Power to the people
Neil Swanson from EVA Scotland thinks landlords should take advantage of new government funding
The Scottish Government has created new funding to help enable electric vehicle (EV) adoption by those who live in accommodation with shared or factored parking. One of the best ways to charge an EV is overnight at the driver’s home location, which is easy for those with dedicated, private off-street parking, but a huge challenge for approximately 40 per cent of the population who do not. While there is funding available through the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles and Transport Scotland for various on-street parking initiatives, those in factored accommodation and in areas with private shared parking were being left at a disadvantage. EVA Scotland highlighted this to Transport Scotland, contributing to the development of a new funding path for organisations that manage communal residential parking. The funding will cover up to 50 per cent of the cost of installing the infrastructure.
So why do it?
The proposed ban on internal combustion engine (ICE) cars is expected to be in place from 2030. Many manufacturers are looking likely to cease ICE production before that, matching the increased implementation of low and zero emission zones in town and cities. All of which means that drivers will be increasingly found in EVs, with prospective tenants seeing the provision of an EV charge facility for the property as much of an essential as heating. Properties with EV charging points installed are already seen as more desirable, both by prospective and current EV drivers. There are already studies suggesting that having an EV charge point can increase the value of a property. The opportunity to target this market early, with government support, is one to seriously consider.
How it works:
Each installation will be fairly unique, so getting a recognised installer to design and price before applying for funding is essential. Units can be wall or ground mounted with a wide range of options and aesthetics. Power distribution and billing varies with design. Where practicable, having the supply directly from the property simplifies the billing process. However, where power has to be taken from a dedicated landlord’s supply, a layer of administration is required. Typically, users start the charge using radio-frequency identity (RFID) cards, with billing managed via a back-office function. Users pay the costs associated with their card automatically via direct debit. Possibilities include making the points only available to registered cards, typically limited to tenants. However, visitors with suitable cards could also be potential users, with identical billing.
The question of costs and tariffs is always contentious, so EVA Scotland offers a guidance document at bit.ly/LF_EV_ tariffs We would always advise to make the tariff as close as possible to users charging from their own supply. Too high and no one will use the infrastructure, too low and it stops being financially viable.
Is it worth it? We think if you want to remain competitive in the marketplace, then this should be seen as an essential. Looking to the new build market, many already come with EV charging, with planning in Scotland set to mandate the provision in new build properties, for both private and communal parking areas.
See www.eva.scot for more information