Developers and estate property managers need to keep abreast of fast-changing, fast charging advances in the world of electrical vehicles (EV), experts at Principle Estate Management warn.
Bob Simonds, director at Principle Estate Management, said not only do developers need to factor in EV charging into new builds, but they also need to be aware of the implications and associated costs of retrofitting existing buildings.
His comments come as the motor industry recorded only a 1% increase in overall vehicle sales in 2021, but a record-breaking 190,727 EVs were registered in the year, representing a 76% increase on 2020.
He 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 retrofitting 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 useful guidance which highlights the points that need addressing.”
These include the need for the leaseholder to seek permission in the first instance 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?”
He also pointed out that a five year NIC EIC test to BS 7671 for the hard-wired links would be required.
“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?”
He went on to say: “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.”
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.
Simonds added: “This means that developers and their residential managing agents need to be on the front foot and alert to all these developments, both regulatory and advances in charging technology.”
“Principle Estate Management is already advising developers with new builds in the pipeline and those looking to retro-fit EV charging, and this is an area of our practice we expect to grow rapidly as 2022 progresses and we move towards the ultimate banning of the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles in 2030.”
Principle, whose directors are all experienced chartered surveyors, is a full and active member of the Association of Residential Managing Agents.
The Birmingham-based company now has nearly 40 staff looking after a portfolio of approaching 8,000 units in 250-plus developments across the UK.