According to new research by CBRE, Asia Pacific electric vehicle (EV) sales have seen exponential growth in the past two years, accounting for nearly two-thirds of global auto sales. The soaring demand for charging facilities across the region provides the opportunity for commercial real estate owners to enhance their assets with EV charging installations.
CBRE estimates that the number of public charging points across the Asia Pacific region will rise to around 10 million by 2030, with nearly 70% of the new charging points in mainland China, the biggest market for EV sales. India and Singapore are the fastest growing EV sales markets in Asia Pacific.
Commercial real estate offers a wide range of options for EV public charging infrastructure, varying across retail, industrial, office, and on-the-road demand. EV chargers are becoming more common in shopping malls, as customers charge their vehicles while shopping. For industrial and logistics facilities, there is strong demand for direct current fast chargers as occupiers want more charging points for electrified fleets.
Business and science parks in decentralised locations or the suburbs are now showing stronger demand for charging points as more employees drive to work. Imminent regulatory requirements in Australia, India, Japan, and Singapore will hasten installation of charging points in new office buildings.
"From retail malls and office complexes to industrial warehouses, EV charging infrastructure is fast becoming the norm across Asia Pacific as landlords and occupiers gear up for the electric mobility era," said Sidharth Dhawan, Regional Head of Alternatives - Automotive & Flex, Asia Pacific for CBRE.
While opportunities for EV charging infrastructure are growing, technological advances, like battery swapping, mobile charging, hydrogen fuel cars, and wireless charging, may erode demand for physical charging points. Apart from self-built charging points, other key business models to gain access to EV charging infrastructure include partnering with or investing in charging point operators.
"Planning for EV charging is a complex process. Property owners and investors need to consider potential challenges when installing EV chargers, such as the long payback periods, and short life cycle of the charging systems," said Dr. Henry Chin, Global Head of Investor Thought Leadership & Head of Research, Asia Pacific for CBRE. "We advise asset owners to engage professional consultants to help simplify the complexity and formulate strategies to expedite the installation of charging points in their portfolios."