Your first step is to gather information about your situation. You will assess your charging needs, investigate your building situation, and identify who you can work with on strata council. These details will help you determine what type of electric vehicle charger might work best for you. Work through these checklists as best as you can before submitting a formal request to your strata council (Step 2).

Determine your electric vehicle charging needs

The type of charger you need

Level 1 chargers (using a regular outlet) can be easier and cheaper to install, but have slower charging speeds. Level 2 chargers (more powerful chargers) can charge a vehicle more quickly, but can be more challenging and expensive to install. For some people a Level 1 can satisfy most or all of their charging needs.

 Learn more about your charging options.

Type of access

The charger might be installed so that only you can access and use it, or it might be installed in a shared stall, for multiple electric vehicle drivers to access

Incentives available

Incentives may be available to cover all or part of the costs of the charger or its installation. Check Tools and Resources to see what incentives are currently available

Are you willing to pay

The costs of installing a charger can vary quite a bit for different situations. A Level 1 charger might cost between $300-$1000, while a Level 2 charger may cost between $4000 and $16,000 or more. You need to consider if you are willing to pay this full cost, or if you are asking your strata to pay for some or all of the cost.

Investigate your building’s situation

Existing electric vehicle chargers

It is important to know if your building already has an electric vehicle charger somewhere. Ask your building or strata manager, as well as other owners and tenants. Be sure to check your building’s visitor’s parking.

The distance between your parking stall and an electrical room or an outlet

This distance might be important. If a regular outlet is nearby, then you might have a Level 1 opportunity. Knowing the distance of the nearest electrical room may help an electrician estimate Level 2 installation costs. Parking stalls that are far from an outlet or the electrical room might have more expensive installation costs.

If you might need to switch parking stalls and if it is possible to do so

If your parking stall is too far from an outlet or the electrical room, then one option is to switch parking stalls with a homeowner that is closer. Your strata council can let you know if this option is feasible.

 Click here to learn more.

If your building has visitor’s parking

Another option is to have an electric charger installed in your building’s visitor’s parking area. Find out if this is feasible. This can often be easier to implement and has the advantage of providing access to multiple electric vehicle drivers.

Reach out to others

If your strata already has an electric vehicle policy

Such policies are not common, but it is important to know if your strata already has one. Ask your strata council or other homeowners. 

If other people in your building want electric vehicle charging

Your request might be more convincing if even one other homeowner joins you. Ask around your building to find neighbours with a similar interest. 

Any potential electric vehicle “champions” on your strata council

Find out if any strata council members have an interest in electric vehicles. If they do, consider informally contacting them early on to see if they have advice, and if they might be willing to support your request to your strata council. 

What you can learn from other electric vehicle owners’ experiences

One of your best resources is other electric vehicle owners that have successfully installed a charger in their apartment or townhouse. You might try to contact these individuals through forums, interest groups or even your own strata management company.

Read about success stories in British Columbia

Next steps

Step 2: Make a formal request to your strata council