If you manage a Community Association or are on the Board of Directors, installing plug-in electric vehicle charging equipment is a community project. Here are some suggested steps to get your association “plug-in” ready for electric vehicles.
Steps to Achieve EV Charging At Your Community Association
- Take a Poll. See how many people in your community are interested in plug-in vehicles, and when they might actually be in the market to purchase one.
- Explore your Options. You don’t have to do it yourself! Consider a professional firm to help evaluate types of vehicles, available charging technologies, locations, metering, user-specific billing, and costs.
- Identify the Challenges. Consider property layout (location of garage, electricity source and planned electric vehicle charging station), the board’s fiduciary responsibilities and Governing Document restrictions, use of Common Area or Guest Parking, ADA accessibility, and initial construction/installation costs.
- Come to Consensus. Determine number of spaces for initial installation, where they will be located, future expansion possibilities, and how it will be paid.
- Choose a Consultant. Again, this is a “hybrid” of many technologies: construction, electrical engineering, and community association expertise. Find a consultant with prior experience, doing exactly what you want done at your association.
- Do an On-Site Evaluation. This involves establishing firm project requirements about location, load calculations, electrical panel issues, and contacting your local electrical utility about possible discounted rates. An EV charging station consultant will typically do this for no-cost.
- Finalize the Design. Get a total price quote, get permits, place the utility service order, order the materials, publicize the project to the homeowners, and schedule installation. Remember to anticipate any required project inspections!
- Get Charged Up!
Bottom line – it’s been done before. Get a consultant to help your Association through the process. Just because you don’t even know where to start doesn’t mean you have to say “no” to a homeowner who wants a charging station.
In most cases, the homeowner pays for the installation and pays for the electricity. While the association may require the homeowner pay for removal if necessary when the home is sold, an EV charging station may be the desirable feature making that unit, and your Association, attractive to the next buyer!