Can I own an electric car (EV) in Australia if I live in an apartment?
How to charge your electric car in an apartment and enjoy the benefits of electric car ownership
A common misconception is that EV charging can be difficult for people that live in an apartment and also want to own an electric car. Given the rising population growth in Australia’s capital cities and a shift toward apartment living, this is a potential sticking point for many drivers considering a shift towards an electric car.
Apartment Strata Groups and Body corporates will often stand in the way of installing a simple electric car charger within the apartment complex if it is just tapping into the common power supply.
With this in mind, there are a few different ways to approach apartment EV charging to ensure that you can charge your new electric car in your apartment without any hassle from your apartments owner’s corporation.
In some apartments, it may be entirely possible to connect your apartment EV charger directly to your apartment’s meter. This means that any electric car charging you do for your EV will register as part of your overall apartment’s consumption and billed accordingly. This is a very simple solution, but not always simple or realistic if you live in the Penthouse of a 60 storey apartment.
Stepping up from this would be to install an apartment electric car charger, which linked to an individual NMI approved check meter, which could be used specifically for billing purposes. This process is similar to the many gas or electricity retailers that take a reading from these meters to determine your quarterly charges. This way you can charge your electric car in your apartment or townhouse and be appropriately billed for your electricity usage, which should satisfy most apartment owners corporations.
The third option is to make use of a smart apartment electric car charging system, which integrates billing and user identification as well as back-end cloud management to provide a well rounded future proof solution. A smart apartment ev charger system would integrate the EV chargers into a smart controller hub, which not only brings the chargers online, but can also add the benefit of dynamic and static load balancing which can be crucially important when several electric vehicles return home to charge simultaneously. This system has the ability to maximize the buildings existing power rather than a need for costly upgrades, which could blow out the costs of a standard system.
So as you can see, whilst an Apartment EV Charging system is not quite as simple as a home installation, there are several options which can ensure that apartment or townhouse living does not exclude you from enjoying the cost and environmental benefits of owning and an electric car in Australia. With some great lower cost electric cars heading to the Australian market in the coming months such as the Renault Zoe, Hyundai Ioniq, Nissan Leaf and Tesla Model 3, these services will be in high demand for both exisiting and new apartment blocks and developments.