EV Charging at Strata Properties: Facts & Myths

As Electronic Vehicles (EV) become more prominent in society the need to have readily available charging stations is increasing.

It is probable that strata Owners, Tenants and Visitors will one day view charging stations within apartment buildings as the norm.

While the demand for charging stations is currently limited, it is important that bodies corporate are well equipped to deal with requests for installing EV charging stations at properties.

Much has been written about issues with installing EV chargers in apartment buildings and many opinions expressed that have a resulted in a set of myths.

This article will debunk some of the most common falsehoods about EV charging at strata properties so your body corporate community can make an informed decision on whether you want to install EV chargers at your property.

Myth: The body corporate would have to undertake expensive energy supply upgrades

Apartment buildings are designed for peak energy capacity. Typically, in Queensland, this could be a hot summer afternoon with air-conditioners all on at once. This is not the time to charge an EV.  Outside this peak demand period there is more than enough energy available to charge any number of EVs in the foreseeable future.  It is simply a matter of using load or energy usage control, like a simple timer to tap into the off-peak capacity, or use a demand management system to switch off the EV charger if the pre-set building demand is exceeded.

Myth: Fast Charging is what is necessary for apartments

Just like a mobile phone, you can keep your EV ‘tank’ full by simple top-ups of electricity when not in use. In fact, most EV owners charge their vehicle using a regular power point or EV specific medium capacity charger.

Where the body corporate may choose to share EV resources on common property, a higher capacity charger maybe of greater benefit but not an absolute necessity.

Myth: Charging an EV is expensive

In reality, the cost of charging an EV is significantly cheaper than filing a car with petrol or diesel. Just like petrol, prices vary from station to station. Introductory pricing on Chargefox ultra-rapid chargers is $0.40 per kWh, while others on the network range from free up to around $40 for a full charge

Myth: The body corporate cannot bill people for energy usage

Under the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) exempt selling guidelines, bodies corporates are deemed ‘exempt’ so there is no requirement to register or have a licence to on-sell energy.

So a body corporate can bill people for energy usage from EV chargers and there are multiple ways in which to do this.

Myth: You can’t charge an EV on a regular power point

You can absolutely charge an EV from a regular power point, it just takes a long time which is why most EV owners will simply leave their vehicle to charge overnight.

However, there are real limits to how many EVs can plug in to a normal power circuit, which is where energy assessments and load control are used to identify, add to, and protect those circuits.

Myth: EV’s are a fad that won’t take off in Australia

It is predicted that by 2024, the price for an electric vehicle in Australia will be on par with a regular car and many newer developments are including EV charging stations or provisioning for their easy installation in the future.

One study in Sydney last year showed that 78 per cent of apartment block owners would like EV chargers in their block, and almost half of apartment dwellers thinking about buying an electric car within the next 5 years.

For more information on Electric Vehicles and Strata Properties check out some of our previous blog posts:

Should Our Committee Be Looking To Install EV Chargers?

Electric Vehicle Chargers in Strata

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