The slow spread of electric vehicles among private citizens introduces new complications which had not become apparent while EVs remained a distinct minority. Homeowners and property managers are urged to consider the strain which the simultaneous charging of numerous EVs will impose upon their existing electrical networks. While EVs can indeed be charged using the same electrical outlets currently used for car heaters in the winter, these charging posts were designed to accommodate much lower levels of demand and will, thus, be insufficient to respond to the demands of a group of EVs charging at one time. Those posts and outlets installed from the 1990s onwards are more capable of dealing with this strain but even these may prove insufficient for full EV charging, which is estimated to be somewhere between six to seven times as intensive as the strain imposed by the simple vehicle engine heaters.

Parking garages and shared residential parking areas face an additional challenge as the electrical wiring could create an additional bottle neck in the distribution of electricity to individual charging posts, therefore contributing to the potential for an overload. As electric vehicles become an increasingly common sight the challenges they create for the electricity networks will only increase and spiral outwards. For example, as the number of electric vehicles being charged nightly in a single area increases, the overall supply of electricity delivered to the housing complex will cease to be sufficient to respond to this increased demand.

While these early days of widespread EV adoption do certainly pose a daunting series of challenges and new requirements, they should not be seen as an argument against the further growth of EV ownership as these issues are all ones which are easily solved through the joint efforts of motivated citizens, supportive public administrations, and concerned private sector players and organizations.

Read more about the challenges facing Finnish homeowners and property managers (In Finnish) 

More information on EV charging and its impacts on housing 

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