EV Charge WA News

Mon 07 September 2020

EVs and Apartment living in WA

If you are looking to go EV in Western Australia and live in a multi-unit dwelling such as an apartment or townhouse, you may wish to install charging equipment. To do so, you will need to work with the property association and/or strata management. If you are renting, you likely will also need to consult the unit owner.

EVCHARGEWA can supply the hardware, make any necessary electrical upgrades through our recommended licensed electrical contractors, we also manage the service through our CP-link charge management software.

You will need to consider the following steps:

Step 1: Understand Your Options and Electrical Requirements

Contact your property association and/or strata management to discuss installation of a charger, ownership of equipment, how payment will be handled, and how common area elements may be affected (if at all).

Some questions to initially consider:

  • What, if any, parts of the owners association governing documents pertain to this installation?
  • Who will own and maintain the charger(s)?
  • Who will select and hire the necessary licensed contractor(s) to perform the work?
  • Who will pay for the installation of the charger(s) and any required electrical upgrades?
  • Who will pay for the electricity used to charge the EV(s) and how will payments be made?
  • What will happen if the owner of the EV moves out or ceases to own an EV
  • What are the terms and conditions for the removal of resident-owned charger(s)?
  • Where will the charger(s) be located?
  • What, if any, common area elements are affected and how?
  • How many present or prospective EV owners live in the building?
  • What is the best charging system? What level of charger and how many charge spots will be useful at present and in the future?

There are three basic options for EV charger ownership.

Option 1: Individually owned and used by tenant Under this option, the tenant works with the property owner to understand how a charging station may be installed at your parking bay and how electricity may be billed. The tenant may use the building's electric service under agreement with the property owner

Option 2: Shared charging station owned by the property owner(s) Under this option, one or more shared charging stations installed in a common area for tenant use is owned by the property owner. The property manager may connect the charging station to an existing service panel, a new service panel, or under a new electric service. The property owner may set a fee for use.

Option 3: Shared charging station owned by a third party. EVCHARGEWA may provide hardware, install, and operate a charging station. Under this option, EVCHARGEWA will reach an agreement with the property owner. EVCHARGEWA will bill the EV drivers for use and reimburse the property manager for the cost of electricity.

Understanding electrical requirements and costs, especially for a large building, may require the assistance of an electrical design consultant. A licensed electrical contractor will also be required to perform the necessary electrical and structural work for installing the charging station(s). If electrical service upgrades are required, the selected contractor will work with EVCHARGEWA on upgrade options. We encourage clients to engage other contractors for cost estimates.

The implementation of EV Charging infrastructure before a building is constructed will always be the most cost effective solution. If you are looking to build apartments or townhouses anywhere in Western Australia you should get in touch with us here.

EVCHARGEWA has a Perth based licensed builder and electrician to discuss your requirements pre-construction.

Step 2: Installation and service

Customers or tenants may charge with a Level 1 charging cord if a standard grounded outlet is installed at their parking bay. The quicker Level 2 charging station will require installation by a licensed electrician. Every building is different and the electrical expenses must be considered. We can recommend suitably skilled licensed electricians. You can view our recommended Level 2 charge points here

Some things to consider:

  • Installation costs are generally more expensive the further the charge station is from the electrical service panel.
  • Installing electrical wiring through walls or underground will increase costs.
  • Purchasing and installing faster Level 2 charging is generally more expensive than Level 1.
  • Step 3: Select Rate or Payment Option

CP-link charge management software provided by EVCHARGEWA is the best charge management service and billing solution for multi-unit dwellings. If you wish to participate in our EVCHARGEWA CP-link charge management software, please notify your property association and/or strata management, your chosen electrical contractor if not a preferred EVCHARGEWA installer, and EVCHARGEWA early during the planning process.

Option 1: Tenant owned charging station under tenant's existing utility account

Example: If you will own the charging station and it is feasible to connect the charging station to your utility meter, you will be billed for EV charging under your current utility bill.

Option 2: Tenant owned charging station under separately metered EV charging account

Example: If you will own the charging station it may not be feasible to connect a charging station from your parking bay to your utility meter. In some cases, your utility meter may be far from your parking bay. Sub-metering is an option here.

Option 3: The property owner or manager/strata installs and owns the EV charger

Example: Metered under existing commercial service A licensed electrician will be required for installation of the charger behind a common-area meter. Residents may start using the charger once installation is complete. The property owner/association may charge a fee for using the EV charger. Fees may be handled directly by the owner/association, or through an account with a third party.

Fortunately, as EV adoption increases, more apartment and townhouse buildings around Western Australia will begin to recognise the need for EV charging. We hope to see some guides and incentives to help residents and tenants from local government. 

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