Many strata committees around Australia are rushing to install electric vehicle charging facilities in their garages, despite the fact that many still have no – or only one – electric car owners. “We understand electric vehicles are coming, and we can’t ignore that,” said Brian Jackson, who is the strata committee’s treasurer that oversees the 175-unit Waratah complex in Potts Point, Sydney.

“It’s all about making the structure future-proof.  We must be prepared if we are to remain a desirable location for people to reside while also benefiting from savings and capital appreciation. We only have one individual with an electric car right now, but we’ve decided to build the infrastructure while we still have the funds and technology.”

Across the country, strata buildings are rushing to set up electric vehicle (EV) chargers in their common areas for residents, with forecasts that their availability could eventually be as coveted as high-speed internet. EV chargers are already built into the fabric of the majority of new buildings.

They’ll be ready to use when the Neue Grand in Melbourne’s St Kilda is completed in 2023, finalize with lifts that transport automobiles from the basement to actual flats up to 19-stories-tall, where they – as well as their chargers – are going to be displayed in the glass-walled garages.

“All new apartment complexes are allocating and creating arrangements for future electric car charging stations,” stated Steven Chen, who is the head of The Agency Projects section. “Most developers are attempting to achieve the best possible green star rating for their projects, and they are bulk-billing for power and purchasing it as a group to maintain costs low for residents. People are seeking energy-efficiency in their buildings these days because they know it will add value in the future.”

The benefits of electric vehicles are numerous: they are low emitters of the greenhouse gases, making them environmentally friendly and improving air quality, with carbon emissions possibly reduced by up to 90%, and they can be fueled by renewable energy sources such as wind and solar.

As a result, the running costs are 3-4 times lower than automobiles fueled by gasoline, and Australia must stay up with overseas carmakers that are swiftly transitioning to EVs and cars that are no longer produced domestically. The issues for established apartment buildings, on the other hand, including where to locate community electric car chargers, if there is sufficient spare electrical capacity to handle them, and how to implement energy user-pays systems.

Two of the guest vehicle spaces at the 270-apartment Horizon project in Darlinghurst have now been converted to EV charging stations, while a viability study is carried out to plan the next step of the deployment. “When we looked at our electricity supply, we realized we only had sufficient for 12-15 private places,” said Deborah Aitken, a member of the strata committee.

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