Evergreen electrical - Local brisbane EV

Making Your Strata Building EV-Ready

Transitioning your strata to support electric vehicle charging is a key step towards sustainable living. Up to 48% of Australians might choose an EV for their next vehicle, according to a Car Scoops survey, and with EV sales jumping over 161% in 2023 as reported by PV Magazine, the need for proper EV infrastructure throughout Australia is undeniable. Starting October 2023, new apartment buildings in Australia (not just Brisbane!) must be EV-ready, per the National Construction Code. This guide covers everything from understanding these new requirements to practical installation tips, giving you the information you need to fully prepare your strata for the rise in EV ownership.

Understanding the National Construction Code for EV

Starting in October 2023, the National Construction Code mandates that all newly constructed strata buildings must include EV charging stations. It is a significant move reflecting Australia’s commitment to sustainable transportation solutions. This initiative ensures that new residential complexes are ready to support the growing number of electric vehicles, aligning with increasing consumer interest in eco-friendly transportation options as well as aligning with the government's green initiatives.

For developers and strata managers, the challenge lies in retrofitting existing buildings to meet these new standards for EV charging stations in strata buildings. This process involves upgrading electrical systems to handle the higher power demands of EV charging and integrating the necessary infrastructure. 

Strategic planning and investment are crucial in:

  • Modernising older properties
  • Enhancing existing properties’ market value
  • Guaranteeing existing properties meet contemporary environmental standards

Implementing these changes is not just about regulatory compliance but also about future-proofing property investments against evolving market trends. As the infrastructure for electric vehicles expands, it will ease the adoption of EVs for residents, fostering a sustainable, forward-thinking community environment. This move towards a greener future is in keeping with global trends towards reducing urban carbon footprints and promoting cleaner commuting options.

Assessing Electrical Infrastructure Needs

To ensure that your strata building can accommodate EV charging stations, a thorough assessment of the existing electrical infrastructure is essential. This begins with a capacity check to determine if your current system can handle the increased load of multiple EV chargers operating simultaneously. Identifying potential obstacles, such as outdated wiring or insufficient transformer capacity, is crucial. This initial assessment will pinpoint areas that require upgrades, ensuring that your building is ready to support increased modern energy needs.


Planning for scalability is critical as the demand for EVs continues to grow. Upgrades should not only support current requirements but also anticipate future advancements in EV technology. This might include:

  • Installing additional power panels
  • Enhancing metering capabilities
  • Integrating smart technology for dynamic power load management

This kind of proactive planning helps in avoiding repetitive and costly future upgrades.

At Evergreen Electrical, we understand the complexities involved in upgrading electrical infrastructures for EV readiness. Our team provides tailored solutions that ensure your upgrades are efficient and sustainable, preparing your property for tomorrow's green initiatives. By choosing a customised approach, you avoid the pitfalls of inadequate installations and ensure a seamless transition to a more sustainable future.

Cost and Budgeting for EV Charging Stations

Costs vary for installing charging stations, or electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE), however we can share some average costs to give an idea of what to expect.

For individuals: $2000 - $5000 paid by the owner

There are two options here. The first is where no EV charging infrastructure already exists. The owner gets individual charging infrastructure added, the EVSE setup, and a connection to their meter.

When suitable electrical infrastructure already exists and can be accessed by the owner, the cost covers the EVSE setup along with load control with or without an interlock switch.

As common property: $20,000 - $50,000 paid by the owners corporation

This covers the EV charging infrastructure and EVSE setup - usually in a common area accessible to all owners.

Modular style: $5,000 - $7,000 paid by the owners corporation and $2,000 - $3,000 paid by each owner who wishes to install an EV charger

The amount paid by the owners corporation covers support for roughly six EVSEs. It includes what members of the industry refer to as the EV charging “backbone” - such as running cables and installing a meter to measure individual usage. 

The amount paid by each owner is for the EVSE setup and a connection to the backbone infrastructure.

Whole building: $75,000 - $200,000 paid by the owners corporation and $2,000 - $3,000 paid by each owner who wishes to install an EV charger

The required EV charging backbone is more extensive in a whole-building approach than in a modular option. It gives each owner the convenience of charging in their own parking space.

EV Strata Ready

With a decade of experience and over 10,000 projects completed including solar panels and numerous EV charging setups across Queensland, Evergreen Electrical has established itself in the electrical industry by delivering advanced solutions tailored for both residential and commercial settings.

Get a Free Strata EV Quote

Choosing the Right Type of EV Chargers

When it comes to equipping your strata building with EV chargers, the decision is not one-size-fits-all. The right charger type hinges on various factors, such as usage frequency, available installation space, and the capacity of your existing electrical infrastructure. Here’s a look at the current options:

Level 1

Level 1 chargers are the most basic, often requiring no additional modifications to existing electrical systems, making them suitable for overnight charging at residences. However, they are the slowest of the EV charging options and typically offer only about 6-8 kilometres of range per hour of charging.

Level 2

Level 2 chargers are a step up, providing faster-charging rates that deliver about 19-129 kilometres of range per hour. These chargers are ideal for communal parking areas where vehicles are parked for several hours at a time, such as during work hours or overnight in apartment complexes. While they require more significant electrical upgrades, Level 2 EV chargers offer a good balance between speed and cost.

Level 3

Level 3 or DC fast chargers represent the highest level of current charging technology. They are capable of charging an EV battery to 80% in as little as 20 minutes. Although they are the most expensive and require substantial electrical infrastructure upgrades, they are usually provided in high-traffic commercial areas or for buildings looking to provide quick charging solutions. 

Considering the specifics of your building’s capabilities and the needs of its residents or tenants will guide your decision, helping you select the most appropriate and cost-effective charging solutions. Evergreen Electrical’s expertise in the latest EV charging technologies can help streamline this selection process, ensuring your installation is both efficient and future-proof. As Co-Founder Troy Fox points out, “At Evergreen Electrical, when it comes to implementing EV charging in a building, it's all about smart management of the available resources. We focus on installing systems that not only balance and manage the electrical load efficiently but also adapt to the varying needs of different vehicles.

Installation Process of EV Chargers in Strata

Installing EV chargers in a strata environment involves more than just technical know-how. It demands a meticulous approach that encompasses technical expertise, strategic planning, and clear communication with all stakeholders. The first step is a thorough site assessment. This involves evaluating the designated installation areas for electrical capacity. The evaluation also looks at accessibility and the selection of locations that do not disrupt the daily activities of residents or impede emergency services.

If you’re at this stage of the process, reach out to discuss a site visit and assessment, contact us

Following the site assessment, it's essential to engage with the strata board and residents to come to an agreement on the installation plans. Approach this step of the process proactively by being prepared to provide information on:

  • Specs for the type of chargers
  • The scope of work and expected timelines
  • The impacts on parking and common areas
  • Plans for mitigating any foreseen issues
  • And importantly, any costing estimation

To facilitate a smooth installation process, obtaining the necessary approvals and ensuring compliance with all strata regulations is a critical step that must not be overlooked.

Once approvals are secured, the actual installation begins, handled by qualified professionals such as Evergreen Electrical. They install the chargers, integrate them with the existing electrical infrastructure, and ensure they are properly configured for optimal performance. After installation, testing and commissioning are carried out to verify that the chargers operate efficiently and safely. Training for residents on how to use the chargers and ongoing support are also provided and enable your strata to take full advantage of the new infrastructure’s benefits. With a focus on minimising disruption and maximising efficiency, Evergreen Electrical offers expert guidance through each phase, ensuring that your strata’s transition to EV readiness is seamless.

Managing and Allocating EV Charging Costs

Integrating smart, cost-effective solutions for managing EV charging systems in strata settings is of the utmost importance - a point emphasised by Troy Fox (Co-Founder of Evergreen Electrical). Helping residents to fully appreciate and embrace EV charging requires a transparent approach to cost allocation and management. A crucial step is establishing a billing model that suits the unique needs of your community. The range of billing options includes:

  • Self-managed with flat-rate fees - Simplified billing, though this may not accurately reflect your usage.
  • Self-managed - usage-based billing - Similar to receiving an invoice or bill over a period of time for your actual usage.
  • Third-party (App-based) - usage-based billing - A third party is responsible for monitoring usage and for billing. While this removes the administrative side of things, it potentially introduces additional costs covering the third party. We cover this in more depth in our article about EV billing platforms.

Each model has several benefits and challenges when navigating the financial aspects of EV charging in an apartment environment. Generally speaking, most strata installations are usage-based, so we’re going to focus on that area.

“At Evergreen, we typically use separate metering to track precisely how much power each vehicle uses, which simplifies billing and fosters transparency.” Fox explains that “this method ensures that the system is cost-effective and sustainable and aligns with our commitment to providing the right solution catering to the unique needs of our customers."

Implementing the chosen billing model involves integrating smart charging solutions that can track usage accurately and potentially in real-time. This technology facilitates fair billing but also helps in monitoring and managing the electrical load to prevent overcapacity issues. It’s crucial to set up a system that is not only fair but also flexible, capable of adapting to future increases in EV ownership and advances in charger technology (all while keeping the lights on for all apartment users).

Lastly, clear communication is vital. Ensure all residents are informed about how costs are calculated and billed, and what they can expect in terms of financial contributions they will need to make to shared expenses. Regular reviews of the cost structure may be necessary to respond to changes in energy prices, usage patterns, cost of upkeep, or upgrades to the charging infrastructure.  

Addressing Parking and EV Charging Challenges in Strata Buildings

If you own an EV or are considering purchasing one but your strata has no facilities for charging EVs, then you’ll want to consider advocating for upgrading the apartment complex. Coaxing your strata toward EV readiness may seem like a challenge at first. EVs are still (relatively) new and most people remain comfortable owning and driving “regular” vehicles. Plus, they may have safety or cost concerns that need to be addressed. Success at convincing fellow strata members that EV readiness is the direction to move in is best guaranteed by:

  • Making them aware of the benefits of charging from the apartment complex
  • Highlighting state and government initiatives and incentives
  • Dispelling fears and busting myths about EVs

Here are a few suggestions on how to get the conversation started around EV readiness at your strata. 

Raise the point

You can initiate discussions about retrofitting the apartment complex for EV readiness by raising the point in strata meetings. The presence of board and committee members means you’ll be reaching the persons responsible for guiding and implementing changes within the strata.

Get the conversation going

Your strata’s messaging group is a good way to reach a high percentage of apartment owners. You can encourage informal discussions about EVs and EV readiness by posting questions or up-to-date EV information. These discussions may help you gauge attitudes toward EVs and some of the major concerns members have about installing EV charging.

Highlight available incentives

Most people who are on the fence about EV adoption may be swayed by the knowledge that there are direct and indirect incentives for the uptake of EVs. For example, Queensland’s Department of Energy and Climate offers a four-figure sum, that includes rebates, for EV purchase and ownership; and there are grants to help support the installation of EV charging equipment. It’s part of the Department’s Zero Emission Vehicle Strategy, and nearly anyone can take advantage of it.

Address fears and concerns

When talking with someone uncertain about EVs, you may hear them voice safety concerns. You can allay their fears by pointing out that all zero-emission vehicles tested by the Australian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) in the last 5 years were given 5-star safety ratings. Additionally, concerns about battery safety are often overstated; modern EV batteries are equipped with advanced management systems that prevent overheating and ensure safe charging and operation. Furthermore, charging stations are also quite safe since electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) undergoes rigorous testing and has to be certified safe.

Legal and Compliance Issues in EV Installation

Installing EV charging stations in strata buildings necessitates stringent adherence to local building codes and safety standards, which may include specific provisions for electrical safety and disability access. Compliance is crucial not only for protecting the community but also for ensuring the installation aligns with regional safety regulations, thereby minimising potential liabilities.

Securing approval from strata boards is essential and requires presenting detailed proposals that outline the scope, design, and impact of the proposed EV charging stations. These proposals help facilitate board approvals by preempting objections and ensuring that all stakeholders are informed, which smooths the implementation process.

Moving Forward with EV Strata

Adopting EV readiness enhances your strata property’s value and supports environmental sustainability, aligning with Australia's greener future initiatives. Throughout this guide, we’ve covered everything from legislative mandates to the right EV charging setups, preparing your strata for a sustainable transition. By engaging your community and gaining stakeholders' support, you smooth the transition and ensure the new infrastructure fulfils everyone's needs.

This approach not only boosts your strata's EV capabilities immediately but also prepares it for future technological advancements and greater EV uptake. Strata management must stay informed and adaptable to shifts in technology and residents' expectations. This proactive stance helps cultivate a community that values innovation and environmental responsibility, enhancing your property’s appeal in a market that increasingly values sustainability.