Real estate developer Arco Vara, in collaboration with Enefit, a subsidiary of Eesti Energia, implemented a pilot project to improve the limited availability of electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure. The lack of charging options often becomes a barrier in switching to electric vehicles, especially among apartment residents.

Since 2020, regulations require the new apartment buildings to be equipped with the necessary infrastructure for installing a charging station on each parking spot. In the Rannakalda development near Stroomi beach, such infrastructure has been established and the first personal Enefit Volt chargers are already operating.

“Enefit and Arco Vara offer EV owners the opportunity to use a personal Enefit Volt charging station at their own parking spot. Depending on preference, it’s possible to either rent or purchase the charger,” explains Miko Niinemäe, the CEO of Arco Vara. He further mentions that renters have the option to terminate the service and return the charger in case they move.

According to Kert Pääbo, Head of e-mobility at Enefit Volt, the transition to electric vehicles greatly depends on the availability of charging infrastructure and the assurance drivers have regarding access to charging at home, work, or on the go. 

“Greater accessibility to charging infrastructure and the opportunity to easily and conveniently install a personal charging point significantly influence apartment owners’ decisions to opt for an electric vehicle, thus supporting the adoption of sustainable transportation,” states Pääbo. He notes that approximately a quarter of Enefit Volt charger purchasers today are apartment residents.

The innovative pilot project, resulting from the successful collaboration between the two companies, reflects their shared values and the commitment to offering personalized approach, flexibility, and convenience for consumers which they expect. Charging is done using an RFID card or a smartphone app.

“In Rannakalda, personal charging stations allow customers to pay based on their actual electricity usage, which is not possible with shared charging stations in apartment buildings,” notes the CEO of Arco Vara.

Enefit Volt’s spokesperson mentioned they have also established such charging readiness in older apartment buildings, but due to the significant electrical works, implementing such solution is more expensive compared to new developments. Another challenge is obtaining approvals from the housing association. “However, in Rannakalda, an electric vehicle owner can order a charger just like a private homeowner. Chargers are available either for purchase or renting. Renting is based on monthly payments, including both the charger and standard installation, and the pricing is equal for everyone regardless of the parking location,” explains Pääbo.

Miko Niinemäe reports positive feedback from Rannakalda residents regarding the pilot project, noting a growing interest for EV charging options. “We are planning to introduce a similar solution for future developments to meet our customers’ expectations for convenience and flexibility. Additionally, it is also a reasonable solution in terms of construction, as it reduces the expenses related to electrical connections,” concludes Niinemäe.