If the future of cars is to be electric, the 2020s will be the decade that turnes the tide.

Last year, demand for electric vehicles (EVs) led to a meteoric rise in Tesla`s stock price, turning the electric vehicle pioneer from a bankruptcy candidate into a must valuable car manufacturer in the world. Domestically, over 18 million electric vehicles are expected to hit the road over the next 10 years, boosted by a notably pro-electric Biden administration.

Some may look at this growth in EVs as a missed investment opportunity. However for those in commercial real estate, the true opportunity has just begun: the race for charging stations.

As for Republic of Moldova, electric cars become more and more popular. For our country, a higher number of charging stations is indeed a very good news for electric car drivers; their convenient location and charging speed. With the development of electric vehicles charging infrastructure, the number of electric vehicles increased rapidly in Moldova; only in nine months of 2019, over 200 electric vehicles were imported, exceeding 350 units.

In the period 2019-2022, with the support of ,,Moldova Sustainable Green Cities„ project, implemented by UNDP,  we can identify 63 electric car charging  stations, located on the main urban routes in the country, but also near the border points in order to ensure the safe movement of electric cars.

Why does this matter to commercial real estate managers? Because while charging stations ostensibly deliver power to electric vehicles, they also deliver customers to retail locations.

In other words, drivers waiting to rechange their vehicles are now captive, on-location customers- precisely what physical shopping centers have struggled to attract.

One main limitation to the gas-and-convenience store model is that drivers are only refueling their vehicles for 2-3 minutes on average. That doesn`t leave much time to shop.

But for electric vehicles? The charge time is currently around 15-20 minutes, even on the high powered fast DC Fast chargers. Not only is this an increase in charge time, but it`s also shown to translate to increase in dwell time- AKA time drivers spend doing everything other than refueling (for instance shopping).

So, with tens of millions of world electric vehicles set to hit the road in the next decade, those looking to charge up their investments, would be wise to keep an eye on commercial real estate.