Electric cars in strata - how should your Owners Corporation prepare?

Published: Tuesday 22 March 2022

This is a hot topic, a recent survey found 48% of people are considering purchasing an electric car in the next 5 years, so what should your strata scheme be doing to prepare for that huge uptake?

Being ready for sustainable car options will likely be the next big consideration, if it isn’t already, when purchasing into a strata scheme.  All strata owners, now and future will want to retain the value of their property so this will become an important point of difference. 

Those looking to reside in a property will want to live in a comfortable and affordable home.  It has always been a consideration of purchasers to buy a property made from the latest materials and offering the mod-cons of the period.  It is quite possible that nothing will affect the value of a property, both commercial and residential, in the next few years than the availability to charge one’s electric car.  It is therefore critical that older strata schemes update themselves to ensure their properties are desirable to owners and tenants.

What can you the individual do?  It’s as simple as starting the conversation now with your scheme as to options so as to avoid the rush and escalation in charges due to demand. 

As an owner, you have the right to place a motion on the agenda of your AGM.  If you don’t know the time when your AGM is normally held, simply ask your agent when the year end accounts are closed off.  To ensure your motion is included, send it in no later than 21 days after that year end date.  Remember it’s only to generate a conversation as to what options there are, what the cost may be to install and maintain, who will pay for it’s use.  At the end of the meeting, you would want three things:

  1. What information owners want on this to consider the next steps required
  2. Who is going to get that information and present it
  3. When will it be provided to the owners so as to progress things further (eg a next meeting date).

There are many options as to installation of electric car charges and ensuring that the current switchboard and electricity supply can handle the demand is only part of the information required to make an informed decision.  Initially it might that you provide one or two, and it is on a first come first served - and user pays basis. 

Remember, most scheme’s move slowly, which is fine as it generally leads to a well considered decision, but to ensure your Owners Corporation are ready and not left behind, we highly recommend starting looking at this now.  This should include raising funds, as the capital works program will not have factored this in.  Capital Works Assessments are to maintain existing aspects of the building, such as guttering, painting, new roof etc.  

To prepare yourself some further information can be found here.

https://nsw.strata.community/electric-vehicles-in-strata/

https://www.smh.com.au/property/news/apartments-racing-to-retrofit-electric-vehicle-chargers-even-with-only-one-user-20211217-p59ig8.html

A proposed motion for your AGM might look like this

Investigation on how electric vehicles will be charged in our scheme

  1. That the Owners Corporation determine what options would be suitable for the scheme to provide for electric car charging.
  2. That the Owners Corporation agree on who is to obtain the information on electric car charging and present the information to owners, and in what time frame.

     Explanation:  To ensure the value of our properties are maintained in the coming 5 years, we need to start looking at what is involved and the cost to install this service in our strata scheme before the demand drives costs up.

If you would like further information or help in this matter, please email us on mail@prostrata.com.au