European legislation requires at least one electric vehicle (EV) charger for every 20 parking spaces in public garages by 2025. Due to the growing interest of office tenants, many of whom are planning to partially or even completely switch to electric mobility in the coming years, the real estate consultancy Cushman & Wakefield surveyed the current situation in the Prague office market. Both office tenants (including companies with more than 200 employees) and major owners of these buildings commented on their plans for electromobility.
Two-thirds (65 percent) of the office tenants surveyed plan to switch to electromobility, with 29 percent planning to reduce the number of their cars, and no one planning to increase it.
Radka Novak, Head of Office Agency CEE, Cushman & Wakefield, commented: “Recently, we’ve noted an increase in tenant queries as to how are office buildings prepared for parking and charging electric vehicles. Some large international companies have centrally planned to completely switch to an electric fleet within three to five years.”
According to a survey by the EY consultancy, 14 percent of companies in the Czech Republic now have EVs in their fleet, more than triple last year’s share.
82 percent of tenants surveyed by Cushman & Wakefield expect EV charging capacity to increase in office buildings. Half of the respondents are willing to share EV parking spaces with other tenants, perhaps through an app.
It was also confirmed that for some of the companies interviewed, access to EV chargers is part of the ESG objectives. As with other sustainable aspects of office operations, such as reducing energy consumption or purchasing it from renewable sources, they expect the building owner to cooperate with EV chargers and consider their provision as the owner’s responsibility.
Radka Novak, added: “Readiness for electromobility is increasingly one of the parameters that tenants consider when looking for suitable offices. Owners should respond to this requirement, as failure to meet it could exclude them from future selections.”
According to the Cushman & Wakefield survey, office building owners are planning to increase EV capacity: 89 percent of those surveyed are prepared to do so. This includes those that already have some capacity for EVs in their buildings, which is about half of the survey participants.
However, the average share of spaces for electric vehicles in buildings where some are present is still very low, only 3 percent of the total number of parking spaces. The average is exceeded, for example, by Corso Court in Karlin with 4.6 percent or Anděl Park in Smíchov with 6.5 percent. At the same time, further increases in these capacities are being actively addressed in these projects.
Some of the owners interviewed stated that they have parking spaces ready for charger installation. For example, in the Masaryčka project, more than one-third of the parking spaces in the underground garages are prepared for their future addition. In general, developers are now routinely making construction preparations for parking spaces that will allow the number of charging stations to be expanded in the future.
Parking as such continues to be in high demand, even in projects with very good public transport accessibility. Still, most of the owners interviewed do not currently have a parking shortage problem. The only exception among the interviewees was Skanska, who noted an increased interest in parking spaces after the pandemic in the Port 7 project.
The provision of electric car parking spaces is not yet seen by owners as a key tenant requirement, but they think they are ready for it. At the same time, there is some uncertainty among owners about the relevant legislation and fire safety regulations.
Radka Novak said: “While there are legislated standards for planning the number of all parking spaces in the Czech Republic, which are usually based on the gross floor area and the use of the building, there is no mandatory share of spaces for electric vehicles. In Slovakia, for example, it is already set by law at 20 percent.”
The fire safety regulations are indeed not interpreted uniformly. Developers try to place parking spaces for electric cars in a separate fire zone and as close as possible to the garage entrance, so that these cars can be towed away as easily as possible in the event of an accident or fire. However, a Ministry of the Interior decree could come into force at the end of next year to regulate the relevant safety standards. Among its main requirements would be the installation of fire-fighting and early incident detection systems. The expansion of EV parking spaces to 3.5 metres should remain a recommendation.