Business Tips
August 15, 2022

Installing Electric Vehicle Charging in Your Alberta Condo/Apartment

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. Year-over-year, electric vehicle adoption in Alberta is on an upward incline and the Canadian government has set a 2035 deadline for all new manufactured cars and light trucks to be zero-emission vehicles. There's no doubt that, 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 Alberta 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, municipal and provincial governments are beginning to get involved through the institution of bylaws requiring buildings to introduce or raise electric vehicle charging capacity. If you’re a property manager in Alberta, it’s probably time to start building a plan to make sure you can update your parking facilities on time. Across Alberta, VendorPM can help you find service vendors to set up EV charging stations in your parking stalls before municipal deadlines hit! Depending on your municipality, requirements can vary substantially.

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

Some parts of Canada such as Ontario 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.  Unfortunately, Alberta does not have Right to Charge laws. This leaves much of the EV charging setup to the tenant-landlord relationship. However, this could be on track for change in Alberta as the City of Calgary and City of Edmonton have conducted a joint study to assess EV charging in homes and workplaces. The study report’s findings recommended that the cities should “amend their parking and zoning bylaws to require more EV-ready parking spaces in newly constructed buildings” and require condos and apartments to be 100% EV-ready/capable. While neither city has implemented this requirement yet, demand for EV charging has become clear and landlords are either stepping aside or supporting the process! Currently, the process to get EV-ready in Alberta is as follows:

- Research Rebates

  • Why pay full price if you don’t have to? Across Canada, rebate and incentive programs exist for EV owners to save money on necessary purchases and installations. Currently, no incentive program exists for Alberta on a provincial level, but the federal incentive program includes Alberta residents with details available on Transport Canada’s website here.

- Get Permission

  • Gathering approval from your building manager or landlord is going to be your first major step in getting EV-ready. Getting their approval is simultaneously the single most important step and where most plans fall flat. However, as more EVs are sold across the country, this step is becoming increasingly frictionless.
  • Your building manager or landlord may need to consult with an electrical contractor to ensure the safety of the plan. If this appears to be a point of contention, tools like VendorPM may be useful to them to procure a vendor quickly and on budget.
  • After you or your building manager/landlord meet with an electrical contractor, finalize your plan with them to ensure you won’t be violating any existing policies or deeds.
  • 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.

- Installation

  • With all the preparation in place, you can now install the charger.

In the event that you’re unable to install Level 2 or higher charging due to your landlord or building, you can plug in your car to a traditional 120V outlet in your parking stall for Level 1 “trickle charging” and rely on nearby charging stations for faster charging when needed. Find EV charging locations across the US and Canada from Natural Resources Canada here.

Getting setup with EV charging in your Alberta 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 EV 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 provincial and federal rebates of EV charging. Transport Canada provides information on those here! If you need an electrical contractor to assist with the installation, VendorPM can help you find fast, on budget quotes by connecting you to 30,000+ vendors! Try it out 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:

Transport Canada - Zero Emission Vehicles

Electric Autonomy - High-rise headaches: EV charging in Canada’s condos, apartments and MURBs a mixed experience

Enmax - Installing an EV charger

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