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Apartment and Condo Charging

Discussion in 'North America' started by catnip, Nov 10, 2013.

  1. catnip

    catnip Member

    Nov 1, 2013
    Toronto, Canada.
    I live in a condo, in the Toronto area, this is a loft style building, 80 years old. I emailed the board of my building to get approval first. They had their monthly meeting and it was approved.
    My parking was about 40 feet from the power room and so far there is no EV in my building so I will be the pioneer here.
  2. EclecticCitizen

    EclecticCitizen House call doctor for families.

    Apr 15, 2013
    Alexandria, VA
    Thanks for posting. Those of us fighting with HOA boards and property managers can use help. I've has my Model S since March and still can't charge at home.
  3. PokerBroker

    PokerBroker Member

    Jul 11, 2013
    Minneapolis, MN
    My apartment allowed me to install a NEMA 14-50 outlet in my garage. They had a standard application for property modification where I had to explain my request and the purpose. It was reviewed by the management company and I was allowed to install it at my own expense if I used a licensed contractor. I have to leave it behind when I move out, but it only cost me $400.
  4. Ugliest1

    Ugliest1 S85: "Sparky"

    Aug 19, 2013
    Victoria BC Canada
    I live in a strata (condo) that is a little different as about half the owners have put their suites into a hotel pool, so, I sort of live in a hotel. A few months ago I approached the strata manager about adding EVCS to two of the parking spots. He was supportive although main concerns were reducing the always-in-demand parking spaces by two, and that EVCS spots at other hotels in the downtown Victoria core are "nearly always empty". However, I did my research and presented to the strata council in late October; they approved moving ahead as long as we are able to use BC's EVCS incentive grant which provides about 80% of the installation cost back. We have been approved by the incentive grant manager and are at this moment awaiting final approval from them for our purchase and installation quotes.

    I think the key behind getting strata council support is a) talk to council members before the official question to educate them a little and find out what their major concerns are; b) do the research to come up with reasonable cost options to counter any major concerns; c) be flexible in finding solutions; d) ask nicely, and be prepared to lead, and to solve new issues that float up out of nowhere.

    My "solution" to the parking spot problem was to devise signage that suggests priority for vehicles that are charging but allowing use for any other vehicle if there aren't other spots left, and perhaps painting only one of the spots green. Our strata council's attitude was that we will need it at some point anyway, might as well jump while some government funding is available. They even considered adding four stations instead of two.

    The final thing is, it may take more than one attempt... persevere!
  5. Lyon's Dad

    Lyon's Dad New Member

    May 5, 2013
    Northwest USA
    My successful experience

    I installed a NEMA 14-50 in my condo in Portland, Oregon and had it up in May 13. It took a year to discuss with the HOA members and the management company and get it installed. So far as we know, this is the first EV purposed receptacle in any condo in Portland. In our building, each unit has its own parking space. Ours happened to be very far from the electrical room and required a very long, very expensive conduit. But first the manager and HOA had to decide whether there was sufficient electrical capacity in the building. I hired an experienced electrical contractor to evaluate. The HOA board met on the issue several times. Even after the approval it took six weeks to schedule and execute the installation because of the HOA rules and required notices to other owners.

    I had to be very careful in the negotiations with the HOA and the management company because there was no requirement that they allow such an installation. There was no opposition to the idea, all the concerns were of the practical variety. The management company even helped me find a contractor that they were very comfortable with and which charged me about $1000 less than my original bid. Our agreement is that I pay for electricity periodically when the management company reads the meter in the electrical room. So far, no problems. I paid all costs of construction including the management company fees for overseeing the construction, reading the meter, and billing me. The receptacle is mounted on a pillar next to my parking space. Even with a locked box around it, it is very unobtrusive. The conduit runs up to and along the ceiling of the garage into the electrical room.

    Since then, the Oregon Legislature passed a statute requiring HOAs to allow installation of EV charging equipment at the owner's expense with restrictions that are very similar to what my HOA and I agreed to. Oregon's new law is very similar to the California law passed in 2012. Much of the time my installation took arose from the need to figure out what an agreement should cover. This statute will become a template for other installations and probably save time because the next installation can simply follow the criteria in the statute.

    Part of what worked for me was the concern of the HOA that being cooperative and allowing even difficult to formulate agreements improves the reputation of the building and the potential resale value of the units. I used essentially that argument to good effect. The HOA members, after all, are all unit owners who some day would like to sell. One in particular worked many hours to formulate an agreement the other HOA members and the management company could support.

    I think very convenient home charging is essential to move people to EVs and that HOAs and apartment owners need to be encouraged to allow and even promote the installation of charging equipment. Short range EVs like the Leaf (or longer range such as Gen III) should be the normal vehicle for city dwellers with short commutes, but it will not happen if they cannot charge conveniently at home.
  6. jomo25

    jomo25 Active Member

    Mar 16, 2012
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Really sorry to hear that. I got mine in April and it wasn't til the last minute (after an 18-month discussion period) that I got it approved with a bunch of stipulations. PM me if you want any help or advice in working with your HOA.

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