The first step that is required to install EV charging in your building is to gather information about the situation. It will be important to engage the strata council and owners throughout the process. The following checklists are useful tools to ensure all requirements are covered before making a formal request to the strata council:
Researching Strata Plans and Legal Designations
It is important to first refer back to any strata plans, bylaws, amendments, or rules laid out by the strata council to understand if an electric vehicle charging policy is already in place. Legal parking designations will also be laid out in these documents, and are necessary to consult before moving forward with any EV charging infrastructure. There are three main parking stall designations: common property, limited common property, and strata lot. The legal designation of a parking stall will determine what action is needed, such as a swap or change of ownership. Your strata bylaws and rules will dictate if these changes are possible. It is recommended to contact legal counsel for any questions relating to parking designations.
Assessing Charging Needs
As outlined above, there are two types of home charging available for EVs. Based on driving and parking habits, you can determine whether Level 1 or Level 2 charging will meet charging needs. For those who don’t drive far distances or very often, Level 1 can sometimes fulfill their charging needs.
It is best to reach out to all residents in the building to survey their desire to install charging, as well as understand what level charging would work best for everyone. This can be done by simple and anonymous surveys created online. It can also be helpful to identify if there’s an “EV champion” you can work with on the strata council. Here are some sample survey questions to understand residents’ EV charging attitudes and requirements:
EV Ready Plan vs. Standalone EV Charger Rebate
You will need to understand what route your strata prefers to take when installing EV charging. Under CleanBC’s Go Electric Program, there are two options for condos and apartments to receive rebates for installing EV charging:
An EV Ready Plan helps to futureproof a building, by creating an “EV ready building” that provides energized outlets at parking spaces that make for easy installation of Level 2 charging. In order to complete an EV Ready Plan, you would need to hire a licensed electrical contractor or engineer to assess your building situation and put together the comprehensive plan. Through the CleanBC program, you are eligible to receive 75% of the costs to create this plan. Note that an EV Ready Plan is required to receive EV Ready infrastructure rebates.
Once your EV Ready Plan has been completed and approved, you may move forward with infrastructure installation. Each parking stall that installs EV Ready infrastructure is eligible for up to 50% of the installation costs, see below table for a breakdown of rebate amounts. For those who install an eligible charger in the EV Ready stall, there is a rebate of up to 50% of the charger cost. Final applications must be submitted within four months of initial approval.
The standalone EV charger rebate is most commonly used when there is little interest from residents to install chargers, or no chance to invest significant funds into charging infrastructure. In some cases, installing charging stations in common or shared parking spaces may be a sufficient short-term solution. Strata councils, building owners, or residents that install eligible EV chargers could receive a rebate up to 50% of the purchase and installation costs, up to $2,000 per charger and $14,000 per building. The following items are required to receive the charger-only rebate: a copy of the quote of work, proof of approval from the strata council, and a contractor consultation form.
EV READY REBATES
STANDALONE EV CHARGER REBATE
- Up to $3,000 for EV Ready plan
- Up to $80,000 for EV Ready infrastructure
- Up to $14,000 for chargers
- Up to $14,000 for chargers per apartment/condo complex
|TOTAL: $97,000 per apartment/condo complex
||TOTAL: $14,000 per apartment/condo complex
Assessing Electrical Needs
Before undertaking any retrofits or installations you must understand the electrical capacity of your building, and if electrical upgrades must be completed. Alliance certified electricians can help assess your building situation, and provide a quote if electrical upgrades must be made to install EV charging. They can also provide a quote to prepare an EV Ready Plan. These contractors can often also provide recommendations for chargers, and help with the overall process of installing charging.
To assess the building’s electrical situation, you will require the maximum monthly building electrical demand in kW. This maximum demand will help determine the spare power your building has, and how many chargers you can install. You or your contractor can request the last 12 months of data from BC Hydro.
Understanding Operating Costs
Before purchasing and installing a charger, there is the consideration of ongoing costs of charging. When plugged in, EVs draw electricity from the grid just like any other appliance. The cost of charging depends on the type of electric vehicle as well as driving habits. For example, driving a smaller EV 20,000km per year would cost around $400/year in electricity, or about $33/month. This annual electricity cost is less than a typical residential water heater.