Charging in a Multi Family Residence area can be a difficult task since this requires a strategic approach where mistakes in MDU can be costly to fix.
The condominium board oversees the making the decisions on a strategy involving EV charging for both the short and long term. As of now, there are only a few electric vehicle owners who require charging stations. However, soon we are looking at 20% of parking spots to be equipped with EV chargers.
In general short-term or not, the issue cannot be solved by a temporary solution for just a few EV owners
The most convenient way to charge your EV at a condo would be at your own parking spot. Short-term solutions include ‘Community charger’ at the visitor parking spots, however, once the demand increases, this solution is not for the long run. Because nobody would wake up in the middle of the night to move EV, so Community charger overnight will only accommodate one EV per available port. As soon as your condo will have more EVs then available ports, Community Charging will not work. People will start fighting for this available plug for overnight charging.
The major problems to be addressed within Condo EV charging include:
1. EV meters and wire runs from electrical rooms
2. Peak power usage
3. How to minimize excess amount of work by condo board members to control and collect payments from EV owners for electricity used
4. How to minimize initial condo investment into infrastructure and put most of the costs onto EV owners instead of spreading the cost between all owners, 99% of which do not have an EV yet and will not be supportive to extra costs.
When considering available power, it might happen that you would need to ‘stretch’ that obtainable power within the owners, because you dont have enough or will not have enough in the long run. To solve this problem, it would require a smart charging system, which can power manage your EV parking stalls and lower the output once the maximum available amount of power used is reached.
In order to avoid hundreds of sub meters in the electrical room, Smart charging infrastructure is needed. Not only are the sub meters are costly to install and maintain, but there wouldn’t even be enough space to install at least 20% of the parking stall sub meters. The only remedy to avoid these problems is to use a smart charging system that has the proper metering capabilities.
Peak Power Usage – To not exceed peak power usage is extremely vital for all condo owners, so the rates for power for all owners’ remains the same. An example scenario can be when everyone comes home for 7pm and plugs in their EVs to charge at the same time, causing peak power usage problems. This can be avoided by introducing different rates for peak hours usage or prohibiting charging during peak hours usage. Smart charging systems can do that.
In order to make the EV charging an easy routine for the condo board, smart EV charging systems should be implemented in terms of payment collection as well as metering. The smart EV charging systems should be implemented with an opportunity to charge EV directly and reimburse condo Corp the actual amount of the electricity that was used, as an option. Another option is to receive automated reporting form smart charging system and bill EV owners individually.
With smart charging systems, most of expenses related to setting up EV chargers in the appropriate parking spots is carried out by the EV owner. The one task Condo Corp needs to provide is access to the electrical panels. This will minimize initial expenses, which the Condo Corp will need in order to provide EV charging. These expenses can be reimbursed through a one time set up fee or monthly payments to the designated parking spots for the EV owners.
Smart charging system should be able to have:
1. Ability to meter, charge EV owners and reimburse Condo Corp monthly for actual electricity usage plus possible monthly fees or ability to provide smart reporting for condo to bill individual users directly.
2. Ability to stretch available power to more EV chargers using smart power management system
3. Provide simple and elegant access control to the owners, so nobody can steal their electricity while they are not at home
4. The provider of the smart system should centralize warranties, customer service and troubleshooting.
5. Clear and cost effective way for new EV owners to enable EV charging in their owned parking spots.
To summarize, only smart charging systems would be beneficial for MDU charging for long and short term. Any other solutions, which involve separate metering, inability to share and stretch power, no access control, no centralized monitoring and warranty - will lead to installing and adopting smart charging systems, however the EV owner will have a higher cost to pay.
Autochargers.ca Corporation provides only Smart Solutions for EV MDU charging. We have competitive ways of how to set up your condo to be EV charging friendly at a minimum cost to the condo board and condo owners.
Currently Autochargers.ca have a choice between ChargePoint Multi Family Charging and JuiceBox Pro 40 system for condominiums.
Please contact us for more information.