– 112 parking spots with charging from regular sockets, that would't work.

As more residents began purchasing electric cars in the Bjergsted Terrace housing cooperative, the board had to facilitate safe and simple charging in the parking facility. With Zaptec's charging system, everyone has their own charging box, and they use the power in the smartest way possible.

Chairman Eigil Harstad has been involved in the procurement of the charging system for the housing cooperative. He was also one of the first in the co-ownership to buy an electric car seven years ago, and he saw that something had to be done with the charging infrastructure in the parking facility if all residents were to be assured of electric car charging in the future.

At that time, each parking spot had the possibility to charge via a socket, and there was no electricity consumption registration. We on the board began to discuss the scenario if everyone in the co-ownership suddenly got an electric car, and we quickly concluded that 112 parking spots with plug-in charging would not work.

Chairman Eigil Harstad

Chairman Eigil Harstad has been involved in the acquisition of the housing cooperative's charging system. / Photo by: Line Owren

Scalable charging system

The board then contacted a company that surveyed the electric car parking system for them. In four years, there are now 40 residents who have taken advantage of this offer. So it's gone fast, says Harstad.

It was important to choose a charging system that was safe and scalable. After the tender round, the choice fell on Zaptec's charging system, which utilises power up to 66 % more efficiently than other charging systems.

The charging system will never overload the fuse. It provides stability to the residents, and available power is smartly distributed to everyone who wants to charge. "We chose Zaptec based on an overall assessment. The charger is user-friendly, it suits all types of electric cars, and the power is evenly distributed between all the electric cars throughout the day. It also facilitates quick connection of new charging boxes. Everything works very well, and we have not received a single complaint from the residents. Everyone is very satisfied with the new system," he says.

All chargers have their own E-Meter

When residents wish to get a Zaptec charger at their parking spot, they contact the board, referring them to the company responsible for installation. Each resident purchases and owns their own charging box with an individual electricity meter.

– All residents pay a fixed amount to Bate Housing Association, our accountant. Once a year, we read the actual electricity consumption per charger and then submit this to Bate, who conducts a settlement on the prepaid amount and actual use. This saves us a lot of work on the board, and it feels safe for all parties, says Harstad.

Zaptec's charging system adjusts the electric car charging according to the building's other power consumption. If the building uses a lot of electricity, for example, in the afternoon when everyone is cooking simultaneously, the electric car system understands this and adjusts the power usage, increasing the charging speed again when the peak time is over.

Stina Rytter Norheim (30) is pleased with both the installation process and the charging system itself. / Photo by: Line Owren

User-friendly and functional

One resident who has taken advantage of having her own charging box is Stina Rytter Norheim (30). She has lived in the Bjergsted Terrace Co-ownership since 2017. In August 2021, she bought a Volkswagen ID3.

I didn't need a car because I live centrally in Stavanger. I managed fine getting around by bike, on foot, and using public transport. But then the pandemic hit, which made getting to work and transporting things challenging. I'm involved in voluntary work within handball in my spare time, and then having a car is very convenient. Buying an electric car was a conscious choice. I'm very concerned about the environment, so an electric car was the only right choice for me.

Resident Stina Rytter Norheim

The process of getting a charging station installed at her parking spot went smoothly. It was a very quick job. The electrician let himself in and installed everything. It does cost a bit, but I see it as an investment for my apartment and parking spot, she points out.

When Stina Rytter Norheim wanted an EV charger, she contacted Eigil Harstad on the board of the housing cooperative. / Photo by: Line Owren

Rytter Norheim finds the charger user-friendly and has several useful features. The charger has a light indicator on the front that shows whether it's charging, which is very handy and easy to understand. Additionally, I really appreciate the feature that locks the charger so no one can steal your charger or electricity, she says.

She is very pleased that the co-ownership quickly offered electric car charging. I probably would not have ended up with an electric car if I did not have the security of being able to charge at home in peace and quiet. Relying on public charging in the city centre would simply have been too complicated and daunting, says Rytter Norheim.

Zaptec Portal provides a complete overview

With the Zaptec Portal cloud service, installers and installation owners have a complete overview of the status of the charging stations. Here, you can monitor, balance, and distribute the power in the best possible way between the chargers. You can also read the charging history and register new users. The charging system is connected to the internet, so troubleshooting and upgrades can be remotely controlled without needing an electrician to visit the co-ownership. Board member of the Bjergsted Terrace Co-ownership, Eigil Harstad, thinks the operation and support of the charging system work well.

– If we have any questions, we call and get answers. And if there's a problem with a charger, we can quickly read on the computer which charger it concerns and what the issue is, he says.

To others considering electric car charging in their co-ownership or housing cooperative, Harstad has the following advice:

– Before deciding to install electric car chargers, one must have professional help to investigate the power situation in the housing cooperative or co-ownership. One must account for all parking spaces to have a charger. Choose one common power supplier and have a separate billing solution that does not require time and resources for settlement by the board. This also provides a simple and fair cost distribution for the residents. If you have clear and explicit rules for operation, this works excellently, says Eigil Harstad.