Getting ready for electric vehicles in your strata property
With the rise in sales of electric vehicles (EVs) in Australia, strata owners need to be prepared for the growth of EVs.
The environmental pluses of EVs have also added to their popularity immensely. In 2021, then-Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor released a plan to deliver Australia’s target of net zero emissions by 2050.
Under the Albanese Government’s Driving Australia plan, the role of EVs in reaching net zero looks set to be even further enhanced in the near future.
EVs are tipped to be a major part of Australia’s move towards sustainability, with most car manufacturers expected to shift to manufacturing electric vehicles over the coming decade.
This, along with the price of fuel surging, there is growing urgency towards alternatives, such as electric vehicles.
Sales of EVs in Australia have tripled in the past 12 months with more than 20,000 being sold. The push has been accelerated with state government rebates and a competitive market.
NSW has the largest number of sales – 7430, followed by Victoria with 6396.
At the same time there are still limited EV charging stations and, besides public charging stations, there will be a major demand for stations to be in new or existing buildings, such as strata properties..
A number of local governments are requiring many new property developments to be “EV ready”.
Developers will have to consider that, besides normal electrical usage, their buildings will need to accommodate the power used by EVs and, of course, stations within the car park.
But what does this EV surge mean to existing residential strata properties and their owners?
It’s estimated that nearly 50% of those living in apartments in Sydney plan to have EVs within the next few years – a survey by strata energy adviser Wattblock shows that 83% of people are interested in installing EV charging stations.
Installing individual EV charging in few spaces in underground residential car parks is fairly easy, with a number of qualified electricians able to do the job. Likewise, it’s relatively cheap to install.
However, to provide chargers for nearly every parking space remains an expensive and complex task. There are professional advisers in Australia able to assist. Likewise, new technologies are making mass stations in car parks more feasible.
There are a few issues when establishing a large number of EV charging stations in an apartment parking area.
The biggest issue is who pays for the electricity? Not every strata owner may want to have a charging station and want to pay for others to do so.
Surveys indicate that many strata owners want to see user-pays arrangement for individual car spaces. This may require dedicated metered supplies if metering hardware is not built into the EV charging units.
The additional power usage can also be an issue. The power supply to strata apartments is limited, with little spare capacity available.
The body corporate or owners corporation will need to discuss this with the strata manager, who, in turn, would need to discuss it with the building’s electrical engineer.
The good news is most EV owners charge their vehicles overnight, when the demand of normal-high power usage is less.
Again, this may require professional advice on making the power system more flexible.
Security can also be an issue. There are smart charging systems available which can be locked and unlocked remotely.
There’s no doubt EVs are the future of sustainable transportation and strata owners will need to get onboard – the only question is how and when are they going to be ready?
This article was supplied by CHU Underwriting Agencies
Phone: 1300 361 263
Important note: CHU Underwriting Agencies Pty Ltd (ABN 18 001 580 070, AFS Licence No: 243261) acts under a binding authority as agent of the insurer QBE Insurance (Australia) Limited (ABN 78 003 191 035, AFS Licence No: 239545). Terms, conditions, limits, and exclusions apply to the products referred to above. Any advice in this article is general advice only and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before making a decision to acquire any product(s) or to continue to hold any product we recommend that you consider whether it is appropriate for your circumstances and read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement (‘PDS’), Financial Services Guide (‘FSG’), and the Target Market Determination (‘TMD’) which can be viewed on the CHU website or obtained by contacting CHU directly.