There are currently 45,000 electric vehicles in Ireland and that is going to increase rapidly. The Irish government’s Climate Action Plan calls for 945,000 EVs on the roads by 2030 — an ambitious target. All these vehicles are going to be charged somewhere, which is where both the challenge and the opportunity lies, renewable energy provider Pinergy Corporate EV Charging Sales Manager Damian Boylan said.
“We’re past believing in the inevitable increase of EVs — it’s a fact, it’s happening,” Boylan said. “The majority of property owners haven’t dipped their toes in the area of EV chargers yet, but today this is more than a necessity. It’s an opportunity to drive footfall.”
Pinergy is directing its efforts toward helping Ireland’s property owners and developers grapple with Commercial EV charging points, both in the commercial and private rented sectors. Many fall prey to the common misconception that in a large property, whether residential or commercial, the landlord foots the bill for charging vehicles because the electricity comes from their supply, Boylan said.
“Some locations, such as hotels or supermarkets, have been providing free charge up to this point because it hasn’t been a big cost,” Boylan said. “But electricity is an important resource — there’s only a finite amount that can be created and costs are rising. Landlords need to find a way to install charge points and charge their tenants and visitors.”
Already, new PRS blocks with more than 10 car parking spaces must include infrastructure for a minimum number of chargers to be installed. As 80% of charging happens at home, Boylan said, there will quickly be a need for far more chargers. People will also increasingly expect to be able to charge their EVs at work or while out and about. Landlords in all sectors need to install a solution that allows them to allocate costs.
Pinergy has created a solution that allows a landlord to metre the electricity residents or visitors use to charge their car, a mix of hardware and software. On the hardware side, it is an intelligent charger that can balance the load across the network. The software comes in to ensure the EV driver pays for their charge, not the landlord or property manager.
“Our solution lets drivers set up an account simply, with their own password, so they can charge their car through our app,” Boylan said. “That charge is netted from the landlord’s bill. It’s just simple. We’re removing the barriers for property owners to invest in this equipment.”
The Irish government has bold plans to scale up the number of EVs on the road rapidly. Although its target to have almost 1 million EVs on the road by 2030 is perhaps overambitious — 8,646 were registered in 2021 — the push is there and the recognition that this needs to be matched with charging points. The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland is giving out grants of up to €600 to install a home charging point and a consultation has recently ended on a scheme for apartment blocks.
Installing EV chargers is more than just a necessity though, Boylan said. It is an opportunity to attract people. Increasingly, PRS residents will expect a scheme to have charging points, while shoppers will visit the shopping centres where they can charge their car while they shop. Businesses will look for EV charging facilities for their clients and employees — it will be part of the experience a workplace provides.
“EV charging is a carrot and a stick,” Boylan said. “The stick is regulation, but there are multiple carrots. If you have a bank of chargers that are easy to use, that will attract people. Future-thinking property developers and owners will be thinking about how they can increase engagement from potential residents and footfall over their competitors.”
Given the growth in the number of EVs on the road — 8,646 in 2021 compared to 4,013 in 2020 — it’s safe to assume that all property owners will soon be considering charging points.
“This is new for everyone,” Boylan said. “Lots of people approach the matter thinking, ‘Let’s just put a socket on a wall and see’. But EV chargers are going to be in big demand. Landlords need to recoup costs in a way that adds value for everyone.”
This article was produced in collaboration between Pinergy and Studio B. Bisnow news staff was not involved in the production of this content.