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Doing EV Charger Installation for Condos The Right Way

June 21, 2018

On the 1st of January 2018, changes to the Ontario Building Code brought in a raft of electric vehicle charging regulations. Specifically, these mandated inclusion or incorporation of EV charger infrastructure for residential houses, and commercial and industrial buildings.


In this article we will be looking at EV charger installation in condominiums, perhaps the most difficult premises on which to install EV chargers – and not even from a logistical point of view, actually.


Connected and intelligent EV charger systems in condos will make the best use of available infrastructure and reduce the waste of charging systems lying dormant.


Condos are homes for hundreds, if not thousands of people. Changes to the condo can inconvenience many and hinder peaceful usufruct in property. Which is why there is a veritable maze of procedure before a condo can install EV chargers within its premises. Note that the initial legislation suggested 20 percent of all vehicle parking should be equipped with EV charger points; and the rest too must be able to support addition of EV charger infrastructure.


Though there are options for residents and condo managers to postpone the installation of EV charger apparatus (and also options to include it on a case-by-case basis), EV charger infrastructure is a given and will have to be incorporated in condos sooner or later. No bad thing, as it is predicted that not having EV chargers available will negatively affect the price of property and rent, whereas having an EV charger will not cause any such detriment.


What about the logistical issues of installing EV charger infrastructure? For a start, existing condos have typically already allocated a space (usually quite limited) for their electrical systems. This includes a variety of panels and wiring, leaving only a little space for adding EV charger panels and metering. This presents itself as an opportunity as condo managers can choose to allocate fresh room, more centrally located, which will make for more efficient wiring runs.


Regardless, new panels (think 200 amps) will have to be installed, and a number of EV charger points can be fed through this panel. It may seem odd to one when up to 12 EV charger points are connected to one point (reduced charging capacity per point), however, it must be remembered that not all cars will need to be charged at the same time. Thus, peak power can be shifted to those points which require it. Moreover, when cars are plugged in for overnight charging, rather than top up each car serially, such intelligent charging can manage multiple cars serially. Ensuring a most optimum use of electrical infrastructure and time available.


Connected EV charger systems are of great benefit to condo managers and apartment owners alike. Allowing both parties to see how much electricity is being used, when charging is scheduled, these allow metering of the electricity consumed. Moreover, owners can use their smartphones to check real time data on the charging status of their vehicle; and the condo manager will understand electricity consumption throughout the day.