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Adding Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging to Your Strata

The Province of British Columbia is aiming to make all new light-duty vehicles in BC zero-emission by 2035. A target that is shared by the federal government (A Healthy Environment and A Healthy Economy, 2020). 

To support the transition to zero-emission vehicles, the CleanBC Roadmap to 2030 includes the development of “right to charge” legislation that will impact condos and apartments. 

Given the timely need for charging station infrastructure, it is likely that proactive strata councils and owners are looking at their building’s electric vehicle (EV) charging capabilities. 

Currently, BC Hydro offers EV charging rebates for apartment and condo buildings–including rebates to support the development of ‘EV Ready’ plans, the installation of infrastructure, and the purchase of EV chargers. Strata corporations or owners may be able to combine BC Hydro rebates with rebates offered through their district municipality. 

EV Ready Plan

An EV Ready plan is prepared by a licensed electrical contractor and/or electrical engineer. 

The plan provides the details required to obtain quotes from contractors for the supply and installation of charging infrastructure. 

An EV Ready plan includes an assessment of the building, recommendations, and cost estimates, considering the building’s electrical system, parking situation, and owner needs. 

EV Ready Infrastructure and Chargers

EV Ready infrastructure refers to all the necessary equipment installed to provide an energized covered outlet at each parking stall to which a networked Level 2 EV charger can be connected. 

Typically, EV Ready infrastructure includes a hydro meter and breaker subpanel with power and network cables running through conduit to covered boxes at each parking stall. 

An EV charger consists of a module and cable which is connected to the energized electrical outlet at a parking stall. There are three levels of EV chargers: Level 1, Level 2, and Fast Chargers (also known as Level 3). 

To be eligible for most rebates, the EV chargers installed must be a Level 2 networked charger. A Level 2 charger typically provides 30 km per hour of charge and takes 6 to 14 hours to fully charge an EV battery, or 4 to 8 hours for a plug-in hybrid. 

The networking manages the peak load on the building electrical when multiple chargers are in use at the same time.

Strata owners may consider installing EV Ready infrastructure so that each parking stall is EV capable and then only adding chargers as needed by the owners. 

Benefits to Consider 

Based on the government-mandated targets for zero-emission vehicles combined with the rising cost of fuel, one could predict that EV adoption rates are going to increase rapidly. 

Even if owners have no plans on making the switch to an electric vehicle, having EV Ready infrastructure in place will increase their property value. As the demand for EV charging increases, the gap in property value between stratas with and without charging will continue to grow. 

There are generous rebates available now for strata owners who take advantage of adding EV Ready infrastructure to their building. 

Finally, strata owners may be interested in adding EV charging to their building based on support for it as a component contributing to Canada’s 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan: Clean Air, Strong Economy

We hope this post serves as a helpful starting point for those with questions about EV charging for stratas!

*Disclaimer: This post provides a general overview of information compiled from accredited resources available to the public. Strata owners should complete their own due diligence when considering the addition of electric vehicle (EV) charging to their strata.*

Thank you for being here,

Alex Hughes* and Ricki-Lee Jewell, Victoria, BC Real Estate Agents

*Personal Real Estate Corporation

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