Need a Charge? Electric Vehicle Charging in Older Apartments

By Andre Jankowski, from SPEC Energy Committee

Electric vehicles (EVs) are becoming more popular in Vancouver. The annual sales of EVs are rapidly increasing reflecting the growing desire among the population to switch over from gas and diesel-powered cars to EVs powered by clean electricity. The most commonly cited concerns inhibiting decisions to purchase an EV are: cost of EVs, battery range, and availability of charging stations. While the first two concerns are largely in control of the EV’s suppliers, the availability of charging stations is dependent mainly on local authorities and property owners.  Making charging stations easily accessible, particularly at home for overnight charging, or at work for charging during work hours, will help many people decide to purchase an EV instead of a gas or diesel-powered car.

While the installation of an EV charger in a house is not very complicated and can be accomplished relatively quickly by an experienced contractor, installation of chargers in condominium parkades is more complex to design, construct, and manage. According to the 2016 Census, 62% of Vancouver dwellings are apartments. This percentage is increasing. All new condominiums are required to provide electrical outlets for parking stalls, to facilitate car charging. However, parking stalls in older buildings are not likely to have electrical supply connections, sized for EV charging. Besides technical issues, there are other, administrative issues that strata corporations have to grapple with, issues like metering of power consumption and cost-sharing. But do not despair! Metro Vancouver has prepared a comprehensive information package for us. If you are a resident of a condo or a strata council member or a property manager, have a look at the information contained in this link:

Installation of Electric Vehicle Charging Stations on Strata Properties in British Columbia

This is a great place to start your project!