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Australia’s Rush Into Electric Vehicle Ownership

Consumer interest in electric vehicles (EV) continues to surge thanks to high fuel prices and rising climate concerns. EV sales have tripled from 6,900 in 2020, to 20,665 in 2021, as reported by the Electric Vehicle Council. 

“Higher fuel prices we’ve seen around the world encourage people to switch to more fuel-efficient vehicles and additional uptake of hybrid and electric vehicles.” 

  •  Professor Paul Burke, Head of the Arndt-Corden Department of Economics at ANU

In the US market, it’s been predicted that new EV sales will reach 50 percent by 2030. While Australia’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) predicts that all new cars will be EVs by 2044.

Electric Vehicle Subsidies 

Aside from the potential for long-term savings, state and territory governments are actively investing in EV uptake initiatives. For instance, NSW has dedicated $171 million to 

to be spent on charging infrastructure. Other incentives include:

  • Rebates 
  • Waived or reduced stamp duty
  • Registration fee discounts 
  • Zero-interest loans for energy-efficient home upgrades and zero-emission vehicles

 

‘EV Ready’ New Developments  

“Energy efficiency is becoming less optional and more necessary, if you look at the way the world is going. The next generation of renters is more demanding of green outcomes, too.″⁣ – Anil Sagaram, Chief Executive, Acacia Money

New developments are being marketed as ‘EV Ready’ to attract premium values. Groups have also been lobbying to ensure new builds are ready to accommodate EV charger installation. As a result, regulations requiring such an accommodation could come into effect as early as 2023. 

The EV Charging Outlook for the ACT 2021 suggested that 70 percent of charging will occur at home. Other studies place this figure at  80 – 90 percent, and this places existing apartment and unit buildings in unchartered territory. 

It’s no surprise that 71 percent of Australians support rebates to reduce the cost of purchasing an electric vehicle. Neither is it surprising that EV sales increased by nearly 200 percent in 2021. However, it does bring up the question of whether the current infrastructure in Australia is able to adequately support electric vehicles. Specifically, whether existing apartments and unit buildings can be retrofitted to integrate the required electric-vehicle charging stations.

Benefits of Providing EV Charging Stations for Strata and Apartment Buildings 

  1. Appeal to prospective residents and tenants

EV charging stations are bound to become an expected standard by sustainable-minded residents and tenants. Much like, the provision of high speed internet, EV charging infrastructure could make or break buyer and renter decisions.

  1. Increase property value and rental income 

Buildings with more sustainable features sell for higher prices than their sustainable counterparts. Renters are more compelled to pay a higher price when the amenities justify the cost.

  1. Improve green ratings and meet sustainability goals

Making provisions for EV charging stations indicates a commitment to sustainability goals and essentially future-proofs your investments.

Challenges for State Governments to Tackle Before EVs Become Mainstream

With all the concerns surrounding existing apartments, the Australian Apartment Advocacy (AAA) has issued a warning to state governments. They’ve warned against ‘throwing around cash subsidies to drive electric vehicle sales’ without careful consideration of the environment needed to house the influx of cars in apartment and unit buildings.

Operators such as Arc Energy provide specialised supply specialised EV charging solutions for strata and apartment buildings. Oftentimes the infrastructure is funded by the operator and costs are recovered from the uses age chargers.

Ahead of the consumer rush to purchase electric vehicles.  Arc Energy is taking appropriate measures to ensure that existing strata and apartment buildings don’t have to handle the inevitable problems that will arise, on their own.

It’s clear that existing strata and apartment buildings have a long way to go before the 2044 prediction of all new cars being EV. However, those issues must be addressed so that Australians can confidently continue to invest in forms of transport.

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