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Property developers urged to add electric vehicle charging points to apartment buildings

Hyundai has ambitious plans for low- or zero-emissions cars in the region.
The needs of electric car owners must be included in future plans for residential buildings, along with clear strategies for retrofitting existing homes with overnight recharging points, Hyundai’s top manager in Africa and the Middle East has said.
Mike Song, the carmaker’s head of operations for the region, said Hyundai has ambitious plans for low- or zero-emissions cars in the region, and that internationally it has a wider range of drivetrains than any other company, including fully electric, plug-in, hybrid, and hydrogen fuel cell.
While each technology has its advantages, Song said that fully electric vehicles, using batteries for energy storage, offer the fastest route toward zero emissions — as long as people can keep their cars charged. With current home design, that may not be possible.
“There is now very real consumer excitement around electric driving,” Song said. “In our existing urban design, however, the only people who can realistically make that switch are those who live in a house or villa with an attached garage, because they are the only ones who can plug into a power supply to recharge overnight. If you park on the street, or even in basement parking for an apartment building, keeping your battery charged will be much more difficult.”
While cities worldwide are experimenting with kerbside recharging points for cars parked on the street, Song said it will be down to property developers and managers, as well as homeowners’ associations, to make sure that residential carparks can provide a charging socket for each car that needs one, along with a system for billing the cost.
This will most likely need planning authorities, including governments and municipalities, to incorporate recharging points into their planning regulations — both as a standard requirement on new buildings, and with clear guidelines on upgrading existing properties.
“We must ensure that, if you have allocated parking for an apartment, you can expect to recharge an electric car as part of that parking,” said Song. “Given time, consumer demand will ensure this happens, but the authorities can help drive the transition by including this expectation in building codes.”

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