July 27, 2022

Installing Electric Car Charging in Condos and Apartments in Chicago

Electric cars aren’t just a trend or luxury item. They’re a key part of our net-zero clean energy future. Every year, all around the world, you’ll spot more electric cars on the road as the technology becomes increasingly affordable and existing vehicle owners make the leap to electric with their next purchase. Right now, the electric vehicle adoption rate in Illinois is only 2.7%. However, the recently passed Climate & Equitable Jobs Act detailed the state’s strategy to overhaul its energy consumption. This includes the state’s goal to get roughly 10% of all cars on the road in Illinois to be Plug-In Electric Vehicles (PEVs) by 2030. The federal government also set the ambitious goal of a nationwide PEV adoption rate of 50% by 2030 and net-zero emission target of 2050. As the world’s leading car manufacturers and federal governments set net-zero targets within the next few decades, this share is only going to skyrocket as time goes on both at home in Chicago and around the world.

A top concern of potential electric vehicle purchasers living in condos and apartments right now is “will I be able to charge my car in my parking stall?” It’s an understandable concern as many buildings have created headaches for electric vehicle owners in getting the needed equipment set up to make car charging straightforward. Now though, governments are beginning to get involved through the institution of bylaws requiring buildings to introduce or raise electric vehicle charging capacity as well as federal and provincial governments providing incentives to owners and building managers to buy electric and set up chargers. If you’re a property manager in Chicago, it’s probably time to start building a plan to make sure you can update your parking facilities on time. Across the Chicago area, VendorPM can help you find service vendors to set up EV charging stations in your parking stalls in a convenient and prompt manner!

Getting setup with PEV charging in your Chicago condo/apartment complex as an owner or occupant:

Unfortunately, only a handful of states (Maryland, New Jersey, Virginia, New York, Florida, Oregon, Colorado, Hawaii & California) have what are known as “Right to Charge” laws. Right to Charge laws enable tenants and unit owners to install EV charging at their own expense without landlord or building manager interference so long as the installation does not pose a safety hazard or fall under certain exceptions. Even outside of these states though, demand for EV charging has become clear and landlords are either stepping aside or supporting the process! The City of Chicago details the process of getting an EV-charger in your condo or apartment as follows:

- Get permission

  • Of course, the process begins with gathering approval from the building manager or landlord. Getting through them is the single most important step, but as more EVs are sold across the country, an increasingly easy step as well.

- Hire an electrical contractor

  • You’ll need a contractor to come and consult with you on the existing electrical capacity, metering options, and parking layout to ensure the charger is safe to install and that it is installed in the most appropriate spot.

- Consult with Illinois’ rebate program

  • Save some money on your installation! As part of Illinois’ EV strategy, you can get up to 50% of your installation cost (to a $3,000 maximum) reimbursed in addition to saving on your vehicle purchase, vehicle registration, and an up to $7,500 tax credit from your vehicle purchase.

- Consult with your building manager

  • After meeting with an electrical contractor, consulting with your building manager to finalize your plan ensures you won’t be violating any existing policies or deeds.

- Agree on ownership and maintenance

  • In limited cases, building managers may see your EV charger as a long-term investment and support the maintenance and purchase process in order to keep the charger if you move. Most of the time though, the tenant or unit owner will be responsible for all costs associated with the charger.

- Obtain your permit

  • The City of Chicago will require an electrical permit for your electric vehicle charger. Your electrical contractor is often able to do this for you. Chicago’s Easy Permit Process program can often process your permit within a day.

- Installation

  • With all the preparation in place, you can now install the charger. Your contractor may also be able to arrange a municipal inspection of the outlet on your behalf after the installation.

Getting setup with EV charging in your Chicago condo/apartment complex as a building manager:

As a building manager or landlord, you will often stand in a controlling position over your building’s decision to install EV charging stations. Not becoming the stopgap between your tenants and their ability to charge their PEV is usually all that is expected of you.

If you’re trying to build relationships with your tenants or keep the charger as a long-term investment, coordinating special agreements with them as they go through the above process that allow you to keep the charger in exchange for supporting maintenance and purchase can be strategically beneficial.

As you work with tenants to agree on terms and the process for set up, be sure to check out the state and federal rebates of EV charging. The US Department of Energy provides information on those here!

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Regardless of whether you own, rent, or manage your building, zero-emission vehicles are an inevitability of a green future. For building managers, VendorPM can help you get your multi-unit residential building ready to go with EV charging quickly and cost-efficiently!

Sources:

Alternative Fuels Data Center Illinois - US Department of Energy

How to Install Electric Vehicle Charging Stations at Your Apartment or Condo - City of Chicago

Recharging Equipment at Multi-Unit Housing - PlugInSites

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