Whether you’re a condo resident, property manager, or board member, it’s important to plan ahead and think future-forward — especially when it comes to electric vehicles. Just ask Signature Electric’s very own Mark Marmer. In a recent webinar hosted by the Electric Vehicle Society, Mark discussed the challenges and solutions for charging electric cars in condominiums and multi-unit residential buildings (MURBs).
You can watch the Canada Talks Electric Cars 1-hour webinar here:
According to Mark, there are several benefits to having an EV-ready infrastructure and policy in place. With EVs projected to become the norm in the next decade, becoming future-proof and scaling up for EV charging solutions is not only about servicing condo residents, but also increasing a building’s property value for the long-run. And charging EVs is becoming an important part of staying up-to-speed with today’s building standards and tomorrow’s provincial laws.
The first step is a load evaluation to determine how many EV chargers your building can accommodate. From assessing your building’s infrastructure to hydro bills, and energy-saving features, you can free up extra capacity and leverage load sharing for your community. You’ll also want to consider the costs of installing (and supplying) a community charger versus a network of chargers in deeded spaces.
The majority of condo EV chargers are installed in deeded spaces, so residents can control access to their stations. While the installation of community chargers is certainly cheaper, a common dealbreaker is the lack of reliability for available charging stations. The reality is that EVs owners want to come home after their daily commutes and weekend drives, with the security of plugging into their own spaces.
When it comes to servicing the condo community and reducing long-term building infrastructure costs, energy managed network solutions offer the most value. With power management, you can scale network chargers for ongoing and future demand. Your network of EV chargers connects through the Cloud and leverages smart algorithms, to intelligently share power and maximize electrical capacity.
The fact is that most cars only need to charge for a few hours and that charging ports are not always in use. By “talking” to each other to optimize usage, chargers can power twice the number of cars with the same electrical capacity — and also do away with future infrastructure upgrades.
Since the network is connected through the Cloud, residents have the convenience of being able to “tap-to-charge” with a mobile app. There’s also 24/7 charger support, automatic software updates, and direct billing. This not only gives EV residents the control of ownership, but property managers have the freedom to be completely hands-off. And that’s a huge plus.
Finally, Mark recommends that condos create an EV charging policy that’s scalable for the long-term community. It’s difficult to change policy after setting a precedent, so plan for accommodating increasing numbers of chargers down the road. And think long-term by charging for electricity usage, rather than flat fees.
Figuring out how to charge electric vehicles for your condo community, while keeping costs down and being proactive, is equally important for building residents, managers, and the board. It can be a big expenditure and learning curve. So no matter if or when you believe the EV trend is taking off, it’s important to stay educated and prepared for the new year ahead and years to come.
For more on EV charging in condos check us out on Youtube.com/SignatureElectric.