New report lays out challenges for electric vehicles in strata
A new report by peak property body Strata Community Association (SCA) has outlined the unique challenges that strata buildings face in Australia as the world transitions to electric vehicles.
The report, titled Electric Vehicles in Strata – Phase 2: Challenges, expands on findings from SCA’s Phase 1 report released in December last year, and provides a comprehensive resource for the industry and apartment owners.
With one in five Australians living in strata-titled properties and global electric vehicle sales expected to grow by 35 per cent in 2023, SCA national vice-president and chair of the group’s EV taskforce Josh Baldwin said there was an “urgent need for comprehensive support for EV planning and infrastructure development in strata buildings”.
“By equipping our strata communities with efficient and accessible EV infrastructure, we can further encourage EV adoption, and position the strata industry as a leader in sustainable development,” Mr Baldwin said.
Among the key challenges facing greater integration of EVs into strata settings outlined in the report are complexities surrounding owners’ corporation (OC) voting thresholds and striking a balance for renters between consumer demand and owner commitments to EV infrastructure.
And, while the National Construction Code now requires that new buildings must be “EV ready” as of October 1, 2022, almost all older buildings in Australia have not been built with the level of electrical infrastructure sufficient to support additional load for EV charging.
But in laying down the challenge to government and industry, the report highlights that current emissions reduction targets and net-zero commitments won’t be possible without the integration of “the one in five” Australian residents who live in strata complexes.
As part of its list of “policy priorities”, the SCA report recommends that strata buildings and complexes are integrated into “electrification strategies at the same pace as freestanding homes”, and that funding programs are established for the provision of “backbone infrastructure”.
It also called on insurers and fire, rescue and safety technicians to work closely with SCA and other service providers to ensure that policies and programs were “laid out in an effective and equitable manner for strata communities”, and that all levels of government consult “proactively and rigorously” to produce policy outcomes that enable strata residents to “access and benefit from electrification programs”.
SCA national president Chris Duggan said that collaboration was critical among strata stakeholders, government bodies and industry experts, to overcome the extensive barriers outlined in the report.
“We call upon all parties to join together and explore innovative solutions that will pave the way for a pragmatic approach and more sustainable future for strata communities everywhere,” Mr Duggan said.
“By harnessing the collective efforts of owners, residents, industry professionals and policymakers, we can take full advantage of the unique benefits that strata living presents.”
“Together, we can awaken a sleeping giant and unlock the unlimited potential of strata, to create thriving, sustainable communities, and set a global standard for environmentally conscious living.” •
Read the full report: strata.community/electric-vehicles-in-strata