electric-car-stations-in-strata

Electric vehicles in strata 

Is an electric car station viable for your strata building?

Global electric vehicle sales have risen quickly over the past five years, driven by falling battery costs, fuel economy regulations and rising interest from consumers.

In 2019 more than 2.2 million new electric vehicles were sold globally, a growth of 9% from 2018. Many lawmakers throughout Europe are looking to ban vehicles powered by gas and diesel by 2030 which is further promoting interest from car companies to produce zero-emission mobility. Electric vehicles are now 25 per cent of sales for environmentally-conscious Norway.

Electric vehicles still have limitations such as a lack of range and poor charging infrastructure but this is only temporary as improvements in battery technology and use of advanced materials (to reduce weight) will soon make longer trips a reality and more and more charging stations spring up.

NSW Treasurer and Minister for Energy, Matt Kean has stated “Our aim is to increase EV sales to more than 50% of new cars sold by 2030. This means EVs will be the vast majority of new cars sold in the state by 2035.”

WHY DRIVE AN ELECTRIC CAR?

Reduce your carbon footprint

You can reduce air pollution from exhaust emissions by driving an electric vehicle. By reducing air pollution, you help to improve air quality.

Running costs

Electric vehicles have a lower running cost as the price to recharge with electricity is less than the price to refuel with petrol.

The practicalities of electric vehicles

Driving a battery electric vehicle takes a little more planning than driving a traditional fuel operated car. There are fewer charge stations available and it takes longer to charge an EV than it does to refill a petrol tank. However, the number of charge stations are steadily increasing and battery technology continues to evolve.

Car emissions and strata complexes

Exhaust emissions resulting from motor vehicles have harmful and long-lasting effects on both human health and the environment. Especially increasing concentrations of exhaust emissions in closed environments, such as car parks. In Australia, car park ventilation systems must operate at all times unless they are automatically controlled by a carbon monoxide (CO) monitoring system. By paving the way for use of electric vehicles, these harmful emissions will be reduced, and one day extinguished.

Planning for the future

More and more new strata buildings are factoring in charging stations into their car parking areas to cater for electric vehicles. A study by City of Sydney showed that 78 per cent of respondents would like EV charging stations in their blocks, and 48 per cent of those surveyed said they are seriously considering purchasing an electric vehicle within the next five years.

If you live in an older building without EV charging stations, you may wish to gauge interest from owners for consideration as a future upgrade so budgeting and planning can be organised.

If the owners corporation is interested in planning for a shared EV station located on common property, a suitably qualified expert should be engaged to determine the appropriateness and type of station, and the electricity load capacity of the building.

Owners corporations should also consider:

  • The location of the station
  • How the cost will be passed onto the user
  • The daily operation of the station
  • If there are any unintended consequences that may arise from the operation of the EV station.
  • The cost of maintenance and repair.

NSW Govt focus on electric vehicles

The NSW Government’s focus to get new buildings EV ready is via various policies such as the State Environmental Planning Policies (SEPPs) and instruments such as the National Construction Code and Apartment Design Guide.

The Government is investing $595 million to achieve its 5-step strategy to:

  1. Help people buy an EV
  2. Build the EV charging network
  3. Make it easy to drive an EV
  4. Create jobs & grow the economy
  5. Keep road funding fair & sustainable

A toolkit with case studies has been created to get existing residential and commercial buildings EV ready.

For residential, there are five important steps

  1. Surveys
  2. Energy assessments
  3. Option evaluation tailored according to building size
  4. Evaluation payment options
  5. The approval process and funding

Visit energysaver.nsw.gov.au to find the OCN designed toolkit.

Let your S+ strata manager know when you are ready to start the EV conversation at your building.

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