What You Should Know About Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

Electric vehicles are becoming an increasingly popular option for motorists both in the UK and further afield – and with good reason. As we continue to learn more about our impact on the planet, many of us are looking for a greener alternative for our everyday travel needs. In fact, according to figures by Statista, hybrid and plug-in electric vehicles (EVs) accounted for over 6% of car registrations in the UK in 2020.  And this figure will likely rise significantly in 2022. Changes to driving habits, paired with the rising costs of petrol and diesel are pushing even more of us to embrace the green revolution of motoring.

It isn’t just consumers who are turning their attention to electric vehicles, either. The UK government has been steadily pushing for improved access to electric vehicles in recent years as part of their plan to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. This push has come in the form of increased infrastructure and the proposed ban on the sale of diesel vehicles. But while public areas may be slowly gaining charging stations for electric vehicles, what is the deal with privately-owned properties?

Charging your Electric Vehicle

Over the last decade or so, charging stations have been steadily popping up on motorways, at service stations and even in our local supermarket car park; however, it goes without saying that most of us would prefer the convenience of re-charging our electric vehicles at home. The good news is that the government’s “Road to Zero” strategy includes plans to enforce the mandatory installation of residential charging stations at all new-build developments. But what about the rest of us?

For existing buildings, more infrastructure changes are required to accommodate new electric vehicle charging points. The government has pledged to contribute to the installation of many new charging points at privately-owned properties across the country. Furthermore, some electric vehicle owners may also be eligible for partial funding toward the cost of installing a charging station at their homes. As such, there are a number of things that property owners, property managers, landlords and leaseholders need to know about the process. Furthermore, there are even more considerations for those who live in freehold properties.

So, let’s take a look at the benefits and potential complications you may face when installing an electric vehicle charging point at your property.

The Benefits of Installing a Home EV Charging Station

While you can now charge your electric vehicle at work or on the go, charging at home brings a number of benefits. The first and most obvious benefit of installing a charging station at your home is convenience. Being able to charge your vehicle overnight so it is ready for use the next day is obviously the ideal situation – but home charging stations also offer various additional benefits.

Electric vehicles may initially cost more than their petrol or diesel counterparts, but data suggests that they are actually likely to cost less over the course of ownership. This is largely due to lower running and maintenance costs. More than this, though, EVs can present an opportunity to save money in a number of other ways, primarily via the installation of an at-home charging station. For example, EV owners can benefit from lower charging costs by charging when the demand for energy is low, such as overnight – this is known as “smart charging”. Several energy providers offer tariffs that could make smart charging your vehicle at home an effective way to save a little extra money!

What’s more, electric vehicles can serve as mini power stations for your building and even offer the opportunity to generate revenue. EVs are essentially portable energy storage devices. As such, they can release energy back into the grid – known as “vehicle to grid” or V2G transfer. As electric vehicles continue to evolve, the introduction of solar power could present the opportunity to transfer renewable energy directly to their home and the grid. Furthermore, opening your home charging station to the public also offers the potential of generating extra revenue.

Estimates suggest that around 75% of electric vehicle charging will eventually take place at home. This arrangement offers electric vehicle owners more control over their charging costs as well as adding potential value to their homes. As more of us embrace electric vehicles, home charging stations are likely to become a desirable feature to prospective buyers – so, why not boost the value of your property while also saving money on transportation costs?

What are the downsides?

The most obvious “downside” of installing a charging station at home is the initial cost. According to EDF Energy, installing a home charge point can cost around £1000 – a significant cost, especially when considered in addition to the cost of your vehicle itself; however, there is some good news. The government’s Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) grant means that you could receive up to £350 toward the upfront cost of your home charging station.

Tenants of leasehold properties also need to consider that their car park may be connected to a communal energy supply. As a result, it may be difficult to keep track of the energy consumption of each property. Luckily, pay-as-you-go apps can alleviate this challenge by allowing residents to benefit from a residential charging station while paying directly for their own consumption.

How Horizon can help to manage your EV Charging Station Installation

As consumers and specifically for Horizon Management, leaseholders, continue to embrace the electric vehicle revolution, Horizon anticipate seeing an increase in demand for home charging stations at our blocks and developments .

Aside from the environmental benefits for property owners, opting to install an EV charging station at your property could be a significant opportunity to boost the value of your property and even generate extra revenue. With this in mind Horizon as a forward facing company being conscious of reducing our impact on the environment for future generations, we want to ensure we do what we can do enable EV charging stations where possible.

However we are aware in many of our blocks and developments there are obstacles to creating this infrastructure and no perfect solutions. Therefore as we move forward we hope to be able to add value by advising our clients over which type of charging station is the best for their site, liaise with the RMC Directors and Freeholders at all stages of the process, as well as help them manage the charging stations efficiently. We believe this will become an integral part of block management in the future as demand grows. Horizon will assist with obtaining the necessary licences for managing residential charging stations as well as advise and seek to identify at an early stage any issue that can potentially arise. We firmly believe this technology is an opportunity to make the developments and blocks we manage a better place for our residents.

In addition, Horizon Management can assist property developers creating new units, helping to advise on the location and management of charging stations in communal areas such as the communal car park at residential developments. Contact us today to find out more about how we could help with the management of your block or development!

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