Active is a member of the SCA Strata Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Taskforce (SEVIT) and have been working alongside the SCA, and other members of the taskforce, to help develop submissions to Government and prepare tools to aid members in understanding this very complex area.
Retrofitting Electric Vehicle Charging (EVC) will likely be one of the major challenges facing Strata Managers in the coming years. Requests may be small in number, but already create issues, and this is only going to increase as demand grows.
Every building has different needs but there are some common considerations that will help you develop a solution.
The most important first step is understanding what your stakeholders need when it comes to EVC. Things to consider are:
• How many are actively engaged in purchasing an EV today?
• What is the timeframe for purchase, 6-12 months? Or 12 months -2 years?
When you understand what is needed you are much better placed to make informed, strategic decisions. Will one common property charger be sufficient? Do you need to develop a solution for every car park? There is a lot of time and money between these extremes, so getting this right upfront is crucial.
An EV charging installation may create an increased insurance risk. Contact your insurance provider for policy and insurance advise.
Fire services are facing many challengers when it comes to EV fires. You will need to work closely with your fire services to ensure your building meets relevant requirements.
EV’s are heavier than an average car. You may need a construction engineer to ensure that car park concrete is constructed to a weight bearing standard that meets the increased weight, particularly in older buildings.
Our recent experience here has been that each building has needed a range of changes to by laws and other resolutions to be passed, so preparing for that is important.
Residents often have a gap in knowledge regarding EV charging in the early stages of an EV purchase. This can often lead to Range Anxiety, a common concern among EV drivers that the vehicle has insufficient energy to last the desired distance. For most situations, lower cost and lower electricity consuming chargers will typically meet their needs. Remember, cars in buildings are usually parked overnight, therefore have more charging time available between uses.
Available Electricity Supply
Every building has a maximum allowable electricity supply. This is the total electrical load amount that the building can draw at only one point and drawing more will cause an outage. Knowing your building’s maximum demand is critical. After that, and equally important, is knowing your building’s actual electricity demand. The delta between what is available and what is used determines what is available for EV charging and informs your design. This leads into load management.
Load Management Solution
A Load Management System (LMS) is a critical component of any installation design, regardless of your solution. The LMS is there to keep an eye on every charging session to make sure that the EV load does not exceed the load available. It then controls the chargers, switching them off and on or reducing supply to protect the building’s maximum capacity and stop a potential overload.
Paying for Charging
An important question with EV Charging is who is to pay for the electricity used. This is very, very important when the power supply is connected to common property supply. All charging solutions should be user pays. Active can help you through the options for this.
You will hear the term “EV Ready” a lot. Essentially this means that every car park in the building is provisioned in some form to have an EV charger installed. The trouble is that it means different things to different people in different places.
This could mean a connection on the Main Switchboard, all the way through to cabling laid to each car park. Each extra step in the EV Readiness continuum adds additional cost to the buildings infrastructure.
Solution design does not start with the EV charger. Too many investigations start with the charger itself and work backwards from there. Much of the confusion with EV Charging comes from the multitude of devices on offer. Get the design right and charger selection becomes a much more straightforward exercise.
Where to from here?
Active are here to help you through this process from end to end, to guide you in what you need to do, and to help you overcome any hurdles. Get in touch with us at sales@ activeutilities.com.au to receive a free copy of our Strata Managers Guide to EV Charging.