Improving Access to EV Charging in Multi-family Dwellings

Most electric vehicle charging takes place at home, which can be a challenge for apartment dwellers as multi-family buildings comprise about half the housing choices in the region. New bylaws and incentives are advancing EV charger requirements in multi-family dwellings in the region, such as the City of North Vancouver’s newly established guidelines.

Steve Abercromby an Electric Vehicle (EV) Consultant with Power Pros Electrical is installing charging stations for a new electric vehicle rental business.  It’s part of the growing popularity of electric vehicles in the region. Abercromby has seen EV charging become a large part of their portfolio. “We have been in EV charging about five years,” he said. “We got started on a few small projects and it has quickly grown over the years.”

Several Metro Vancouver municipalities are also working to improve access to charging for future condo and apartment residents. City of North Vancouver Mayor Darrell Mussatto explains it is part of the City’s overall Climate Action Plan.  “We looked at where our greenhouse gasses are being produced and found that about 50 per cent of the GHGs are from transportation.”

Caroline Jackson is Manager of Sustainability with the City of North Vancouver. “We have amended our sustainable development guidelines to encourage developers to have access to level 2 charging for 20 per cent of the residential parking stalls in any given residential building,” she said. “So there is enough electrical supply and there’s the circuitry, everything needed so you can install a charger in the future.”

Setting up electric vehicle charging in strata buildings can be complex. Metro Vancouver created an online resource, EVCondo.ca to help EV owners, strata councils and property managers through the typical steps in the process.

The City of North Vancouver is encouraging developers to size electrical rooms large enough to accommodate additional future electric panels, enough to service all parking stalls. “What we are hearing from the developers is that it is something they are quite interested in,” said Jackson. “They are see that it is potentially meeting a market demand.”

Mayor Mussato acknowledged the leadership shown by the City of Vancouver and the City of Richmond. “Here on the North Shore, both the City [of North Vancouver] and the District [of North Vancouver] are having this requirement for electric vehicle charging stations in multi-family buildings,” he said. “So we are all working this together.”

To see more videos about local leaders advancing sustainability and regional goals, subscribe to the Metro Vancouver Close Up video series mailing list for three new stories each month.

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