The rapid surge in electric vehicle (EV) popularity and the pressing concerns regarding climate change have made it imperative for apartment complexes to consider the installation of EV charging systems. The pivotal question now shifts from “if” to “when” apartment owners will embrace EV charging solutions. The installation of home charging capabilities is a significant catalyst for promoting EV adoption, and strides have been made in strata residencies to facilitate this transition.

Recognizing the necessity to prepare communities for the integration of EV charging, Smarter Communities has established a specialized Sustainability Team committed to developing solutions for all types of communities. Their focus lies in educating communities about the installation options, the challenges involved, and the need to proactively address this impending shift.

Advantages of Incorporating EV Charging in Your Property

There are various compelling reasons to introduce EV charging infrastructure:

Regulatory requirements now demand that developers include EV charging infrastructure in new constructions. Properties lacking EV charging facilities are likely to depreciate in value when compared to modern buildings equipped with such amenities. Integrating EV charging capabilities will augment the property’s value and appeal to a broader pool of potential tenants and buyers.

EVs are more cost-effective to operate compared to traditional vehicles. They offer inexpensive recharging options and produce zero local pollution while remaining silent during operation, contributing to a cleaner, greener environment.

The price gap between new EVs and conventional cars is rapidly narrowing. Government initiatives promoting the sale of cheaper EV models in Australia indicate an impending surge in electric vehicles in various buildings.

Coupling EV charging with solar power enables vehicles to charge using 100% renewable energy at zero additional cost. Committees are advised to explore the collective benefits of integrating solar panels on the roof with EV charging infrastructure in the car park.

Implementation of EV Charging in Apartments

The majority of EV owners charge their vehicles at home, necessitating accessible charging facilities for all strata residents.

The challenge arises from the substantial power consumption associated with EV chargers, equating to the power usage of 2.5 standard apartments. To prevent overburdening the building’s electrical capacity, leading to fuse tripping, the recommended approach is the installation of a load managed system.

This modern system involves a network of hardware and/or software to ensure the building remains within its maximum capacity. It incorporates EV distribution boards and cable trays in the car park, allowing residents to connect their individual chargers to the load managed system when ready.

The system is scalable, accommodating any number of EVs in the building simultaneously. This is a notable improvement compared to prior systems that only allowed a limited number of chargers to be installed.

A dedicated billing service oversees the system, ensuring users pay for the electricity they utilize. The billing provider reimburses the owners corporation, as the electricity comes from the common area meter.

Process for Installing EV Charging

The installation of EV charging in the car park, as it involves common property, necessitates approval from the owners. This approval can be attained during an Annual General Meeting (AGM), requiring a sustainable resolution in NSW and a standard special resolution elsewhere.

Costs for a load-managed system typically range from $30,000 to $200,000, depending on the car park’s size. Funding for this can come from a special levy, capital works fund, or through financing.

The integration of EV charging solutions in strata and body corporate properties represents a proactive step toward a sustainable and future-ready community, aligning with the global transition toward eco-friendly transportation solutions.