The Ralph Bivins Project – Podcast Guest: David Aaronson

HOUSTON – Excerpt from The Ralph Bivins Project podcast  – Produced by Realty News Report.

Ralph Bivins: Welcome, this is Ralph Bivins with the Ralph Bivins Project. We’re here today to talk to David Aaronson. He has discovered an amazing niche. It’s a bright idea; it sounds like something that’s needed. He is the founder and CEO of Refuel Electric Vehicle Solutions – or REVS. He’s working nationally to roll this out, specifically aimed at apartment dwellers who need a place to charge their electric vehicles. He has a long history in the Houston real estate market. But he has worked everywhere in the country with some of the legends in capital markets.

David Aaronson: Thank you for having me, Ralph, it is a real privilege to be here. I’m looking forward to sharing thoughts on how the EV revolution will impact the multifamily industry.

Ralph Bivins: If you have an electric vehicle (EV), say you have a Tesla, it’s pretty easy for a homeowner. If you have a charger in the garage, you drive home from work and plug it in. And then you go to work the next morning. It’s there. But a lot of people live in multifamily residences. What do they do with their EV?

David Aaronson: There are about 40 million people living in multifamily properties. And there are about seven million electric cars parked at these apartment properties every night. Unfortunately, when these apartment buildings were built, no thought was given to providing electrical capacity to charge cars. In that is created an opportunity for multifamily owners to provide an amenity that will turn into necessary infrastructure as time goes by, and as more and more residents drive electric vehicles.

Click Here (Spotify) or Here (YouTube) to Listen to the Entire Podcast

Ralph Bivins: The demand for electric vehicles is not shrinking.

David Aaronson: Well, it’s interesting because we have heard in the past few days that 10 percent of new sales are for electric vehicles. We also heard that sales of electric vehicles are going slower than people thought or hoped for. Manufacturers are suffering through some lower stock prices these days.

Everyone asks me, “Is this the end?” Well, no, all of the manufacturers of vehicles have now decided that by a certain date, all they will supply are electric vehicles. So, to me, it’s just short-term news that people like to report. The long-term trend is still there. These car manufacturers can’t just all of a sudden say, “Oops, we made a mistake, we’ll go change again.”

Ralph Bivins: I have heard that Tesla is still going strong, but other entries in the market, such as GM and the smaller players, are not doing as well. Tesla is still considered to be the heavy hitter.

David Aaronson: Well, they are, and it has a lot to do with their battery technology.  I’m an EV driver myself and I bought a Tesla just because it allows me to travel to Dallas and Austin and Houston without having to stop in the middle of that. Most of the other vehicles on the market can’t do that yet – but they will. I don’t know about you, Ralph, but I’ve seen a lot more EVs coming to market this year than in previous years. Giving people a choice – you have to have inventory on the lot. They have to see the different options before they make a decision. It’s just the natural evolution of the industry.

Ralph Bivins: They have to adjust. One of the things I’ve seen recently is at Buc-ee’s, a huge service station. They have installed a row of 12 to 15 Tesla brand charging stations in the rear. They are thinking ahead because they have a 50,000 SF store there. Someone with an EV can pull in, charge it up and get a cup of coffee or something. It works for Buc-ee’s.

David Aaronson: It’s interesting Ralph. I started the business two and-a-half years ago. I have a friend who does architectural work for Buc-ee’s. I had him call Buc-ee’s and, at the time, they weren’t even interested in doing anything to provide these services to EV drivers. And now look, the chargers are in every one of their newly constructed stations. Yesterday, I drove to Austin and back, and I stopped at a Buc-ee’s and about half of the spaces were being used. So, it’s definitely a coming trend.

Ralph Bivins: If someone owns an existing apartment complex, can you go back and install your chargers?

David Aaronson: This is our mission. We want to own and operate EV charging stations in multifamily properties. We have a program to install them in existing properties – in most cases, at no cost to the property owner. We upgrade the property’s electrical structure, provide the equipment, reimburse the property owner for the electricity we use, then we share our profits with the property owner. Because we are making the investment, we want to make sure that the machines work properly so they are not a burden on the property owners or managers.

We are working actively in existing apartments – which is where the real challenge takes place — and we also have a group to help install charging stations in  new construction, to help builders provide the proper infrastructure for the long term.

Ralph Bivins: Where are you working right now?

David Aaronson: We’re from coast to coast. We’re in the state of Washington down to the southern tip of Florida. We’re in California and we’re working our way up the East Coast. We are in North Carolina; we will be in Massachusetts and Virginia in the next couple of months. We put up our 200th charging port in the network this week.  We are in nine states and in 26 or 27 cities. Texas is of course our largest market. After that is Arizona, Florida and North Carolina. California will be up there in the next 60 days. We are very active around the country.

Click Here (Spotify) or Here (YouTube) to Listen to the Entire Podcast

David Aaronson biography

David established Refuel Electric Vehicle Solutions with the aim of helping multifamily property owners capitalize on the impact EV adoption will have on their properties.

Prior to forming REVS, David enjoyed a successful career in the commercial real estate banking industry for more than 40 years. During that time, he assisted commercial real estate investors and developers in securing debt and equity capital across the country.

Originally from Houston, he graduated with a B.A. in Real Estate Finance from The University of Texas at Austin.

Nov. 26, 2023 Realty News Report Copyright 2023


LISTEN: The RALPH BIVINS PROJECT podcast with David Aaronson of REVS

LISTEN: The RALPH BIVINS PROJECT podcast with Duane Heckmann of Land Advisors

LISTEN: THE RALPH BIVINS PROJECT podcast with Edward Griffin of Griffin Partners

LISTEN: THE RALPH BIVINS PROJECT podcast with Michael Scheurich of Arch-Con


LISTEN: THE RALPH BIVINS PROJECT podcast  with Stephen Meek of StreetLights Residential.

LISTEN: THE RALPH BIVINS PROJECT podcast with Carlos Bujosa of Transwestern 

LISTEN: THE RALPH BIVINS PROJECT podcast with Kris Larson of Central Houston Inc.

LISTEN: THE RALPH BIVINS PROJECT podcast with  Mike Spears of Lee & Associates Houston

LISTEN: THE RALPH BIVINS PROJECT podcast with  Maria Perez of Gensler

LISTEN: THE RALPH BIVINS PROJECT podcast with   Bob Parsley of Colliers  

Image: Realty News Report Copyright 2023

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