Electric Vehicle Charging Stations
With the popularity of electric vehicles increasing every month (reportedly, BC has the highest adoption rate in the country which is not a surprise to anyone who has driven in the downtown core recently), there is more and more pressure on Strata Corporations to allow for electric vehicle charging stations to be installed in their parkades. Many are amenable, but run into pragmatic problems such as:
- Aged infrastructure and limited electrical capacity;
- The need for capital expenditures to run electrical wires/conduits/install stations;
- The need to update Bylaws and Rules to set a regime for the installation, maintenance, operation, user parameters and remuneration related to the charging stations;
- 3/4 Votes to change the use/appearance of Common Property (to accommodate the conduits and charging stations themselves, and also the re-designation of visitor parking when necessary);
- Appropriate indemnifications to the Strata Corporation for owner installed stations and/or the usage of Strata operated stations.
We strongly recommend that any Strata Corporation considering the installation of EV Charging Stations to seek legal advice for the unique needs of your property- each building is different and unfortunately there is no cookie cutter approach, especially because the needs of each community will differ (as will tolerance for things like re-assigning visitor parking stalls as EV stalls, spending Strata Corporation money on something that will only immediately benefit a handful of Owners, etc.). CBC recently published an article about Owners who were disappointed to find that though their Strata Council was amenable, the physical installation simply couldn’t be accomplished.
Some Strata Corporations will simply charge ahead (hah!) and install new charging stations. Just be forewarned that without a full and proper legal review, there is the possibility that some Owners (particularly those that think they are paying for another Owner’s electricity/fuel) may be upset if they weren’t fully consulted.