Electric Vehicle Charging for Flats and Apartment Blocks
We Power Your Car EV Home Charger Installation
At We Power Your Car, we are proven experts in the supply and installation of home charge points for all types of Electric Vehicle (EV). With over 7000 successful installations around the UK, we have been helping motorists get access to smarter, faster EV home charging solutions for many years.
Why Choose We Power Your Car?
By choosing We Power Your Car to supply and install your home charge point you get:
- Impartial advice and guidance without obligation to proceed
- Grant application and management service free of charge
- A wide-ranging choice of Office of Zero Emissions (OZEV) approved compatible home chargers for your electric vehicle. (We are not tied to one brand or one manufacturer)
- OZEV accredited, highly trained and experienced installers
- The benefit of our comprehensive knowledge of the latest safety procedures and regulations around home charger installations.
- Commercial multi-point installations for fleet and industry
Benefits of EV Home Charging Stations
Whether you currently own or intend to own an electric vehicle in the near future, a dedicated and optimised home charging station will give you access to up to 300% faster charging times over a standard three pin socket. This is true whether the vehicle is a Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV), or a Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV). You also have the ability to automatically utilise cheaper tariff rates and greener energy supplies as part of a smarter home charging network.
The Increased Demand for Electric Car Charging in Apartment Blocks and Flats
In 2020, electric vehicles (EVs) accounted for 1 in 10 new cars sold. This is up from 1 in 30 in 2019. Overall demand for fully electric vehicles grew by 186%. In a recent poll, 83% of drivers said they plan to make the switch to an EV with their next car purchase (including 91% of millennials).
Recently, people living in rented blocks and flats includes the 91% of millennials, which are the most likely group to be living in this type of accommodation.
Incorporating Electric Car Charging in Apartment Blocks as Part of a New Build Construction
At We Power Your Car, we have begun to utilise our experience in the industry to provide multi-point charging facilities to a range of companies and fleet owners who need additional charging facilities for a larger number of electric vehicles.
We see no reason why this should not be extended to new build apartment blocks and even existing buildings. We see a future where every communal parking space has an up-stand with a smart charging facility available.
Introducing EV charging facilities in new builds and in blocks of existing apartments and flats will:
- Increase the desirability of rental properties and leaseholds
- Increase the sale or resale value of an apartment or flat
- Contribute to cleaner, greener neighbourhoods
The Department for Transport (DfT) provides up to £350 grant aid towards an EV charger under the EV chargepoint grant for flat owner-occupiers and people living in rented properties scheme.
*Important Point*: The chargers must be OZEV-approved models, and the installation must be carried out by an OZEV-approved installation company such as We Power Your Car to qualify for grant aid.
So What Are The Issues?
Regulations require charge points to be installed at ground level and not facing onto or be within 2 metres of a road.
Until recently, renters and leaseholders could not access OZEV grant aid to fund home charging stations.
There must be lawfully used off-street parking accessed via a drop curb.
Renters and leaseholders will most likely need permission from a third party such as a management company or freehold owner.
The sheer practical difficulty of running a cable down to the ground floor from a distribution board in flats within higher apartment blocks.
Is Planning Permission Needed to Install an EV Charger in an Apartment or Flat?
Planning permission is not required for the installation of a wall-mounted electrical outlet for recharging electric vehicles as long as the area is lawfully used for off–street parking and falls within the bounds of a permitted.
With government schemes, such as the EV chargepoint grant for flat owner-occupiers and people living in rented properties providing additional funding for electrical vehicle charging, it is widely recommended that many planning applications benefit from including EV charging points.
For installation to be classed as permitted development, the electrical outlet (and its casing) must not:
- Exceed 0.2 cubic metres
- Face onto and be within two metres of a highway
- Be within a site designated as a scheduled monument
- Be within the curtilage of a listed building.
- Be mounted higher than 1.6 metres from level surface used for parking of vehicles
- Have more than one charging point per allocated parking space.
There can be added challenges in installing home charge units to apartments or flats. Below is a guide to some of the common areas that we face in installing an EV charging point and their level of difficulty.
Charge Point Installation Process
Fit a dedicated cable for the charge point using a spare slot in your distribution board and protect with a suitable class of circuit breaker
Install an earthing point without an earthing rod using O-PEN technology
Securely mount the charging unit in a suitable location on a wall or other solid structure
Install conduit, run a cable and make all electrical connections
Carry out the required safety checks and certifications
Demonstrate the functions of the appliance
Level of Difficulty Scale for Charger Installation in Flats and Apartments
Relatively easy with a procedure not unlike the process outlined above.
2 storey detached house divided into freehold flats with allocated off-road parking for each vehicle and where each flat has its own fuse box.
Relatively easy but freeholder / management company permission should be obtained. Conduit may need to installed on the outside of the building.
2 storey detached house divided into leasehold flats with allocated off-road parking for each vehicle and where each flat has its own fuse box.
More complex. This would need to be commissioned by the Management Committee who would probably need to take ownership of the charging facilities and provide a payment system. Grant aid may be available from recent the Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS) expansion.
Blocks of flats or apartments higher than 2 storeys run by a resident management committee where there is a fuse box supplying electrics for communal areas on the ground floor and allocated off-road parking spaces are available.
Difficult but not insurmountable. This would need to be commissioned by the Freeholder / Management Company who would probably take ownership of the charging facilities and provide a management and payment system.
Blocks of flats and apartments higher than 2 storeys run by a management company representing the freeholder, where there is a fuse box supplying electrics for communal areas on the ground floor and allocated off-road parking spaces are available.
Home Charging Station Options for Standard Installations in Flats and Apartments
For those with a relatively straightforward process to go through like freeholders in 2 storey buildings with off-road parking nearby, we have a superb range of home charging stations in stock and available for purchase and installation. Many of them have smart features that schedule charging to low tariff or low demand periods and balance the load on your home electrics.
Charger Installation in Complex Situations
In an existing building that consists of a larger number of individual flats or apartments and is several storeys high, there are 2 possible routes to achieve an out-come that results in home charging facilities for the owners and residents.
- Installation of one dedicated smart charge point per allocated parking space (future proof). Easier to install during construction and much more disruptive to fit retrospectively.
- Installation of a limited number of charge points connected to a communal electric supply with ID controlled access for authorised users. This would require an EV management platform to manage use and billing. Number of chargers could be increased alongside increased demand.
EV Charging Management Platforms for Apartment Blocks
EV charging station management platforms do exist. Ones that meets the needs of an apartment block that may have an ever-expanding requirement for EV charging should incorporate:
- Compatibility: Compatible with all major charging station brands and is connected to the whole market of EV drivers.
- Maintenance: Manage EV charging stations smartly and build a network of charging stations and brands. Keep the power supply in balance and notify when maintenance is needed.
- Price-setting and billing: Streamline billing & pricing. Set pricing strategies, manage subscription billing and calculate revenues
- Interface: Access to real-time data. Manage charging stations and set prices.
We Power Your Car can Rise to the Challenge
In order to meet its own emission targets along the road to zero emissions, the Government, the energy companies and supply and installation firms like We Power Your Car need to find and employ innovative solutions to the issues around electric car charging in flats and electric car charging in apartment blocks.
At We Power Your Car, we believe that the challenge points for a large portion of flat and apartment dwellers from taking up the same smart charging capability available to the rest of the population can be overcome.
Planning EV charging into new builds is vital as is using currently available funding streams to develop innovative solutions to the issues related to existing buildings. The technology already exists and it is now a matter of applying it to overcome these issues and bring smart charging to the people most likely to be early up-takers.