It’s no secret that the new wave of renter is far more environmentally conscious than ever before and demand that their dwellings reflect it. But how do property managers know the right time to jump on the newest eco-amenity trends to lure new tenants? Sometimes a look at the numbers is all it takes.

According to the latest data released by Toyota, maker of the popular Prius hybrid, the company just broke the 4 million mark in April for electric vehicles sold worldwide. It said that 1.5 million of those were sold in the United States. It is a trend that has been quietly growing over the past few years but is definitely building a head of steam.

In fact, approximately 40 million electric vehicles are projected to be on the road by 2030. In the nearer term, Obama has pledged a goal of getting 1 million on the road by 2015. Whether that happens remains to be seen. But the idea of going electric seems to be growing on people.

The latest Consumer Reports survey shows that the No. 1 consideration for car buyers today is fuel economy. And nearly three-quarters of drivers say they would consider an alternative fuel vehicle for their next car.

So how can multifamily owners prepare for a wave of renters who will want to come home and plug in their cars? One way is to install electric vehicle charging stations. It’s a leap of faith some companies—like Chicago-based Equity Residential—have already made.

Last year, Equity Residential introduced electric vehicle charging stations at eight of its properties in Cambridge, Mass., Washington, D.C., Coral Gables and Deerfield Beach, Fla., Seattle and Redmond, Wash., Los Angeles, and San Diego. And Equity isn’t the only company catching on to the trend. Greenbelt, Md.-based The Bozzuto Group and Phoenix-based Alliance Residential introduced the stations at select properties last year, too. And earlier this month, Essex Property Trust broke ground on a community in California that will feature the charging stations.

Companies like these want to be the early adopters who have the amenity in place before the rest of the industry catches wind. But what do you think? Will the electric vehicle trend will really take off, or is your company still in the wait-and-see camp? Let me know by leaving a comment below or emailing me at