their tenants. And just recently, FLO launched an innovative business model that provides stakeholders with one more option to get in the game.
The idea is simple. Through a single, monthly fee, FLO will install and maintain EV charging stations for their clients, as well as monitor their usage and ongoing operations remotely from its operation centre.
“Think of it like a smartphone plan or internet subscription,” offers Shean, explaining, “For a predictable monthly fee we take care of everything, and we monitor it on our end to guarantee reliability and service quality. ”
It also makes more fiscal sense for property stakeholders as the model reduces – or, in some cases, eliminates – the upfront capital expenditures, turning them into a more flexible operating expense.
“It does away with the high upfront cost of installation and it makes sure property owners aren’t stuck with something that might be outdated or in ill-repair because it is entirely up to us to keep the services and equipment running,” says Shean, adding, “Ultimately, it’s about giving property owners peace of mind by supplying the market with an easier and more cost-friendly way of staying ahead of the EV evolution.”
The demand for electric charging stations is only growing. This is not only presenting opportunities for residential property stakeholders to differentiate themselves from the competition, but for commercial and office building managers to accomodate EV drivers where they spend most of their days: in the workplace. And as more and more consumers in the workforce adopt EV-driving habits, having EV charging stations available where they work will become an increasingly important factor in attracting and retaining talent.
Yet while FLO’s EV charging model was designed to meet growing market demands, it was also created to ensure its clients are prepared for EV advancements to come. Surely, as more tenants and employees make the EV leap, the need for electric charging stations at offices, homes, retail outlets, and along travel routes will only increase. And as EV technologies advance to meet those needs, property owners will be challenged to not only provide EV charging stations, but make sure they are up-to-date and working at full potential.
FLO addresses that concern in multiple ways. First, its EV charging stations are built to withstand all Canadian climates thanks to their aluminum enclosures which are designed to be far more resilient to changing weather conditions than existing alternatives.
Secondly, explains Shean, FLO’s business model is supported by a team of technical experts who are on call for clients whenever repairs, updates, or all-out replacements are needed: “It’s an ongoing, turn key operation that gives property owners the flexibility to add more units down the line or replace the units they have when it comes time to upgrade.”
Certainly, as the EV revolution continues to build, it’s not a question of ‘if’ property owners need to catch up, but ‘when’. And with FLO as a partner, Shean says the time is now: “EVs are here to stay, so for us, it’s about making sure our locations are being provided with the best equipment, the best service, and the most options they can over the lifetime of this growing market.”
Brookes Shean is General Manager of Central Canada with Flo Inc. For more information, visit Flo.ca.