Electric Car Infrastructure – Planning Ahead

The UK Government recently announced that all new diesel and petrol cars  and vans will be banned by 2040.  Although there are alternatives, it is widely believed that electric vehicles will be the go to vehicle by this point.

How can we prepare for seeing more electric cars on the road?

Ignoring all of the pros and cons of electric vehicles, because that isn’t relevant to the property sector, I would like to discuss the changes that we can start to plan for now to make the transition to electric vehicles a smoother one.

Norway and Holland have already put plans in place to require all new buildings and renovations to provide electrical charging stations for every parking space, by 2019.  Not simply one token charging point in the corner of a car park, but every parking space.  This is in line with their plans to completely phase out Diesel vehicles by 2025

The EU have drafted legislation that would require 10% of parking spaces to be electric charging spaces by 2023.

Given the UKs plans it is likely that a UK wide legislation will be drafted in the near future along the same lines.

This gives a little background from a legislative perspective, but of course this is just to set a minimum.

In the UK we are addicted to improving our properties.  Previous trends have been Double Glazing, Central Heating, Combi Boilers, Solar Panels and the latest may well be Electric Car Charging Points.

In a standard Semi or Detached Home with a garage this is quite an easy task.  Electricity is typically located nearby.

However with terraced homes and blocks of flats it is a completely different story.  We can’t all hang 100 ft extension cords out of the window each night to plug our cars in.

And given the amount of juice that a car uses to charge up, buildings will find it difficult to provide communal charging points too, as it will be very difficult to bill the user, and what happens when there are more electric cars than there are spaces?

Clearly whatever the solution may be, there will be an expense to doing it.  In my opinion the best solution is collaboration combined with early planning.

In blocks of flats the management companies and the individual owners will need to arrange for quotes from professional installation companies and then at their annual meetings the plans and funding for such plans can be discussed and voted on.

As electric cars gain a bigger and bigger market share, buildings and streets who already have the infrastructure in place will find themselves selling and renting at a premium.  Areas who lag behind will be eliminating a large and growing slice of the market when it comes to selling or renting their properties and therefore prices will have to reflect this.

Technology and uptake will change over the years meaning adaptable setups will be the smartest way forward, e.g. if only wiring in 10% of your parking spaces, make sure contractors leave enough capacity to be able to wire up new spaces in the future.

If you are undertaking an electric car infrastructure project then please let us know, we would love to hear how it is going.

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