In the coming years, many of your homeowners association members will purchase an electric vehicle. EVs are charged while we sleep at our place of residence because that is by far the most convenient and affordable way to do it. All condominium buildings are facing this reality and are working to figure out the most practical and affordable way to provide charging capability for all their residents.
There really aren’t any silver bullet solutions for MUD charging — instead, every system has to be designed on a case-by-case basis, looking at the vehicle owners' needs and the property limitations. The good news is that this doesn't necessarily mean big investments and high usage fees, but finding the right solutions might require a bit of legwork. The knowledge that you can charge your vehicle at home will make an EV purchase decision much easier and it also gives piece of mind for those considering buying a condo at your building, therefore impacting the resale value of your investment.
If there are dedicated parking spots for your residents it is by far the best solution to provide charging at each parking spot. Having to move cars for charging and sharing charging stations with other residents might sound like a good idea at first but people will not be willing to do that in the long run.
Some older properties lack the dedicated parking spots for all residents and in those cases you need to find the right compromises. Look into all options and see if you can find a way to get a satisfactory charging setup for everyone.
How to proceed?
1. Set up an EV charging committee
Put together a committee of board members and other HOA members who would be interested in exploring this topic and working to find good solutions for EV charging at your property
2. Get educated
Make sure your committee has an understanding of the EV charging basics. Start by having everyone read through the Charging 101 page of this site. Your electric utility company can also potentially provide you with further information. Read more about that below.
3. Talk with EV owners
If you already have EV owners as members make sure to talk with them and hear their perspectives. Visit the Tools page, download the Energy and Power calculation tool and have those EV owners do calculations using their data. This will give you valuable examples of what daily charging looks like for those people.
3. Engage your management company
Tell your management company that your are working on this and ask if they have helped any other properties with EV charging. They can also work with your electric utility to figure out your propertys' present electricity consumption and service size. You can also refer them to the Building Owners and Managers page of this site so they can get more educated on the topic.
4. Contact your electric utility
Your electric utility company is happy to help you figure out the charging setup. Most utilities have special EV rates that provide cheaper electricity during off-peak hours and some even provide charging installation incentives. They might even have dedicated programs for MUD charging which can include planning help, technical advice, and educational resources. If you live in Minnesota, www.MNCharging.org provides you with a direct link to your own electric utility.
5. Educate your members
This is a new concept for most of your members so provide them good information about EVs and charging so they can help you make well educated decisions. Ask to see if your utility company can recommend a knowledgeable EV expert to talk at your HOA meeting about the topic and provide answers to general questions that your members would have on the topic. Providing enough information will help to overcome the inertia that new concepts usually face. One helpful resource to share with your members is the EV Info List that you can download from www.EVInfoList.com.
6. Use the resources available on the Tools page
In addition to the Power and Energy calculator, you can find more process oriented Metering and Payment tables and even the Future Ready MUD Charging concept on that page. The Metering and Payment table covers the most common setups that are considered at MUD buildings. Presently utility companies are taking a more active role in this space so see if they have a setup that they would recommend. Utility run programs are usually the most affordable and convenient option both for residents and HOAs.
The Future Ready MUD Charging concept provides one approach that you can use as a starting point for your planning. It is designed to show a solution that combines a relatively low initial investment with a future proofed infrastructure plan. Talk with your utility company, electrician and other stakeholders about how well that would work for your property and adjust it based on your specific case.
7. Find out about the financial incentives.
DOE provides the most comprehensive list of these: https://afdc.energy.gov/laws/state
In 2020 there is also Federal tax credit for charging infrastructure available. More info on our Tools page.
8. Work to find the right solutions
This is not necessarily simple and straight forward, but we are sure that with some effort you will find good solutions together with your stakeholders. Learn, educate, negotiate and succeed.
Property value support
EV charging infrastructure availability will soon be a feature that potential buyers take into account when deciding on their next home. Providing charging infrastructure at your buildings can be one way to attract potential buyers and increase the value of the units while providing a valuable service for your members.
EV purchase enabler
Your members will need charging infrastructure to be able to purchase an electric vehicle. Some of them might say now that they are not planning to get an EV in the foreseeable future, but that may very well change. It is a valuable service that enables the freedom of choice for your members.
Green credentials and publicity
By providing charging options you can show leadership in supporting sustainable transportation options. This can be used to promote your property to potential new residents.
Visit our Tools for tools, concepts and other useful resources. Our Power and Energy Calculator tool helps you figure out your charging needs and costs. Our Metering and Payment table shows different metering options and helps you figure out the right payment setup. And our Future Ready MUD Charging concepts provides you a basic model that you can use as a planning foundation.