Installing EV charging in apartment blocks: 6 success factors

Property Management | 20 March 2023

Come in, internal combustion engine. Your time is up.

With the ban on new petrol and diesel cars fast approaching, the focus is firmly on electric vehicles, or EVs.

If you manage an apartment block, you’re probably already getting questions from residents about how they can charge theirs.

Like most people, they want the convenience of charging up at home. But when parking for apartments is in separate bays or a communal car park, it’s not always simple.

In fact, without the right approach, it can be a downright headache.

But don’t fret. With our accumulated decades of experience helping businesses install EV chargers and smart energy systems, we’ve got your back.

Here are six things to think about when you’re planning an EV chargepoint rollout in your buildings.

1. Get your residents on board

Some residents might already have EVs.

Others may be keen but put off by a lack of charging facilities.

And others might be resistant, not quite ready to give up their fossil-fuelled gas guzzlers just yet.

With that in mind, a plan to roll out EV chargepoints might not get everybody behind it from the get-go.

To win residents over, it’s important to consult them and keep them in the picture at every step.

Too little information could leave you fielding constant questions. Even worse, residents might draw their own conclusions. Err on the side of too much information; it’s almost always better than too little.

A communication plan will help you outline how you’ll engage your residents and ensure you don’t leave any information gaps.

The consultation will help residents feel listened to and give you insight into:

  • How many chargepoints you’ll need.
  • How willing residents are to invest their own money.
  • Any specific requirements or concerns residents may have.

Understand the legal structures between leaseholders and freeholders

People with a freehold and their own driveway have it easy. They can do as they please.

For leaseholders, it’s more complicated.

Sometimes, a parking space is demised to the leaseholder, essentially meaning they’re responsible for it.

In other cases, spaces aren’t demised to leaseholders, but the freeholder assigns the right to use a space to individual residents.

And in other cases, spaces are first-come, first-served, and there’s no sense of ownership on the part of the residents.

Each case is different and it has an impact on how the chargepoints and infrastructure are paid for. In some cases, residents pay (with the help of a grant). In other cases, you can meet the cost through the service charge.

Make sure you understand the legal structures you’re dealing with before you get going.

3. Be clear on how residents will pay for the electricity they use

You need to think about how people pay for the electricity they use to charge their cars.

If there’s a communal electricity meter, you could put in an additional meter between the communal supply and each chargepoint. Then it’s simple to work out how much you need to bill each person.

Or, if residents have their own electricity meters, you could hook up chargepoints to individual supplies. Ideally the chargepoints should be close to the apartments.

And a third option is a pay as you go system, like the type you see in supermarket car parks. This is simple because a chargepoint doesn’t need to be linked to any one resident. The downside is you’re tied to a particular supplier.

4. Make the most of the grants

Installing EV chargepoints is a great – essential, even – investment for your apartment blocks.

The time will come when chargepoints are standard. An apartment without access to one will be tricky to sell.

But putting them in does require up-front investment.

At the moment, grants are available. The government needs to turbocharge the rollout of EV chargepoints to meet its net zero targets, so it’s helping people pay for them.

Residents can get up to £300 or 75% off the cost, whichever is lower. As a property manager, you can access the grant too, on behalf of your residents. And you can also get money towards any infrastructure you need to put in, such as posts and signage.

These grants won’t be around forever though, so it’s important to get in quick.

5. Think long term

Even if you only have a handful of residents asking for a chargepoint right now, it’s worth thinking longer term.

With the upcoming ban on petrol and diesel cars, EVs are here to stay. Demand for chargepoints is only going to go in one direction.

It can be less hassle to install a decent number in one hit, rather than do a few now and then have to go through it all again in a years’ time.

What’s more, the grants may not be available second time around and you or your residents will have to front the full cost.

To help you forecast, why not use your residents’ consultation to ask how many plan on getting an EV within the next five years.

6. Find an end-to-end solution

Rolling out EV chargepoints for your properties involves several moving parts. When your install gets underway, you can end up working with a variety of contractors.

  • Electricians
  • Engineers
  • Electrical vehicle charging equipment suppliers

Working with an end-to-end provider such as Powerverse brings all these functions under one roof.

Because everyone is part of the same team, it’s all coordinated. There’s no risk of the electrician turning up before you’ve got the sockets or chargepoints not fitting on the posts.

Why Powerverse

From pre-setup to ongoing maintenance, at Powerverse we offer a fully managed chargepoint service.

We don’t just install and go. We can be your long-term chargepoint partner, ensuring you always have access to top-notch customer service and the latest charger technology. Find out more about the Powerverse EV charging solution for Property Managers.

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