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Strat Title Buildings Getting EV Ready
Charging in an apartment car park. Photo by Majella Waterworth.


New South Wales Helps Strata Title Buildings Get EV Ready

As part of policies to help New South Wales reduce emissions, the state government is providing tools to help strata title buildings get EV ready. These tools include a simple 5 step program to help body corporates in their decision making processes. Note that a motion to install EV chargers can pass if less than 50% of owners oppose it.

This helps to address some of the difficulties faced by Queensland apartment dwellers.

Step 1 — Survey residents to ascertain EV charging needs and attitudes of the tenants and owners. The survey template provided begins with this succinct introduction: There is a global shift away from petrol and diesel cars to electric vehicles (EVs). It really is not a question of if, but when, we will need to provide EV charging in our building. The NSW government has changed the legislation to allow a sustainability infrastructure resolution to install EV charging, making it simpler for us to start down this path.

The questions asked are a good beginning for the EVSE conversation.

Step 2 — Do an energy assessment. Once again, a handy template is included. What will the impacts of EV charging be on the electrical load. Critical elements of an energy assessment include identifying: existing circuit breaker sizes; historical peak energy loads; energy usage patterns; energy efficiency actions to reduce load and create extra electrical capacity (such as lighting upgrades); and calculating spare electrical capacity to accommodate EV chargers.

Step 3 — Evaluate the options. Each option has benefits and drawbacks and each situation has to be considered. An individual approach might work for a small building with no existing EV charging infrastructure. 75% of apartment buildings in NSW have less than ten apartments. Where there are enough common property car spaces, chargers could be placed in these areas leading to shared use on common property. A modular (phased) approach, installing an “EV charging backbone,” is best for small and medium buildings with limited budget, where demand is expected to be low over the next decade, providing a quick and easy start.

For new builds, it might be better to have a whole-of-building infrastructure installation. This future proofing approach is best for large buildings with high demand.

Much more detail on these steps and other steps can be found here.

The policy also outlines a list of billing options for cost recovery, and advice working through the installation process. A list of charger providers and installers is also given.

The NSW policy and accompanying advice is based on the assumption that EVs will be only 10% of new car sales by 2030. My research would indicate that we will achieve this level of penetration within 2 years in Australia — some projections indicate that we may reach this level within 12 months. Even still, the government advice is good and will facilitate those body corporates seeking to future proof their buildings for the EV revolution.

Featured photo by Majella Waterworth.

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David Waterworth is a retired teacher who divides his time between looking after his grandchildren and trying to make sure they have a planet to live on. He is long on Tesla [NASDAQ:TSLA].


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