Shadow Minister for Planning Neil Thomson and Shadow Minister for Commerce Vince Catania have called on the State Government to take a proactive and market-based approach to support the transition to electric vehicles (EVs) of residential apartment owners across the State.

“There are thousands of existing apartments in Western Australia that have no capacity for charging electric vehicles and the State is not supporting our strata bodies in addressing rising demand,” Mr Catania said.

Mr Catania also called on the Minister for Commerce, Roger Cook, to ask the Department of Jobs Tourism Science and Innovation to provide dedicated support and information to strata bodies on how to consider requests for new charging points from electric vehicle owners.

Mr Thomson said the State Government seemed oblivious to the emerging demands, with electric vehicles likely to exceed 50% of the new fleet sometime between 2030 and 2040, so planning needed to happen now to keep costs low.

Mr Thomson also called on Planning Minister Rita Saffioti to ask the Western Australian Planning Commission to review State Planning Policy 7.3 (Residential Design Codes – Apartments) to ensure it is fit for purpose to meet the new electric vehicle challenge while not negatively impacting on apartment affordability.

Mr Catania said in existing apartments, strata bodies are presently left to grapple with requests by electric vehicle owners without any support from the State so solutions are likely to be ad-hoc.

“It is vital that we provide better information strata bodies in the provision of charging stations within apartments, or we could be saddled with massive costs in the future.

“Advice should be available on acceptable pricing and cost recovery arrangements and support strata bodies in seeking technical support.”

Mr Thomson said developers should be incentivised to ensure their new apartments have the capacity for electric vehicle charging without imposing additional costs on apartment buyers.

“Information developed by other capital cities and universities across Australia should be translated into Western Australia’s planning policies to ensure we are ready for the massive demand for electric vehicle charging stations in new and existing apartments.

“Technology is changing rapidly, so responses should focus on incentives and better information to avoid regulation later.”