Most electric vehicle owners charge their cars at home. It makes sense – you must park your car while you sleep! But what if your home isn’t already equipped with an EV charging station? If you own a single family home with a garage, it’s easy to install a personal charger. However, if you live in a condominium, townhouse, or community with a Homeowners Association (HOA), you may need to ask for approval before installing a charging station in a public area. California and Oregon have “Right to Charge” laws that permits EV charging for those living in areas with HOAs, but not every community throughout the country has this guarantee. In communities without a “Right to Charge” law, residents must appeal to an HOA if they feel the addition of electric car charging stations will provide significant benefit to both current and future homeowners.
There are many reasons why more drivers are buying electric vehicles: reduced pollution, cleaner air, lower maintenance costs, domestic energy sourcing, and government rebates. For multifamily and homeowners association residents, supporting these EV drivers with community EV charging stations can attract new residents and raise the stature of the community. That said, there are some key considerations that an HOA must think about before installing electric vehicle charging stations for residents.
One of the biggest questions when considering any electric vehicle charging project is this: Can this installation be done using the existing infrastructure? For a single charging station, you need electricity and an available parking space. For multiple stations at a single location, at least one of those parking spaces must comply with ADA regulations. If you have parking spaces near a power source, those spaces may be your best charging station locations. Your electrician can help you determine your options for serving electricity to a parking space.
Though the supply of electricity for charging stations will not be too expensive, HOAs still must make a plan for how that electricity will be paid for. If you purchase networked charging stations, your HOA can restrict station access to residents or charge drivers themselves for the use of the stations. Your homeowners association can also include the stations in HOA membership fees.
Installing electric vehicle charging stations in a community with a homeowners association is different from installing at another kind of property, but it does not have to be complicated. By talking to your neighbors, coming up with a scalable plan, and discussing the issue early on with your HOA, you can lay the groundwork necessary for widespread EV charging implementation in your community. Ask your SemaConnect representative how to get started.