Charging Electric Vehicles in Embedded Networks: Challenges and Opportunities within the National Electricty Market (NEM)

May 2, 2024


Written by



As Australia accelerates its transition to electric vehicles (EVs), the integration of EV charging infrastructure into embedded networks presents both opportunities and hurdles. There are a numerous complexities surrounding the integration of EV charging infrastructure within apartment buildings and multi-tenant environments. Embedded Networks present unique challenges for EV Charging compared to those of homeowners. Below we outline the status quo of EVSE in Australia and explore it in the context of Embedded network stakeholders.

Current Landscape and Policy Initiatives

Across Australia, state governments are actively investing in the construction and expansion of Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE), commonly known as “charging stations” or “charging points.”  Here are some notable commitments:

Western Australia: Building the world’s longest continuously connected electric highway, spanning 6,600 kilometres and featuring 98 EVSEs.

Queensland: Co-funding fast charging infrastructure for local government and industry throughout the state.

Victoria: Rolling out EVSEs for the Victorian Government’s commercial EV fleets and regional destination charging.

New South Wales: Developing a comprehensive charging network across the state and co-funding private industry development of fast-charging stations.

Despite these commitments to EV charger roll-out, challenges persist with EV owners reporting outages, missing parts, and delayed maintenance responses. This along with flooding and equipment damage contribute to charging station downtime, all of which should prompt questions around where the responsibility lies for Owners, Operators and stakeholders within Embedded Networks.

Standardization and Interoperability continue to be challenges for partner selection, ensuring that seamless access to charging stations and standard protocols are in place is essential for interoperability. Not every multi-tenant environment can have a bespoke EV Charging option for every tenant, so maximising and targeting your approach will be important.

Business Models and Etiquette

This leads us to one of the harder aspects of implementation- ensuring that clear agreements between network operators, property managers, and EV owners are in place with clear terms of use and financial responsibility. Who bears the installation, maintenance, and upgrade costs? Lacking clarity on these will only lead to issues down the track and result in costly fixes and down time.

How will you recover your investment? Will the solution partner provide an end to end solution? If not, are you sure your recovery models and infrastructure are compliant and meet the needs of your stakeholders both now and into the future? These are crucial questions to ensure both your return on investment will be strong enough to justify your time, effort and financial outlay, and the solution you put in place is the right one for your needs.

Fortunately, there are more and more avenues to source information about integrating EV Charging and the business models that may arise within the regulatory framework. While this is continually evolving and will no doubt be subject to significant change in the coming year, there are excellent resources available via the Electric Vehicle Council and of note - the energy innovation toolkit. This website includes excellent information and case studies to help inform prospective business models and applications, which are particularly of note for compliance and understanding the operating models that exist. Ensuring that you and your stakeholders understand the regulatory framework and their implications for electric vehicle charging in embedded networks will allow you best define your path forward.

Understanding the Basics of EV Charging

Now, let’s dive into the fundamentals of EV charging:

There are three main types of EV Charger:

Level 1 Chargers: Plug into standard electrical outlets and are commonly used for home charging.

Level 2 Chargers: Deliver higher charging speeds and are suitable for both residential and commercial settings.

DC Fast Chargers: While often not suited for apartment buildings, they charge quickly and directly to decrease overall charge time. However, they will wear down your car battery faster as a result.

 Challenges in Apartment Buildings:

Power Supply vs. Charging Load:

Most apartment buildings lack the appropriate power supply for every parking space to have a dedicated EVSE. Installing multiple chargers without proper planning can overload the building’s electrical system, leading to substantial costs down the track to adjust your system to meet the needs of your users and charging infrastructure. If your solution partner is not talking about understanding and managing your demand, you need to ask more questions of them.

The electricity that supplies residential and commercial car parks is often wired to the Common Area electricity meter and is therefore the responsibility of the Owner, Owners Corporation or Body Corporate. This represents a significant risk as the increased consumption on Common Area electricity will increase costs and therefore levies on owners.

Strata and Body Corporate Issues:

Strata buildings will at some points need to develop a strategy for delivering EV charging, with many already bound to new laws requiring their inclusion on new developments. There are a variety of solutions that can be adopted, most of which involve a resolution from the group of owners. A resolution can be near impossible to achieve, and detrimental to those with electric vehicles, when a proven solutions can’t be plainly and simply explained to those making the decision.

 Solutions for EV Charging in Apartments

1. Feasibility Assessment:
Unsurprisingly, solution number one is to conduct a thorough assessment of the building’s power capacity and existing infrastructure. This will allow you to determine the optimal locations for EV chargers based on parking spaces and electrical distribution.

2. Shared Charging Stations:
Consideration of the where and how should lead to a question of how you can install shared charging stations strategically. Consider load management systems to balance power distribution during peak hours, and whether the EVSE you select can have these services built, or support you to manage their use evenly among tenants to meet their demand.

3. Smart Charging Infrastructure:
Implement smart meters and billing systems. This solution is unfortunately often left to last after all the decisions have been made but ensure that you can allocate costs fairly and more importantly, compliantly, among residents based on usage. Not all EVSE meets regulatory standards.

4. Collaboration and Education:
Involve residents in decision-making. The more you can understand about the needs of your tenants and users, the better you can tailor your solution to ensure it meets both your use case and aligns with your Energy Strategy. Educate them about efficient charging practices and benefits to help you shape your solution and implement it in practice.

Benefits of Installing EV Chargers in Apartments

Despite all the challenges facing implementation of EVSE, their place in your Embedded Network is likely to be unavoidable in future and there are significant benefits to planning ahead and including them in your Energy Strategy early.

Attractiveness to Tenants:
EV charging infrastructure enhances property value and attracts environmentally conscious tenants, not only for residential tenants, but for business parks and commercial settings. Commercial tenants are expanding their employment offerings to feature special options for those who drive EV’s. Those settings that can facilitate this for their tenants place themselves at a distinct advantage for tenant selection and interest. It’s a competitive advantage in the rental market.

Reduced Carbon Footprint:
Promoting EV adoption contributes to a greener community. Apartments and business parks with charging facilities align with sustainability goals that reach to a wider audience and provide important first steps toward achieving the goals of tenants.


While challenges exist, proactive planning, collaboration, and informed decision-making can pave the way for successful EV charging integration in apartment buildings, multi-tenant environments and all forms of embedded network. When it comes time for you to begin driving toward a cleaner and more connected future, reach out to our team to ensure the solution and needs of your network are met right from the start of your planning phase.

For more Information:




Previous Article

Next Article