More new build developers need to adopt electric vehicle charging

Developers and estate property managers need to start factoring in electrical vehicle charging ports as the industry grows.

That’s according to property management firm Principle Estate Management, which said developers should make sure they’re aware of the implications and costs of retro-fitting ports into existing buildings.

The motor industry recorded only a 1% increase in overall vehicle sales in 2021, but a record breaking 190,727 electric vehicles were registered in the year, representing a 76% increase on 2020.

Bob Simonds, director at Principle Estate Management, said: “As a mandatory requirement, developers of new buildings should be planning to make every parking space electric meter ready and connected to the leaseholders’ main Smart meter.

“This means the lease will need rewriting to reflect changes made and cater for the provision of electric charging and the consequent recharging to the holder of the parking space.

“Some developers are also considering Electric Vehicle Club Facilities where residents can make use on a chargeable basis of electric bikes, scooters and cars.”

But he cautioned that it is retro-fitting EV charging that is likely to cause the most difficulties in the next couple of years.

Trade body ARMA, the Association of Residential Managing Agents, has produced guidance which highlights the points that need addressing.

One factor is the need for the leaseholder to seek permission from the managing agent to install electric charging points to car spaces.

Simonds added: “Major points for consideration include – is it physically possible? Who owns the parking space? Is it a dedicated parking space allocated to an owner or is it a ‘first come, first served’ arrangement?

“Is a Risk Assessment required for each individual space to be converted, and if so, who is liable to pay for it?”

A five year NIC EIC test to BS 7671 for the hard wired links would also be required.

Simonds said: “A further factor is, if you can clear all these hurdles, what charging system should you install? The very fast chargers available at some service stations, for example, require a three phase electricity supply, but residential developments are usually a single phase, lower power, supply.

“This means longer charging times – but charging technology is advancing rapidly, so what system should you install today?

“In just a few years, we have progressed from cars that can run for up to 80 miles, to vehicles with the potential to travel 600 miles on a single charge.

“The technology for charging is also progressing rapidly and so it is not unreasonable to expect advances on this front as well – in the not too distant future,” he said.

In December 2021, the government announced that new homes and buildings, such as supermarkets and workplaces, as well as properties undergoing major renovation will be required to install EV charging points in 2022 – with a confirmed date for the new regulations yet to be announced.

Birmingham-based Principle Estate Management is advising developers with new builds in the pipeline and those looking to retro-fit EV charging, and this is an area it expects to grow rapidly in 2022.

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