Hotwire Electric is at the forefront of the move toward a cleaner more sustainable future. We understand the importance of the electric vehicle to the future of travel and have helped scores of individuals and companies in the GTA install EV chargers in their homes and businesses. But while installing an EV Level 1, Level 2 or Level 3 charger in a house or in a company garage is a relatively straightforward process for our highly trained and experienced pros, unique challenges arise when it comes to condo EV charger installation.
Supply Driven by Demand
As recently as a decade ago the number of fully electric vehicles in Canada was just a few thousand. What a difference a few years makes. In 2018 alone more than 150,000 all electric vehicles were sold nationwide and that upward spike is expected to continue. While that’s great news for the environment and the future of our kids and grand-kids it presents a significant logistical challenge. Because there just aren’t enough charging stations out there to provide for them all.
The Challenges Involved in Condo EV Charger Installation
Companies like Hotwire Electric have been working diligently to help fill the need created by the ever-growing number of EVs. But while most home and business installations come off without a hitch condo EV charger installation is often complex. Not impossible, just more complex and involved than other types of installations. That’s because of the cooperative nature of condominiums. Individual condo owners may want very much to purchase an EV and install a charger at their space but they need to wage a political battle before they’re able to do so.
The struggle to install condo EV chargers tends to take on one of several different forms:
- The board of skeptics – In most cases individual condo owners who wish to install an EV charger at their parking spot run into an immovable object called the condo board. They’re told the EV installation process is too complicated, or that it may somehow infringe on the rights of others. Or the board might simply view it as fantasy technology, like flying cars, and dismiss it.
- The long and winding road – This is the best way to describe most attempts to get the approval of the condo board or homeowner’s association. Even successful proposals can take months or even years of maneuvering, debate, objections, promises, paperwork, legal challenges and more before the okay is finally granted.
- Strength in numbers – In many instances where condo owners were successful in convincing the board to approve their EV charger installation it was a case of a group of owners who all wanted to go electric banding together and providing a unified front. In such cases the board (eventually) relents because they understand that fighting a dozen determined owners is far more difficult than fighting a lone wolf.
But Why the Resistance to Begin With?
There are a number of reasons why condo boards erect a Stop sign to EV charger installations. But in most cases it comes down to money. Which should not be a real surprise to anyone. Questions arise almost immediately regarding who is going to pay for the installation. Suspicions owners may be convinced that more work is required than the owner of the EV is letting on. And they fear they will somehow wind up being saddled with the bill. While others are sure that the whole thing is just an elaborate ruse to hide some other type of project the board would never approve.
Cost of Installation of EV Charger Installation
The cost of EV Charger installation for a condo building can vary greatly due to several factors but here are the main ones:
- Number of units required: being a condo building with a few dozen apartments or a few hundred will make a huge difference when deciding how many EV chargers are needed today but most importantly how many EV chargers will be required in 5 or 10 years time because as we move forward it is but a certainty that more and more people will drive electric vehicles therefore require chargers. We believe the condo board should plan for such expansion and install EV chargers that are expandable and able to multiply. (requires dedicated panels, lines etc.)
- Number of parking spaces occupied: Parking spaces in condo buildings are scarce and are usually planned and bought years in advance, even before the building breaks ground so taking over spaces and dedicating an area for EV chargers is a daunting task and should be part of the planning and cost involved.
- Type of charger: by now you should know the difference between level 1,2 and 3 chargers yet a condo board must think about metering, type of chargers, control panels and other aspects before making a decision.
There are many more factors to be considered when making a decision regarding a public / communal installation like a condo building and navigating such a political minefield can be a daunting task. So it can definitely help if you have command of the facts before bringing your proposal to the board or the homeowner’s association.
Hotwire Electric is the right choice for any electrical installation especially when it comes to a large investment and complex project so reach out to us and invite us to provide you with a detailed estimate.
While it is often difficult to get a condo EV charger installation approved it’s not impossible. Talk to the pros at Hotwire Electric. We can provide expert advice on the process as well as associated costs.