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Electric Vehicle Charging Station installation in Ontario Condos

CPower

Member
Sep 10, 2020
6
13
Canada
Are you looking to have an electric vehicle (EV) charging station installed in your condominium parking space?

Let me tell you it is definitely a long process but the result is well worth it!

I have created this document to help other people like myself who are keen to have an EV but are not receiving any resources or support from their condo board to install a charging station. In return for the advice and resources included in this document, I kindly request that if you purchase a Tesla to please use my referral code - Earn Free Supercharging Miles or a $100 Cash Award. Thank you in advance!

BACKGROUND

I recently had my EV charging station installed in my condo parking space (summer 2020). From the initial inquiry with my property manager to the final installation, it took a total of 3 months. The process felt much longer than 3 months, but everything seems to feel longer when it is something you are excited about. My hope is that with guidance from the steps in this document, it will not take you that long, but be prepared that it might.

The biggest thing I experienced through the entire process is that there was a lot of back and forth between the installation company, the property manager and myself. While it was frustrating at times, it is understandable given the fact that neither companies/people have as much to gain as you and I. So, just be prepared and be patient!

STEPS

1. Receive approval from your property manager

The first step for any installation would be to reach out to your property manager and see if this is something that they are onboard with. Some condominiums may already have processes in place, but most likely do not. Ensure that you have done your research in advance so you can be prepared when you talk to them (even if they shut down your idea, there is likely a defense you can use in your favour). For example, before approaching your property manager, walk around your parking garage and see if there are any EVs, charging stations or electrical outlets. If there are, then you have a strong case as to why you should get one!

2. Find a reputable company willing to complete the installation

Following that, the first major challenge I faced was finding a company that was willing to install an EV charging station in a condo. I reached out to over 10 companies within the Toronto area and only 2 were willing to do the work. Throughout this process, I found out that many companies do not like to do condo installations because they tend to do a lot of work upfront prepping for the installation only to have the deal fall through at some point during the process. However, out of the ones that agreed, the one that I ended up choosing did an AMAZING job. They were also very pleasant to work with (EVdirect)

3. Get a quote from the installation company

Some companies may require a non-refundable deposit in order to provide you a quote. For these companies to provide you with a quote they will require the electrical drawings of the building (some may also do a site visit). This document can be obtained from your property manager. This is the first step to getting a quote.

Once you have your quote and decide on a company to do your installation this is where a lot of the legwork is required.

4. Receive approval from the condo board

The property manager will have to get the condo board’s approval for this project. In order to get approval there are several documents that they will require. First and foremost is filling out the Condominium Authority of Ontario (CAO) EV application, which can be found here (CAO’s Step-by-Step Guide: Installing Electronic Vehicle Charging Systems | Condominium Authority of Ontario). Along with this form, the property manager and condo board will require several accompanying documents from the installation company.

They will require (at minimum) the following:

● Installation schematics/drawings

● A statement of work from the supplier

● Statement of impact

● WSIB and commercial liability insurance certificates

● Photos of potential installation

These documents may take a week or so for the installation company to provide you. Once you have all of these documents along with the completed CAO EV application, they can be submitted to the property manager for review and potential approval from them and the condo board.

5. Contact hydro company

While this is ongoing, I would highly recommend you reach out to your current hydro company to determine if there is anything that they require on their end. For my installation, the only requirement was that the meter that was installed to monitor the electrical consumption needed to have a measurement Canada seal on it. This form can be obtained from the installation company and will need to be filled out by the property manager.

6. Sign an agreement

Once the condo board approves of the installation, you are well on your way to having the installation completed. Depending on the property manager, you may be required to have an official legal agreement signed by both yourself and the property manager before you are able to book an installation date. The property manager likely will work with the condo’s lawyer to draft a formal agreement. Legally in Ontario it is required that the charging station be registered on title. The lawyer will do this once the document is signed. You will be required to pay the fees to have it registered on title as well as the lawyer fees for drafting the documents. The additional fees I was going to have to pay for the legal document initially surprised me, but, fortunately, the cost for the legal fees as well as registering it to title was around $500, but this could easily vary.

7. Book an installation date

Once both parties signed off the agreement, I was able to book an installation date. The installation company was available to come within a few days after reaching out to arrange a date. The entire installation took less than 2 days and I could not be happier with the result.

ADDITIONAL NOTES

My only concern once the installation was finished was that other people in the condo might see it and want to use it. Currently we do not have any other Tesla’s in our parking garage, but the last thing I want is for someone to come and use my charging station without my permission while I am at work. After reading many threads with no solution that was going to be feasible for me at this point, I discovered the ‘ZING 7294 Lockout Tagout’. I purchased mine off amazon for $28 and it works perfectly. Using this device, you simply place the charging head inside the box and lock it using any lock of your choice. This is one of the simplest and easiest solutions to prevent others from using your charging station.

FINAL REMARKS

I hope all of this information helps those in Ontario looking to install a charging station in your condominium. While it definitely was not an easy road, I am satisfied with the result and happy that I stuck with it until the end. A few months is well worth the lifetime of use!

My hope is that this document helps reduce the time and stress that I faced, and that we are looking at a future where more and more condominiums have private and public EV charging stations!
 

chinney

Member
Nov 7, 2020
110
77
Ottawa ON
Congratulations. I have a house myself, but I have heard that it can be difficult to convince condos to allow for installation, and next to impossible for rental apartments. Changes to the law may be necessary to better encourage adoption.
 

CPower

Member
Sep 10, 2020
6
13
Canada
Hey great information- Can you share the details on pricing?

-cost of installation
-cost for electricity
-cost of sub meter fees (if applicable)

The cost will vary depending on how far you need to run the wiring from the breaker. Ours was just under $5k. As for the cost of electricity I am only being billed twice a year so I am not sure yet! Hope this helps!
 
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kt17

New Member
Nov 30, 2020
2
0
Toronto
Sorry new to the forum. Thanks CPower for sharing your experience. I am about to submit an application to the condo Board as well. Would you mind sharing which law firm you went with to prepare the legal Agreement? I was quoted $1000-$2000. It would be great if I could get this done for about $500. I am in the Greater Toronto Area.
 

CPower

Member
Sep 10, 2020
6
13
Canada
Sorry new to the forum. Thanks CPower for sharing your experience. I am about to submit an application to the condo Board as well. Would you mind sharing which law firm you went with to prepare the legal Agreement? I was quoted $1000-$2000. It would be great if I could get this done for about $500. I am in the Greater Toronto Area.

Hey! Welcome to the club!

The condo had their own legal company that they went with. They did not even give me the option to go with my own. So maybe see if they will go with their own or not!
 

kt17

New Member
Nov 30, 2020
2
0
Toronto
Ok thanks! Yeah the quote I got is from the law firm the condo normally deals with. Not sure if I have the option to go with someone else.
 

ehacke

Member
Sep 29, 2020
148
104
Toronto, Ontario
Thanks for this.

I got a similar run-down from my condo. Though in my case the only option given to me was to install a one-off charger in my space. Apparently the install companies are less happy with this option because it doesn't really scale if other people also want it later. But surveying the entire building and paying tens of thousands to install a distributed system is way less likely to succeed.

And by the way, for people who are curious, if you're in Ontario, I think the condo board is legally required to allow you to do the install as long as you pay for it, and it doesn't do damage to the building or strain the electrical system.

For me, I think I'm going to wait a bit to do the install and see if I can live without it. I may move out in a year or two, and not sure I want to spend $5-8k on a charging point I may not use for long.
 

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