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Subject: Charging Stations for Electric Cars
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Author Messages
DonnaR5
(Virginia)

Posts:110


08/21/2019 2:06 PM  
I saw a couple threads 6 years old or more, but nothing more recent, so I thought I would start a new topic.

We are a community of homes built in the 1970s and early 1980s. Three quarters of the townhomes do not have garages. We're seeing more hybrids and electric cars. So far owners have been running extension cords from their house to their cars. But I don't think this will be sufficient much longer. We've received our first request to install a private charging station, which would be by the car owner's parking spot, but on common property.

Have any communities that don't already have them faced the issue of how to do this? And whether to do this? Eventually it will become a reason not to buy homes in our community as electric cars become more widely owned. As I see it, we have a choice of allowing private charging stations on common property, or installing ones that are not privately owned that anyone can use... don't know whether that's feasible or not.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:9314


08/21/2019 2:12 PM  
Donna

My first blush would be an owner could install a charging station at their own cost. Additionally I would would want them near as identical as possible to maintain a common look.
JohnT38
(South Carolina)

Posts:235


08/21/2019 2:15 PM  
Donna,

I know next to nothing about this topic but the first thing that popped into my mind is the potential danger of running extension cords from the house to the car. What happens if someone is using a cord that is not up to code and a fire starts? If the fire damages the home or common property who is liable?
DouglasK1
(Florida)

Posts:1489


08/21/2019 2:20 PM  
One problem with association owned stations is how to handle charging for the electricity. Owners are certainly not going to want to pay to charge other owner's cars. Maybe there are solutions out there, I haven't looked into this. The other is location. If owners have assigned spots, where would you put the stations? In guest parking? How would you stop other people from parking near the stations. For these reasons, I would lean towards having owners pay to install stations and tap them into the owner's electricity. If you are concerned about uniformity, you could require the owners to use a particular vendor since the stations are on common property.

Escaped former treasurer and director of a self managed association.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:7047


08/21/2019 2:48 PM  
Though drawing from CA civl code, a lot of progress has been made in CA and this site will be able to answer all of anyone's questions about EV charging stations

the site is vy a CA HOA law firm and is davis-stirling.com, MAIN Index, EV charging Stations. It gives you the basics and helps with wording for your ARC, etc.


VA actually may have legislation too. Your utility provider may have guidelines and/or incentives. You don't have to (excuse bad pun) reinvent the wheel on this one.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:3673


08/21/2019 2:55 PM  
Progress has also been made in Florida, by way of comparison. This article from a big FL HOA and Condo law firm explores the changes to Chapter 718 of the condo statute that went into effect last year. It's fairly short.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:3673


08/21/2019 2:59 PM  
This article by a Naples, FL attorney is even better than the other one.
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:893


08/21/2019 5:22 PM  
Posted By DonnaR5 on 08/21/2019 2:06 PM
I saw a couple threads 6 years old or more, but nothing more recent, so I thought I would start a new topic.

We are a community of homes built in the 1970s and early 1980s. Three quarters of the townhomes do not have garages. We're seeing more hybrids and electric cars. So far owners have been running extension cords from their house to their cars. But I don't think this will be sufficient much longer. We've received our first request to install a private charging station, which would be by the car owner's parking spot, but on common property.

Have any communities that don't already have them faced the issue of how to do this? And whether to do this? Eventually it will become a reason not to buy homes in our community as electric cars become more widely owned. As I see it, we have a choice of allowing private charging stations on common property, or installing ones that are not privately owned that anyone can use... don't know whether that's feasible or not.




Donna, what does your reserve study say on when your parking area needs a refresh? I Only mention it because it would be an easier pill to swallow during a "refresh" to make modifications to the parking structure than to make new additions on a whim. People that don't have EV's aren't going to want to pay for people that do, and if you install a EV station for some, then you are going to have people wanting the association to install petrol and Natural Gas taps for their vehicles.

If you were in Minnesota and wanting to install outlets for people to plug in their engine block warmers this would be a totally different pill to swallow.

PS never mind what California does, CA is a cancer with crazy burdensome laws and regulations. Do better than them. equal and fail for all residents.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:7047


08/21/2019 6:08 PM  
Say, Donna, do NOT dismiss the lessons learned from other states like CA & FL, whose large populations have probably put them at the front of the EV situation.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:16700


08/21/2019 8:25 PM  
I would want to review types of charging stations, as others have said, to standardize the look.

Obviously, the cost of install, maintenance, repair and removal would be the members and whoever purchases their property in the future.
The electric bill would be from their circuit and any security issues on who uses the unit would be their issue not the Associations.

I would approve such a request once a written agreement is signed.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:16700


08/21/2019 8:26 PM  
You might want to consider a change to the covenants to address this issue.
DonnaR5
(Virginia)

Posts:110


08/22/2019 10:26 AM  
I don't know exactly what you mean by a refresh, but our documents don't have any provisions for reevaluating parking.
DonnaR5
(Virginia)

Posts:110


08/22/2019 10:27 AM  
That was a reply to LetA.
RichardP13


Posts:0


08/22/2019 11:04 AM  
Posted By LetA on 08/21/2019 5:22 PM
Posted By DonnaR5 on 08/21/2019 2:06 PM
I saw a couple threads 6 years old or more, but nothing more recent, so I thought I would start a new topic.

We are a community of homes built in the 1970s and early 1980s. Three quarters of the townhomes do not have garages. We're seeing more hybrids and electric cars. So far owners have been running extension cords from their house to their cars. But I don't think this will be sufficient much longer. We've received our first request to install a private charging station, which would be by the car owner's parking spot, but on common property.

Have any communities that don't already have them faced the issue of how to do this? And whether to do this? Eventually it will become a reason not to buy homes in our community as electric cars become more widely owned. As I see it, we have a choice of allowing private charging stations on common property, or installing ones that are not privately owned that anyone can use... don't know whether that's feasible or not.




Donna, what does your reserve study say on when your parking area needs a refresh? I Only mention it because it would be an easier pill to swallow during a "refresh" to make modifications to the parking structure than to make new additions on a whim. People that don't have EV's aren't going to want to pay for people that do, and if you install a EV station for some, then you are going to have people wanting the association to install petrol and Natural Gas taps for their vehicles.

If you were in Minnesota and wanting to install outlets for people to plug in their engine block warmers this would be a totally different pill to swallow.

PS never mind what California does, CA is a cancer with crazy burdensome laws and regulations. Do better than them. equal and fail for all residents.



Yet, financially, California bails out much of this country.
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:893


08/22/2019 5:30 PM  
What I mean by refresh is "remodel" or when the asphalt or concrete needs to be redone. Your reserve study lists all of your HOA's assets and each asset has a lifespan on when it needs repair or should be replaced.

For example, if you have a pool then your reserve study would say the plaster should be replaced every seven years. The asphalt needs to be resealed every 10 years. The Roof of your covered parking should be repaired or replaced every 20 years. That is an example of Reserve Study


If you are coming up on a milestone where the roof of the parking structure needs to be updated, this is the time before any work is done to look at incorporating EV provisions. Going to the homeowners with a new project and added cost won't be received well. Waiting a year or so and incorporating EV provisions during a reserve study repair will make you look like a superstar.

KerryL1
(California)

Posts:7047


08/24/2019 8:09 AM  
States vary on the installation of EV charging stations. In CA, for instance, when Owners want to install a station they pay for everything associated with it, but the HOA cannot tell them they can't have it till (in our case) the underground garage door is redone. In any case, the juice to the Owners deeded parking spot would run through conduit on the ceilings of our three level garage from an electrical room to the space.

HOA's in CA may not unreasonably withhold the ability for Owners to install the stations. There are a lot of things Owners must do and, on their own, and in our garage it would cost about $18,000 to an Owner if they did everything on their own, which is the only way at present. Nonetheless, the HOA must allow them to proceed. We now have 9 EVs out of 200+ condo units.

So our HOA has a subcommittee of the ARC exploring the best and cheapest way to get some stations in our garages, They've visiting other HOAs in our urban 'hood that have the capacity, met with energy companies and contractors, etc.

Metering to individual owners and blling them quarterly is the easiest part.

Again I'd encourage anyone interested in they topic to visit davis-stirling.com, Main Index, AV Charging Stations for a ton of info much of which can apply to any HOA, not just to CA
DonnaR5
(Virginia)

Posts:110


08/24/2019 9:10 AM  
LetA, I know what a reserve study is. We are a HOA with townhomes, and our reserve study notes the years and the projected cost for repaving parking lots and private roads. For installing private charging stations at assigned parking spots, there is no relevance to the reserve study that I can see. If we had a parking garage, it would be different. On the possibility that the power company might plan to install some kind of hookups for future power stations at their own expense, we can inquire, but it seems doubtful. And their excavation to install private meters probably won't affect our paving.

Thanks, everyone, for all comments. There obviously isn't going to be any discussion by the board of installing stations where the HOA would pay the electricity charges. This would violate state law and HOA rules of assessments not being used for private benefit but for maintaining common property and services.

If there is a way to install some open stations where people could charge their cars while paying for it themselves (these do exist, of course) we might consider planning and budgeting for that in the future.

One nuisance is that Teslas require different charging stations than other electric cars, or so one person at our board meeting said. I have no direct experience with an electric car yet. I wonder if there is such a thing as a station that can accommodate all types.

Our power company has already told the resident requesting the charging station that they will install it with a private meter, so the only question for the HOA board is to give permission for it to be installed next to his parking space, which is on common property. My expectation is that we will approve it, since there doesn't seem to be any obstacle.

BTW, the "California is a cancer" was out of bounds. Davis-Stirling information is always helpful.

Thanks again, all. If anyone comes across any new and interesting developments, let us know!

TimM11


Posts:337


08/27/2019 6:29 AM  
My understanding is that the Tesla-specific chargers (i.e. the really fast superchargers) can't be used by other cars, but that Teslas can use regular chargers with an adapter. But I'm not an expert on this.
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:893


08/27/2019 7:12 AM  
Posted By TimM11 on 08/27/2019 6:29 AM
My understanding is that the Tesla-specific chargers (i.e. the really fast superchargers) can't be used by other cars, but that Teslas can use regular chargers with an adapter. But I'm not an expert on this.




You are correct Tim, not only that, but in order to charge batteries in multiple cars you will need higher amperage electric service from the power company. That's why charging stations for situations such as these are out of bounds because is it a financial burden on the people wanting them. And Yes I watched as NV Energy laid a special line drop for a company that wanted to charge 20 EV cars. The electric equipment just for the utility alone was massive, each charging station had 100 amp service.


Home units require 30 Amps, thats more than an electric oven and dryer. A project that the OP suggested would likely require a new service drop to the parking structure, that alone is expensive.
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