Apartment and Unit sector not ready for a boom in electric vehicles

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Australian Apartment Advocacy wants governments to be more prepared

The peak body representing the interests of 2.5million apartment and unit owners in Australia is concerned the strata sector is significantly underprepared to meet the growing demand for electric vehicles. Australian Apartment Advocacy (AAA) says surging fuel prices in Australia, caused mainly by the military conflict in Ukraine, has already seen a spike in electric vehicle orders as millions of Australians feel the pinch.

The Queensland Government recently announced a $3,000 subsidy for consumers who purchase electric vehicles (up to $58,000), and other states are expected to follow suit. These initiatives will soon see a spike in EV cars in Australia.

AAA is warning State Governments against throwing around cash subsidies to drive electric vehicle sales without carefully considering the built environment needed to house this influx of cars in apartment and unit buildings. AAA Head, Samantha Reece, says these are unchartered waters for thousands of apartment and unit buildings in Western Australia that will need to be retrofitted to accommodate EV charging stations, forcing owners to absorb the costs.

“This needs to be sorted before the conflict begins between owners who want or need charging stations and owners who don’t,” Ms Reece said. “It will turn into a lawyer’s picnic if it is not sorted soon.

“Older apartment and unit buildings will face burdensome costs to retrofit parking spaces that in many cases are already at maximum capacity”

“While AAA is supportive of any plan to deliver Australia’s target of net zero emissions by 2050, including uptake of EVs, the Australian government needs to prepare a plan to take this forward in strata communities.

“The Western Australian Government needs to step in before consumers rush to purchase electric vehicles because of high fuel prices and cash subsidies to ensure that strata communities don’t get left aside to handle problems alone. Older apartment and unit buildings will face burdensome costs to retrofit parking spaces that, in many cases, are already at maximum capacity.

“Added to the installation burden is the question of who pays for ongoing usage, maintenance, and insurance costs because not everyone in an apartment building will own an electric vehicle.

“Sharing ongoing costs has already shown itself to be a divisive and potentially explosive issue in strata communities where residents are already under immense financial pressure in today’s economic climate.

“The result is that lawyers will be brought in, and we need to work together to avoid that. The Western Australian Government must lead from the front and put appropriate measures that are responsive to the unique needs of strata,” says Reece.


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