Electric Vehicle Charging for Blocks of Flats

From 2022, the Government’s Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme will apply to Leasehold properties. The revised scheme will cover up to 75% of the installation costs, so properties are advised to plan for charging infrastructure in their blocks to advantage of the funding while it is available.

The growth of the EV market

Sales of electric vehicles (EVs) in the UK are on the rise. Despite Covid, 2020 saw the largest annual increase in the number of EVs being registered, with over 175,000 registered. That is a 66% growth over the registrations of 2019. EVs represent a 13.3% share of the market with the biggest obstacle after the purchase price being charging point availability.

This is changing, with construction of EV charging hubs cropping up in many public spaces. But the biggest change is to be in home charging, so you can simply ‘plug-and-play’ in the same way you can charge your mobile phone.

Chargepoint grants for leasehold properties

To promote the take-up of widespread home charging, the Government launched the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme in 2019. The chargepoints grants team at the Office for Zero Emissions (OZEV) have said that from April 2022, the EVHS will no longer be available for Freehold homeowners but will be targeted towards people living in rented and leasehold homes.

The fund is proposed to cover up to 75% of the cost of retrofitting chargepoints in blocks of flats but is not available for new builds.

Building owners, their Agents and individual flat owners and renters will be able to make multiple applications. There will be a cap on the amount and number of funding applications that can be made and the detail on this is being finalised.

A digital platform is to be launched to enable people to access the revised EVHS in the autumn of 2021.

Charging issues for blocks

The issues around chargepoint installation in blocks are well documented, if your demised parking space is close to a power source it can be relatively easy to install a chargepoint. But this is not very commonplace in most blocks of flats.

Most blocks of flats will have similar types of issues, such as.

  • Restrictive Lease terms
  • Power loading issues
  • General access to existing power infrastructure

The EVs sector is growing and gaining momentum and so despite the pitfalls, Managing Agents such as JCF are increasingly understanding that the market is moving and are keen to overcome the obstacles.

Possible solutions

To-date, the Government has provided no solutions to the problems faced by residential blocks. Two problems stand out in particular and we have added our notes on the likely approaches that will be taken:

  • Who is to pay the 25% shortfall of the installation cost not paid by the EVHS?
    • The probability is that the individual Leaseholder will need to fund this shortfall themselves, as the Lease may not allow for any funding to be allocated from the Reserve Fund so individuals will need to pay a levy.
  • Who pays for the electricity used?
    • If the charger is connected to the individual Leaseholders supply then the individual simply pays for their own use through their own electricity account, however if connected to the communal supply then there will possibly be a need for a third-party billing system to be in place, however these schemes are still in their infancy and are being developed to be a simple interface to use. These schemes will be similar to those you can access at roadsides and at motorway services.

Whichever solutions to charging electric vehicles at residential blocks become most commonplace, the future of electric car driving for the masses is now just around the corner.

‘The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. – Eleanor Roosevelt’

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