Electric Vehicle Charging in Apartment Buildings (Strata)

Strata apartment building with EV charging stations

The main challenge: Buildings power supply vs EV charging load

You may think, why can’t the new owners of the electric vehicle just pay for their own chargers to be installed on their own meter?

There are several problems to solve:

Firstly and foremost, almost every strata building we have examined does not have sufficient power supply for every parking space to have an operating EV Charger without tripping the power supply to the whole building. You might be able to get away with the first couple of EV Chargers, but at some point you are going to need a solution. Most solutions will apply some guides to the owners on what type of charger they can install, how the cables are connected to the main switchboard and how they pay for the electricity used.

It is recommended that the building has a strategy and roadmap in place for EV Charging before they give permission to an owner to install a charging device.

If there is already power running to the parking spaces and each space has a power outlet, it is quite common that this power is run from the common property meter. This means that the whole building will be sharing the cost of charging the vehicle.


3 Potential Solutions

The feasibility and costs of each solution will vary greatly depending on the existing power supply and electrical infrastructure, the design of the parking areas and the requirements of the owners in terms of the EV charging equipment.


Visitor parking bays

Visitor parking bays in an apartment buildingOne way to get started with EV charging without committing to a bigger solution is to install EV charging equipment in the visitor parking bays. Some rules can be embedded into the charging devices which help limit the maximum use time to ensure the charging equipment can be shared.

Clearly this isn’t a long term solution, but can buy some time for the building in lieu of a larger solution.

Trickle charging only

Level 1 EV ChargerThere are different levels of EV charging which require different amounts of power. Trickle charging (level 1) is the slowest option which usually uses a regular 10 Amp power socket. In some cases we have seen that there is sufficient capacity available on the power supply for most residents to install a trickle charger without risking an overload on the power supply.

This solution is more likely to be available in smaller apartment blocks with less than 10 parking bays.

Load management systems

Jet Charge Load Management System for Strata Apartment buildingsThe only fool proof way of ensuring that your building doesn’t risk turning the lights off is introducing a ‘load management system’. The load management system has the ability to control the power draw of the EV chargers so that it does not exceed the buildings power supply.

The are several different solutions on the market varying in capability and cost. The below table outlines some of the choices:

How They Work Cost Evaluation
Branded Solutions Some EV Chargers have the capability to speak to each other via Wifi or data cable and can control the maximum power draw of all devices to a certain limit. After measuring the draw for the building and the capacity on the power supply you can set that limit to reduce the risk of exceeding the building’s power supply. All chargers must be connected on the same electrical circuit (common property meter) so payment software is required on the charger for users to pay for electricity.


Tesla Gen 3

$$ Pros:
– Cheapest solutionCons:– Every owner must install the same EV Charger- Often a limit to the number of chargers that can be connected- Max power limit for the chargers has to be set lower than the busiest time for the building to ensure
3rd Party Load Management Systems A central device is installed which can communicate with any charger that is compatible with Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP). These solutions also connect CT sensors to the incoming mains so that the amount of available energy can dynamically be measured which greatly increases the charge rate of the EVs in the system.

For some smaller apartment buildings it might be possible to connect the EV chargers to individual meters, eliminating the need for a payment solution from the common area meter.


Jet Charge


$$$$ Pros:

– Increases the amount electricity available to the EV chargers (faster charging)

– Greater choice of EV chargers

– Can usually connected unlimited number of chargers



– Higher cost for additional hardware

– Potential requirement for data cable connecting to each charger


Speak to an expert about EV Charging for your building


How much does it cost to install an EV charger in an apartment?

A typical wall-mounted (level 2) electrical vehicle charger can cost anywhere from $700 to $1,500 just for the hardware. Installation will depend heavily on how the charger will be connecting to electricity.

Some considerations that impact costing:

  • Can the charger be wall mounted or is a free-stranding solution required?
  • Will a bollard need to be installed to prevent vehicles from accidentally reversing into the charger?
  • What distance a cable will need to travel to connect to the main switchboard or closest sub-distribution board?
  • Will trenching be required for the cable to pass underground?

Each installation will need to be assessed by an electrician. When creating an EV charging roadmap for a strata building often we recommend that some of the above mentioned costs can be covered by strata that will make it easier and cheaper for individual owners to connect their own chargers.

For example, a building with 15 parking bays may decide to put in 3 strategically located sub-distribution boards across the carpark so that when each parking bay wishes to connect a charger they have a simpler task and shorter cable run. This also minimises the connections required at the main switchboard and can often mean that any trenching need only be completed once.


What are the voting and strata requirements for EV charging decisions?

Strata legislation usually requires that changes to common property (including installing electric vehicle chargers in parking areas) follow specific voting requirements.

In most states a special resolution is required, meaning that no more than 25% of the votes (based on the unit entitlement set out in the strata plan) are against the motion.

In NSW, motions relating to EV charging infrastructure are considered ‘sustainability upgrades’ which means the vote only requires that less than 50% are against the motion.


Speak to an expert about EV Charging for your building


How to make your apartment building EV Charger ready?

Each apartment building will have a unique set of options to consider when planning for a future where some or many of the owners will wish to install EV charging infrastructure.

We strongly recommend that the owners’ undertake a EV Charging feasibility study to determine what options are available and make a plan and roadmap before the first EV Charger is installed. This can avoid unnecessary costs later down the track (for both the owners corporation and owners who have installed chargers) requiring replacement of EV charging infrastructure in order to fit a solution that will cater to everyone.

This feasibility assessment usually requires a full inspection of the building and connecting data loggers to understand the availability of power on the incoming mains from the grid.

Solar Choice’s team are experts in understanding the different options available and are well-placed to sit alongside an owners corporation and develop a cost-effective and forward-thinking roadmap to futureproof the building for EV charging technology


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