EV chargers can be installed by owners, the condo corporation, or a combination of the two. There are many charger types, companies, and ways to charge. As a leader in sustainable transportation, pointA is outlining our best practices for charger installation at condo buildings. This guide can also be used by property managers who are looking to install chargers at office buildings.
How pointA can help you
Let pointA guide you through the charger selection and installation process. Our services cover the following:
- Education on EV charging, including process, chargers, and condo board approval process
- Site assessment, along with other sustainable transportation methods/aspects
- Procurement guidance and a list of vetted vendors
- Owner/tenant survey to understand EV charging needs.
Contact us today by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Recommendations for EV charger installation
|1. Determine needs||Survey owners and tenants to determine who needs EV charging or who is planning on buying an EV.||If one person is interested, it is likely others will be interested as well.|
|2. Parking assessment||Determine if parking structure has the following: Electrical supply, wifi, space for chargers; need for visitor charging.||There are different options available depending on the parking structure|
|3. Procurement||We recommend speaking to at least three charging companies to provide quotes on chargers, installation, electrical panel (if required), and load management system.||Each company offers something slightly different. Note that pointA can assist in helping you identify vetted vendors to speak with.|
|4. Communications||Once you know the cost and installation timeline, communicate this to all residents. For those residents who need a charger installed, you will need to sign an agreement for the installation, use, and payment for the charger.||This is standard procedure to inform residents of the changes and the implications (if any) to their property management fees and interruptions due to construction.|
|5. Installation and onboarding||After installation is completed, onboard those using the chargers to the load management and payment system.|
We would recommend working with vendors that:
- Have an electrical license.
- Are located in the city that you’re located in. This is particularly important for maintenance.
- Use OPCC (open network, not closed network) chargers so that they can any software or supply panel.
- Use non-proprietary software in addition to hardware to understand data, billing, and load management.
- Install Level 2 or Level 3 chargers. Level 2 chargers take about 4-10 hours for a full charge and give you about 30% of battery in an hour. Level 3 is the fastest charger and can get you about 80% of battery in an hour. Most buildings just need Level 2 chargers.
In total, you should expect to spend upfront for the cost for charger installation, plus subscription to the software depending on the vendor.
Only if the cost of the installation is greater than 10% of the common amenities expense for the year (based on annual budget) AND the installation of the chargers would significantly reduce the enjoyment of the shared amenities by others. This is in accordance with the Ontario Regulation 48/01 under Condominium Act (1998). This may vary depending on where your’e located.
We recommend using a pay-as-you-go model. This ensures that it is fair for all owners and is much easier to manage when prices change. Some buildings have opted to simply charge a set monthly rate for all owners. While this seems easier, it is hard to set pricing that is equitable and can be changed easily without data on usage and type of vehicle.
Instead, we recommend installing software to manage payment. Software also has major benefit of sharing the power load when charging to ensure that everyone gets access to a charge when they need it. This software can also be used to manage visitor charging if desired.
Only if you have an abundance of visitor parking and can allow for visitors to stay overnight.
It is required for most chargers. However, if this is not possible, there are charging companies that can overcome this.
Generally, no. The amount charged is generally quite minimal.
Most buildings can safely accommodate up to 20 EV charging spots. Charging companies can assess your electrical panel without incurring costs for a complete load assessment.
You have two options. It is best to ask your property manager about availability and then ask the condo board to offer this to everyone in the building so that the installation costs can be shared. Otherwise, according to the Ontario Regulation 48/01 under Condominium Act (1998), you can submit an application (the Condo Authority of Ontario has a template) and then sent to the attention of the Board or property manager, depending on your building.
Once submitted, the condo board has 60 days to provide a response to either accept your application or not. If they do not accept your application, they must provide an explanation, such as installation would break the law (e.g., violates Electrical Safety Code) or pose a threat to the health safety of residents or the structure of the building. If they accept, then the owner will install the charger at their own expense.
pointA recommends that condo boards share the cost of installation between those interested in EV charging or absorb the cost upfront as part of the shared amenities. This ensures that the corporation oversees the installation and has a say in the decision making of selecting vendors. It also ensures that there will be an uptake of the spaces without making cost a barrier. However, you may already have policies on cost sharing in your condo bylaws.
Ontario Regulation 48/01 under Condominium Act (1998) was changed in 2018 to outline the approval process for installing electric vehicle charging systems (EVCSs) in condo buildings for owners and corporations. It explains when a vote is required (see above Q&A), when and how condo boards must respond to owner requests for EV charging, among other provisions. If you have any questions, please email us email@example.com and we can support you on your journey.
- Develop an EV installation and charging policy – This will help in the event that an owner submits a request for installation. In Ontario, condo boards must respond to the owner within 60 days and that may not be sufficient time to understand other condo owner needs and find suitable vendors. While pointA can help you with this, we recommend condo boards prepare in advance. The policy will cover can include guidelines on cost sharing, outline the procedures for owners to request chargers, and a list of vetted vendors.
- Conduct a Level 2 Energy Audit – While most condos in urban centres will have sufficient capacity for EV chargers, it may be a good idea to confirm this so that you understand how many EV chargers you can install.
- Understand owner needs – As there is lead time between intending to purchase a EV to purchasing one and needing a charger, knowing how many owners are interested in purchasing a EV and their needs will help shape your EV policy and plans for charger installation.
Tenants should pay for their own charging as recommended above and if the installation cost is shared, then the tenant should bear the cost. If the tenant moves out, owners can decide to remove the charger and property management can install it elsewhere if it is at a particular parking spot.
Image credit: Michael Fousert, unsplash