EV Installation for Homes and Apartments – The Essentials

By Admin on 17 November 2023

Installing EV charging at home or your apartment community doesn’t have to be difficult. Here is a quick guide on understanding EV charging for homes or apartment complexes.


When shopping for a vehicle, most car buyers almost never consider where they'll refuel since gas stations are almost everywhere. But for buyers of electric vehicles, where to charge is a major aspect of EV ownership at present. Electric Vehicles (EVs) are a sustainable and energy-efficient mobility option that reduces carbon footprint. Owning an EV can be great for your economy and the environment, but the national EV charging infrastructure still has a long way to go, which is why apartment electric car charging can be an important challenge to overcome.

If you own a home, installing a Level 2, 240-volt charger allows for topping off an EV's battery in your garage or driveway each night if you need to. But if you're among the majority of people in this country who live in multi-unit dwellings such as apartments or condominiums, you have limited options.

Electric vehicle (EV) charging stations for multifamily housing—also called multi-unit dwellings (MuDs)—such as condos or apartments, provide property owners with a unique way to help attract and retain residents and foster an environmentally sustainable community. Multifamily housing owners face unique considerations when installing charging stations, ranging from parking and electrical service access to billing and legal concerns. Compared to home EV charging, none are ideal and are typically costly, inconvenient or both—and serve as barriers to EV ownership for multi-unit dwellers.

HOW TO CHARGE AN ELECTRIC CAR AT YOUR APARTMENT?

Learning how to charge an electric car at an apartment building can be quite easy for tenants since the process is similar or the same as in regular public EV charging stations. The steps to learn how to charge an electric car at an apartment building are the following:

  • Have the vehicle parked and turned off.
  • Connect the vehicle to one of the electric car charging stations for apartments.
  • Start the charging process and wait until the vehicle is charged.
  • End the charging process via the app or inside the dashboard of the vehicle.
  • Remove the plug and use your vehicle.

Charging an EV can be easily done in 5 simple steps, the only aspect that may vary is how the charge is billed, the app used to charge the EV, and a few other details. When no EV charger is available in the apartment building the challenges become numerous, but there are some alternatives that we will analyse further on, including finding nearby charging stations, running a heavy-duty extension cord to your EV, finding the right apartment, asking the landlord for the installation of EV charging stalls, and others.

THE CHALLENGES ARE MANY

Electric car charging at apartments may be a little more difficult than doing EV charging in a household where you can take completely independent decisions over your house infrastructure. Let us check on some of the typical challenges that restrict electric car charging in apartment blocks:

  • Buildings with restricted electrical infrastructures.
  • Small capacity service panels are located in the parking station area.
  • Apartment building councils refuse to install or allow the installation of apartment EV chargers.
  • Agreements between tenants and property owners on the installation of EV charging stations in apartments.
  • Fast internet connection in underground parking station areas.
  • EV parking arrangements: Private or shared?
  • Funding for the project.
  • Negotiating with landlords and/or building board.
  • Installing chargers in already-built apartment buildings with underground parking can be difficult.

As can be seen, several issues can arise when thinking of electric car charging in apartments, but this does not mean it is impossible. The following section illustrates several alternative solutions that can give you a chance to charge your EV, even if you are limited by one of these challenges.

CHARGING ELECTRIC CAR AT APARTMENT

Electric vehicle charging in apartment buildings can be extremely hard if there are no EV chargers installed. Some forward-thinking apartment building councils may plan to install an apartment EV charging station in available parking spaces, but this can prove a challenging task in some buildings, especially old ones with low electrical capacity available. The main available option for electric car apartment charging is using Level 1 Chargers with traditional 120V outlets, but this takes up to 50 hours to charge EV batteries.

SOLUTION

A suitable solution for this problem is the installation of apartment EV charging, which is becoming a highly attractive feature already present in a few selected buildings. Buildings with electric car charging solutions for apartments can generate a passive income thanks to the EV chargers; they can also improve the quality of the tenants in the building, increase the reputation and branding of the building, and more.

Right To Charge

One of these policy considerations is advancement of laws aimed at helping renters and condo owners more easily install chargers. The laws differ from state to state but all prohibit building owners and condo Home-Owner Associations (HOAs) from preventing the installation and use of EV chargers by residents, though they also stipulate requirements for renters and condo dwellers.

The renter or condo owner usually pays for the charging equipment and its installation. They're also typically required to shell out for charger maintenance, the electricity used, liability insurance, and a designated parking space if one isn't already assigned or near where the charger is installed.

Association’s Role

How can Associations help empower more of their Residents to make the switch to Electric Vehicle?

  • Build a robust Guideline for installing Charger Boxes by individuals.
  • Train the Association Electrician so they can inspect that the installation is as per Guideline.
  • Set up the Category “EV Charger Installation” on your Helpdesk so residents can easily raise a request to keep you inform/book appointment with the Electrician to inspect.

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