One of the best parts of EV ownership is never having to go to a gas station. Starting the morning with a full battery is the best, and most rewarding, way to own an EV. But if you rent and don’t have access to workplace charging, your life becomes exponentially more difficult. As we get closer to the first set of EV mandates, we’re going to need to solve the problem for people who rent.
That’s where Amperage Capital comes in. Announced today, the new company’s sole purpose to address the needs of the 44 million Americans who live in apartments. The approach is both novel and refreshing.
We talked to Amperage Capital’s CEO, Farrukh Malik, about what his company is doing differently, and why it makes sense for everyone involved.
Malik comes from the world of infrastructure, helping develop some of the largest infrastructure projects around the globe. “We’re going to be the infrastructure owner, the investor, and the operator,” he tells us.
Right now, the cost to renovate a parking structure to accommodate EV charging is expensive. That’s why you’ll only find a couple of chargers, if any, in a parking garage. Obviously, that’s a problem as more EVs come along.
“They also typically don’t charge for level 2 charging,” Malik tells us. “In a typical big [apartment] building, that’s a loss of $10,000 per year by offering free charging.”
Malik is going after the largest sweet spot, too. In places like New York City, there simply isn’t enough off-street parking for his company, and its model, to make sense. The same also applies for new apartment building construction, which typically has planned EV charging from the get go, and is some places required by building code.
In cities where small to medium rise buildings are the norm, where parking is typically available, Amperage Capital is making plans. Think Dallas or Detroit, Cleveland or Charlotte.
Amperage Capital is offering a one stop solution. For long term EV charging to make sense, and make money, Malik tells us there are three things required.
“First, you need long term capital. This is similar to toll roads or utilities,” he starts. “Then, you need the right type of solution. In this case it’s an assigned parking spot with assigned charging. Sharing a single charger isn’t a scalable solution.”
“Lastly,” he finishes, “we’ll be technology agnostic.”
Here’s how it works.
Amperage Capital works out a deal with a property to lease the parking spaces. There is no cost to the property for this, but rather they make money from the get go. As it grows in popularity, there’s also the opportunity for a revenue share with the property owner.
“We take this completely off their plate a huge pain in the neck for [property managers,” he says.
EV owners then pay a single monthly fee for parking and charging. Amperage takes care of paying the electricity bill and for maintenance and upkeep of the chargers.
“One of the biggest failure points for charging,” Malik tells us, “is the payment processing. Our charging stations are Wi-Fi enabled for access management, but there is no processing on the unit.”
Charging cost is wrapped up in the monthly fee to park.
If there are any issues, the EV owner calls a white glove support line and not the apartment leasing office. Amperage will partner with local techs to fix issues, and there’ll typically be a couple of extra charging stations per building that can be dynamically reassigned if a station is down for maintenance.
Starting out, Malik gives us an example of a building with 300 parking spaces. In an average scenario, they would retrofit 50 spaces of the 300 for dedicated EV parking and charging.
The biggest cost is the first major retrofit of the parking. After that work is done, Malik tells us it’s much easier to add spaces as demand increases.
Our take? A single payment every month that covers the cost of parking my car and charging my car, while having a dedicated charger assigned to me that nobody else can use? Sign me up.
It should also be a no-brainer for property managers and landlords, considering there’s no cost or risk to them.
In many of our reviews, we mention that if you can’t charge at home or at work, an EV might not be right for you. At least not yet. As more and more companies join the effort to solve charging for the 35% who rent, it opens the door for even more people to enjoy EV ownership.