Why Does Electric Vehicle Charging Make Sense in Apartment Buildings?

An EV Owner charging his EV Car in a strata building Electric Vehicle Charging bay.

Inner-city living often means limited space for parking. This can be a major hurdle for apartment residents considering electric vehicles (EVs). However, with the growing popularity of EVs, there’s a solution that benefits everyone: installing EV charging stations in apartment buildings. Just look at Australia’s largest cities, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Adelaide. 

Where do People Charge Electric Vehicles?

Studies consistently show that home charging is king for EVs.  Around 80% of EV owners prefer the convenience of plugging in at home overnight. This is due to both convenience and lower cost. Occasionally they will use public or work charging infrastructure to top up their charge.

10.3% of Australians live in apartments as of 2023. This makes  parking in apartment buildings a crucial piece of the EV charging infrastructure puzzle. As a result, EV drivers who live in multi-dwelling residential apartments are demanding more than ever, to have access to EV charging bays as part of their amenities.

Benefits and Opportunities of Electric Vehicle Charging in Apartment Buildings

Imagine a world where residents can charge their EVs  conveniently and securely without leaving the building.  EV charging in apartment buildings offers a range of benefits:

  • Attract and retain residents: EV charging is becoming a deciding factor for renters and apartment buyers .With Australia’s uptake of EVs more than doubling in 2023 compared to 2022, with the total number of EVs on Australian roads now exceeding 180,000, this growth continues a doubling trend of the new EV market in Australia every year since 2020. It’s moving from a “nice to have” option, to a “must have” property amenity – and older buildings are retrofitting to catch up.
  • Offering EV charging shows you’re future-proof and cater to environmentally conscious residents. It also helps add Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) points to a building’s sustainability ratings. With more and more residents prioritising sustainability in their living decisions, green infrastructure such as EV charging will make your building more attractive and investible.
  • Increased property value: Studies suggest buildings with EV charging infrastructure can command higher rents and property values by up to 12%.
  • Reduced reliance on fossil fuels: Making EV charging accessible directly reduces greenhouse gas emissions from apartment buildings.
  • Potential for additional revenue streams: Building managers can explore revenue models through charging fees or partnerships with charging point providers.

Challenges and Solutions: Making EV Charging a Reality

While the benefits are clear, there are challenges to consider when installing EV charging in apartment buildings, both existing and new developments:

Electric Vehicle is charging at Wilsons EV Charging bay.
  • Limited space: Parking in apartment buildings is often tight. Carefully planned designated EV charging spots are essential. Smart planning in smart buildings with smart parking technology to assist are very helpful in these scenarios.
  • Cost of installation: The upfront cost of installing charging stations can be a hurdle. Installing EV charging at the outset of planning new development or building stage is the most sensible and economical option. In fact, since October 2023, the Australian National Construction Code (NCC) has required new apartment buildings to ensure the provision of base infrastructure for EV charging, including future cabling needs and control-point installation at the time of construction.
  • Studies show that installing EV charging as part of a new build comes in far cheaper. This is somewhere between one-sixth and one-quarter of the cost of retrofitting an existing building. 
  • Government rebates and incentives can help ease the financial burden. For example, in NSW there is a government grant program to assist residential apartment complexes fund the cost of scoping and installing EV charging infrastructure.
  • Retrofitting existing buildings: Older buildings may require electrical upgrades to support the additional power demands of EV charging stations. This can add to cost, so look at systems that enable efficient sharing of EV charging bays, like smart parking bollards, to keep the electrical upgrades to a minimum.
  • Fair access and preventing ICEing: Ensuring all residents with EVs have access to EV charging spots and preventing ICEing, (when non-EVs park in  designated EV charging bays) is crucial.

Smart Parking Bollards assist with EV charging

Smart parking bollard technology, like those offered by thatsMyspot, address many of the challenges listed above:

Two men installed a smart parking bollard in Building Parking located in Queensland.
  • Space optimisation: Smart parking bollards retract into the ground when not in use, maximising valuable parking space.
  • Retrofit-friendly: They can be installed in existing car parks without extensive construction work. Wireless and powered by rechargeable batteries, they require minimal building intervention.
  • Ensuring fair access: Residents can reserve EV charging spots through a smartphone app, preventing “ICEing” by non-EVs. Smart bollards integrate with access control systems, allowing authorised users to reserve and use designated charging spots.
  • Cost-effective solution: Smart parking bollards offer a cost-effective solution to efficiently optimising sharing of EV charging bays, compared to adding more EV  traditional fixed charging stations.

Power Up the Future with Smart Electric Vehicle Charging Solutions

Apartment buildings play a key role in accelerating EV adoption in urban areas.  While challenges exist,  EV charging in apartment buildings is no longer a question of “if” but “how.”  By embracing innovative solutions like smart parking bollards, building managers and strata communities can create a future-proof environment that benefits everyone.

Ready to power up your parking?  Contact ThatsMySpot today and explore how smart parking bollards can transform your apartment building into an EV-friendly zone.