5 EV Charging Tips for Builders and Managers of Apartments and Condos

By Amy Barzdukas

Along with range anxiety, one of the biggest questions EV buyers have is … how and where do I charge my vehicle? This becomes particularly important for those who live in an apartment or condo. With close to a third of U.S. housing being multifamily and, with most charging happening at home, residents increasingly will want to be able to charge where they live. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, 80% of EV charging happens at home!

5 EV Charging Tips

With the influx of electric vehicles – and the mandates ensuring their growth – builders are beginning to consider the implications of the need for chargers in both new and old construction. How can you work to get the charging infrastructure your building needs without getting stuck with unwanted or unnecessary bills? Here are five helpful tips:

  1. Know your state’s Right to Charge laws, which provide residents at multi-unit dwellings (and other properties) with the right to install a charging station for the individual’s use provided that certain conditions are met (e.g., the individual assumes responsibility for all associated costs).
  2. Be aware of funding and incentives. With the recent Inflation Reduction Act and new EV incentives, many cities and states have funding available to support EV charging infrastructure. In addition, many utilities have incentive programs that help cover the cost of equipment and installation. Check out the current incentives here.
  3. Know what you need. The number of chargers, and the level of charging you need, will depend on how they will be used in your building. For instance, do individual people want exclusive access to charging for their own vehicle, or is there a community of people in the building who will share charging access? The differences will impact how you think about the metering necessary to allocate costs appropriately.
  4. Be aware of costs. As new homeowners quickly learn that the cost of a home is more than just the mortgage, the cost of a charger is more than just the installation. Apartment and condominium managers must keep in mind that operation and maintenance costs continue long after installation (potentially increasing rents and HOA fees over time). General maintenance for charging infrastructure includes storing charging cables securely, checking parts periodically, and keeping the equipment clean. Chargers may need intermittent repairs as well. While routine charging infrastructure maintenance can be minimal, repairing broken chargers can be costly if they are no longer under warranty. Therefore, it is important to establish responsibility for maintenance costs and determine if the site host, charging network, or installer is responsible.
  5. Know your alternatives. Charger installation doesn’t happen overnight – particularly when it comes to a multi-family dwelling. Builders, managers, utility workers, owners, and renters all need to be involved in the process. That’s why it’s important to know where EV owners can charge while charging decisions are being addressed. On-street, retail locations, work premises, or charging stations are all options.

EV Charging for Apartments and Condos

EV readiness today is like internet connectivity decades ago. Then, few people had personal computers. Fast forward to today and internet connectivity is considered a basic utility – like water and electricity. New buildings are being built with EVs in mind and EV charging will become more prevalent. In fact, it’s not too early to start looking at wireless EV charging, which will increasingly be requested. Want to learn more EV Charging tips? Contact us.

For more tips, be sure to check out:

Reducing Range Anxiety for Electric Vehicles

How WiTricity Makes Charging Electric Cars Easier

The 80% Rule