Strata committees in apartment buildings rush to modernize electric vehicle chargers, even with a single user

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Two parking spaces at The Horizon in Darlinghurst have become charging points for electric vehicles.Credit:Jessica Hromás

As a result, operating costs are three to four times lower than gasoline-powered cars, and with overseas automakers quickly switching to EVs and cars no longer produced domestically, Australia needs to keep up with the rhythm.

The issues for established apartment buildings, however, are where to install collective chargers for electric cars, whether there is enough electric capacity available to accommodate them, and how to introduce user-pays systems for it. ‘energy.

In the 270-apartment Horizon building in Darlinghurst, two of the visitor parking spaces have now become electric vehicle charging points, while a feasibility study is being undertaken to determine the next phase of the deployment.

“We looked at our power supply and only had it for 12 to 15 private places,” said Deborah Aitken, a member of the strata committee.

“We debated the unfairness of a first-served system, as well as ensuring tenants are included, so we decided to implement a three-phase common property charger. Modernization is always difficult, unfortunately, and you never know what will follow with the technology.

In Alexandria, Nathan Hague of the Zinc building installed a $ 30,000 infrastructure system to serve the 45 apartments, although there is currently only one electric vehicle there.

“You are making the investment to give people the ability to charge for future planning,” he said. “Some people have asked about this when considering buying the building. It will come.”

Users will pay through an Uber-style billing app, while at Waratah they pay for electricity on quarterly meter readings, as well as a quarterly fee to help contribute to the $ 5,000-6,000 cost of the. infrastructure. Others pay with their credit cards, adds Daniel Linders, executive director of Strata Choice.

“It’s really getting stronger now,” he said. “In the new Opera residences at Bennelong Point, they gave people the option to upgrade and have an EV charger and a lot of people adopted it.”

The apartment industry has also started to lobby the federal government for public support to start apartment EV renovations as they accelerate.

At the top of the Strata Managers, Strata Community Association Australasia, President Chris Duggan said that “EV charging is expected to see a change in momentum next year, as the focus is more on the strata as key solution to unlock the scalability of domestic recharging of electric vehicles ”.

“One of our goals will be to campaign for strata specific federal support to kickstart the electric vehicle modernization revolution that must occur to support the government’s net zero ambitions,” he said.

“Strata infrastructure can act as an impact multiplier and we believe it is a key strategic lever to achieve more cost effective adoption of electric vehicles. It may well be that the availability of electric vehicle charging will soon be a driver of consumer behavior – and apartment values ​​- than the availability of high-speed internet. “

A study on the future of electric vehicle charging in Sydney apartments found that 48% of respondents plan to have an electric vehicle within the next five years, 78% are in favor of installing charging and 79% would like the user to pay for the provision of individual parking spaces.

However, most buildings would require integration with the power supply of common areas – such as elevators, parking lot, foyers, and facilities – and 30 percent of the strata systems studied were at risk of overloading over the next three years.

Wattblock’s Brent Clark, who provides advice to strata committees and councils, says that while there are 31 electric vehicle models available today, there will be 58 by the end of 2022. Most buildings will start. by recharging in municipal car parks, via reservation or remote terminal lowering systems, then can be converted into individual spaces as more money is invested.

“It's about making the building sustainable,” said Brian Jackson.

“It’s about making the building sustainable,” said Brian Jackson.Credit:Janie Barrett

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“There is now a real rush to bring electric vehicle charging into apartment buildings, most likely due to the attention being paid to the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP26 in Glasgow and the publicity on the release of an electric vehicle by Rivian and its value now at $ 100 billion, “Mr. Clark said.

“Additionally, we’ve had Scott Morrison’s repositioning on EVs and the NSW government is offering incentives on EVs, which are also getting cheaper.

“Strata was at the back of the preparation but now we see buildings all over the place running to catch up. In Pyrmont, a potential tenant refused to rent a building when he found out he couldn’t charge his Tesla, and in Redfern, a landlord reserved a place on the electrical infrastructure, even though his tenant had no EV. There is more interest in this now than in solar energy.


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