September 29, 2023
Apartment EV Charging FAQs
As the world shifts towards a more sustainable future, EVs have become a prominent part of our transportation landscape. For apartment complexes and multi-unit dwellings, accommodating the needs of EV owners can be a complex endeavor. Fortunately, there are solutions available to address various charging scenarios and provide both convenience and sustainability. Below are some FAQs for a better understanding of apartment EV charging.
Key questions we ask you before installing EV chargers is as follows:
- Does your building run off individual or common power?
- Do you want the charging stations installed in every parking spot or in a common parking bay?
1. What hardware do I need? Is it compatible with my vehicle?
You need a smart charger for your EV. Smart chargers can communicate with software for billing and load management. Generally, we find 7kW AC charging stations are recommend as they provide 40kms of range per hour of charge and take a minimal amount of power from the boards, meaning you can scale the infrastructure out to every apartment owners bay.
2. Do I need tethered or universal – what’s the difference?
Tethered chargers have a permanently attached cable, while universal chargers require you to use your own cable. The choice depends on your preferences and convenience
3. Can I put it on my wall in the garage?
Yes, you can install a charger on the garage wall if it’s within reach of your EV’s parking spot
4. Can I use an existing socket for the charger?
It is recommended to have a dedicated charging station installed by a professional for safety and efficiency. Using an existing socket may not provide the necessary power or meet safety standards
5. How much does the hardware cost?
Hardware costs can vary depending on the brand and features of the charger. Our popular EV charger, Ocular LTE, starts at $899
6. Do I need software?
Yes, software is necessary for billing, load management, and user access control
7. Can you perform the installation?
Our trained and qualified electricians are able to perform all EV chargers
8. What is involved in the installation?
Installation involves setting up the charger, connecting it to a power source, and configuring software settings
9. How much does the installation cost?
This is difficult to estimate as it depends on a variety of factors. For a communal EV charging, this would be a site by site situation, depending on how many EV chargers are needed, the infrastructure, etc. For 5 chargers, the estimate would be $4000-$8000.
For individual EV charging, the building must first install ‘backbone’ infrastructure, then each resident would pay for a charger to be installed to their car bay.
The NSW Climate and Energy Action has an accurate cost estimator: https://www.energy.nsw.gov.au/business-and-industry/programs-grants-and-schemes/electric-vehicles/electric-vehicle-ready/building
1. What does the software do?
The software manages user access, monitors charging sessions, handles billing, and provides additional features like scheduling and load management
2. How does the billing feature work on a user level?
Users are typically billed based on the amount of electricity consumed during their charging sessions. The software tracks usage and calculates costs accordingly
3. Does the body corporate have visibility over this?
Yes, the body corporate or property management can have access to the software to monitor charging activity and collect revenue
4. Does the body corporate get reimbursed?
Yes – according to the tariff rate that body corporate chooses.
5. How long does it take till it comes back into the account?
We do a monthly re-imbursement.
6. How does a user sign on?
Drivers will use the mobile app and scan a QR code or an RFID swipe card if there is no reception in the car park. They need to make an account with Exploren and register their payment details before using the chargers.
7. What if there is no internet in the basement?
RFID swipe cards should be used, which can be linked to your Exploren account
8. Can someone use my charger if I am not there and take my electricity?
Users typically need to authenticate themselves to start a charging session. If it is in your personal bay, a user will not be able to charge if the charger is setup for personal use.
9. How much does it cost and is it recurring?
$175 a year
10. What other features come with the software?
Exploren comes with a variety of features such as:
- Charger status
- Charger communications
- Hardware Status
- Clock Aligned Consumption
- Idle period detection
- Live charging session recording
- Fault notification e-mails
11. Do you take a cut of the money earnt?
No. Our credit card payment processor takes $0.30 + 1.75% per charging session. We can choose to forward these costs onto the drivers themselves with a ‘Connection Fee’, or the owner of the charger may choose to take on the cost.
1. How do we make sure the building doesn’t trip from the power usage?
Load management helps distribute power among multiple chargers to prevent overloading the building’s electrical system
2. How does load management work?
Load management software prioritises and regulates charging sessions based on available power capacity, ensuring that the building’s electrical capacity is not exceeded.
3. What is the purpose of load management?
Load management ensures that the charging infrastructure operates efficiently without causing electrical issues or disruptions in the building’s power supply
4. What is the benefit of Load Management?
The Load Management allows your building to scale your charging infrastructure whilst protecting your building’s power from tripping. This means you avoid costly power upgrades whilst being able to add more charging stations to meet the needs of your apartment owners.
5. How many charging stations can be load managed?
Up to 250 EV charging stations can be load managed via the Ocular Flexi Load Controller.
If you have a requirement for greater load management, we can recommend the Exploren Nucleus Load controller that can load manage an unlimited amount of EV charging stations.
1. Who can install the chargers and backbone?
It is required that a licensed electrician is to install EV chargers. Please contact your building electrician for site plans and to gauge an understanding of the electrical infrastructure and capacity. EVSE Australia also recommends licensed and experienced electrical partners to provide a full turnkey ev charging solution.
2. How much will this cost?
The cost of installing chargers will depend on the type of charger and the infrastructure of the site it is installed. The recommended AC Charging hardware tends to be 7kW EV Charging stations that sit between the $1000 – $2000 range. The main cost is dependent on the installation of the cabling and works from the switchboards to the charging stations. Please get in contact with a licensed electrician to understand the scope of works and associated costs.
3. Do you need to come off the switch room?
Yes. If your basement carpark runs off common power, we will run the power from this switchroom.
What we have found provides a more cost-effective solution for a full-scale deployment is to run power to a dedicated EV Charging distribution board near the charging locations. This means that the installation of chargers will be cost-effective from this board now and for the future.
4. What will the site inspection involve?
Site inspections are advisable to assess the specific needs of your property and plan the installation. They involve evaluating electrical capacity, charger placement, and any necessary modifications to the property’s electrical system. Generally, you want to install a dedicated EV Distribution board close to the location of the charging stations or per level, to reduce installation costs. This is assessed in the initial site assessment.
Have any more questions? Contact us:
Phone: 1300 406 213