Sounding the Alarm – EV Charging in Multi-Unit Residential Buildings



Sounding the Alarm – EV charging in MURBS by HWisel 1280x1024 pxl

We have all heard enough about the coming wave of electric vehicles and the lack of EV charging infrastructure. While some segments, namely the public sector, are aggressively developing the field, MURBs (Multi-Unit Residential Buildings), Condos, and Rental buildings are left behind.

Implementation of any plan within a condominium proves to be challenging and while landlords of Rental buildings have full control, making the investment in a market with rent controls or limited demand is not easy.

Look Ahead Not Behind. Accept EV Charging 1280x1024 px.
Infrastructure Challenges

In a study commissioned by NRCAN, the same Canadian federal agency doling out grant money for EV charger infrastructure, estimates that 40% of all vehicles on the road will be electric by 2035. That’s 4 out of every 10 vehicles in 12yrs. If you think about the process to get a few charging stations in a MURB you can picture when the demand reaches 40% how big this challenge will be!

If you live in a Condo or MURB, look around the parking garage next time and the cars around you will be EV. Then think about how those cars will charge their batteries. Yes, the current board can wait it out, delay, and leave it to the next board or sometime in the future, but the challenge is only going to get greater. We all know what happens when decisions are made under pressure.

Some condominiums choose to leave the solution to the owners, in some cases, installing rough electrical infrastructure, while others are fully committed to achieving 100% electrification. Just imagine the challenge and potential dysfunction if a portion be it 10%, 20%, or 40% of the owners decided to hire their own electricians, buy their own chargers, or even invest in part ownership of the electric vehicle charging infrastructure within the building.

Table ES-1: Estimated EVs in circulation in Canada from 2020 to 2050

Estimated EVs in circulation in Canada from 2020 to 2050

Source: NRCan, Dunsky.(2022). Canada’s Public Charging Infrastructure Needs.

Needs & Intricacies

In our previous Blog posts, we discussed the implications of a Have and Not Have EV charger solution. Condos must provide equal access to owners. If some have chargers at the detriment of others, there will be issues and some of them are quite costly.

One community that has taken the lead is 500 Wellington Ave., Toronto, Ontario which is now 100% electrified. The condo is in the heart of Toronto with every parking spot supplied by Hwisel EV chargers. Owners have attracted the attention of new buyers and possibly realized an immediate increase in property value.

While the task is daunting, there should be ways to tackle it more effectively.

Table ES-2: Estimated total charging infrastructure needs and EV-to-charger ratios for Canada.

Estimated total charging infrastructure needs and EV-to-charger ratios for Canada

Source: NRCan, Dunsky.(2022). Canada’s Public Charging Infrastructure Needs.

The same NRCAN study predicts that by 2035, the year that 40% of the cars on the road will be electric, MURBs will need 2,189,000 chargers. That is 5x more than those in public places.

Key Tips

With every vendor trying to sell a solution, getting the right advice is key for MURBs. Regardless of whether you choose to purchase, subsidize, or subscribe, select wisely.

In previous Blog posts we have discussed the need for:

1. A quality service provider to manage EV charging solutions: deal with the drivers in the building, collect electricity use kWh, bill, and resolve charger equipment issues, etc. at a reasonable price.
2. Ensuring that you have an off-ramp in your agreement.
3. Selecting a ‘non-proprietary’ solution. Where should you need to change vendors in the future, you can do so easily.
4. Having EV charging stations with open software that can be monitored, fixed remotely, upgraded as new vehicle features come out, and most importantly, allowing you to change service providers without replacing the charging equipment.

If the thought of adopting EV charger infrastructure has ever crossed your mind or even if you currently have a few charging stations, it would be worth considering Hwisel EV.

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