Electric Vehicle Charging for Strata

As the Electric Vehicle (EV) industry grows in Australia, the need to get a more proactive glance at EV charging issues and solutions for strata buildings is at large.

Not only is there a projection for EV to be 31.9% of the nations yearly vehicle sales in the next 20 years (AEMO) but there is also a projected decrease of more than 50% in energy storage costs in the next 20 years (CSIRO).

Charging the odd EV may not affect strata common area power bills significantly in the present. However, due to positive EV cost trends, it is fair to assume that common area bills will rise in response to increased EV uptake and with more vehicles “plugging in”.

Unwanted strain on key functions in strata buildings such as lift operation caused by heavy EV charging can be alleviated by smart energy solutions using Solar PV and energy storage.

Affordability of power management solutions is highly likely in the near future for both EV and energy storage and for Solar PV, its already affordable. ​

Solar PV generation coupled with energy storage is known to reduce peak demand throughout day-to-day energy use. However, it will also assist with EV charging. The benefits for Solar PV and energy storage within the EV uptake picture are:

  • Reduced stress on strata building power distribution infrastructure upon multiple EV charging bays
  • Possible direct supply for EV charging
  • Reduced carbon footprint for EV charging (as opposed to grid charging where generation comes from coal powered generators)

Installation of EV charging bays in car parks themselves is also a future topic to consider for strata managers. This can be used as a method for strata managers to control pricing on energy consumption given an integrated monitoring system, instead of vehicles being charged unmetered as they are today.

While the current costs of energy storage is still fairly high, and EV uptake is low, the evidence for projections of reduced costs and higher uptake is solid. A definite space to watch that will significantly impact strata buildings and managers. ​

As seen with Newtown’s Stucco apartment block, the movement towards Solar PV co-located with energy storage has already started. The EV charging boom for Strata is set to come soon. The question is which strata managers will be best positioned to take the lead.

For further information visit the links listed below for the corresponding topics.
CSIRO – Future Energy Storage Trends
AEMO – Electric Vehicles Insight

This article was contributed by Kulima Panapa – Wattblock. Winner of SCA Innovation of the Year, Wattblock specialises in low cost energy assessments and energy management strategies for strata buildings.

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