As the take up of Electric Vehicles continues to evolve the automotive industry, specialist advisor Rapleys has warned that the supporting property needs to keep up.
Car dealerships up and down the country increasingly feature new EVs, with the balance tipping in favour of electric over petrol or diesel models. However, the property infrastructure for the showrooms and car decks that support the dealerships’ day to day business need resilience testing given the weight of EVs are significantly higher than other motors.
Large dealerships, particularly those with multi-floor car platforms, some of which have engineering to move floors up and down could have up to 100 cars per floor placing considerable extra weight than perhaps the building – or its mechanisms – was constructed to take.
For example, each BMW iX3 electric is 695 kg heavier than the BMW 320 Sports Automatic 4d. Using this example, Rapleys has calculated that 100 electric vehicles weigh the equivalent of six double decker bus loads over traditional fuel models.
Mark Frostick, Associate Partner in Automotive & Roadside at Rapleys, says: “There are a number of car dealerships in the UK especially in affluent towns where space is at a premium that have had to solve the problem of parking, storage and land values by constructing a car deck. This could be one or more storeys of decked parking (like a multi storey car park but private). These have generally been for the more affluent brands, many of which are based in or around London. However these have generally been constructed to support the weight of ICE vehicles, and as we know, EVs are considerably heavier. If a dealer has to store 100 vehicles on your car deck the electric version weighs another 68 tons (69,500 kg). It’s definitely worth checking that existing structures could support this as it’s effectively 6 double decker buses!”
Mark’s colleague Alex Chambers, Associate Partner in building consultancy at Rapleys, suggests: “With build costs rising, insurance premiums increasing and values not necessarily equivalent within them, now is the time to check everything is assessed correctly. Car dealerships house a lot of expensive assets and if their buildings haven’t been specifically constructed or reinforced for supporting EVs, then a lot of damage could occur, some of which may not be insurance or covered in the rebuild reinstatement values. The good news is there is a very easy fix. Rapleys are currently instructed to manage projects such as this where buildings are assessed and if necessary, works are undertaken to ensure they can take the extra stress of weight, which helps secure values, insurance and de-risks portfolios whether you own a property that is leased to a car dealership or you are a car dealer who owns the property outright.” Rapleys work for eight out of the top 12 car dealers in the UK and a number of the new international entrants advising on land, transactions, building consultancy and professional services and are the leading automotive property adviser in the country.