top of page

A Guide to Electric Car Charging Stations for Condos

Updated: Jun 3

how to charge an electric car in a condo

With the increasing popularity of electric vehicles (EVs), many condominium or HOA residents face the challenge of finding convenient and accessible charging options. While having a garage or personal parking space with an existing electrical outlet makes the process easier, charging an electric car in a condo without dedicated infrastructure requires some planning and knowledge. Read on to learn how to charge an electric car in a condo or community with an HOA.

How to Install Electric Car Charging Stations in a Condo

Installing an EV charger in a condo involves several steps:

  1. Check Condo Rules: Review the condo association's rules and guidelines. Some may have specific requirements or restrictions for EV charger installations.

  2. Consult with the Association: Inform the condo association about your intention to install an EV charger. Understand any approval processes, required documentation, or specific guidelines they may have.

  3. EV Charger Site Assessment: Identify a suitable location for the electric car charging station, considering proximity to the parking space, electrical access, and compliance with any condo association rules.

  4. Electricity Supply: Confirm that the electrical infrastructure can support the charger. Consult an electrician to assess the unit's electrical capacity and recommend any necessary upgrades.

  5. EV Charging Station Permitting: Check with local authorities for required EV charging station permits. Some jurisdictions may have specific regulations for EV charger installations. GreenLancer can help you obtain EV charging station permits.

  6. Select EV Charger For Condo: Choose EV charger equipment suitable for your client's needs, ensuring compatibility with their electric vehicle. Consider factors like charging speed, connectivity features, and ease of use. In most cases, a Level 2 charger is ideal for charging an electric car in a condo.

  7. Condo Association Approval: Submit all necessary documentation to the condo association for approval. Provide details about the installation, including plans, contractor information, and any required permits.

  8. EV Charging Station Inspection: After installation, schedule an inspection with local authorities to ensure compliance with electrical codes and safety standards.

  9. Final Approval for Condo EV Charging Station: Once all inspections are passed, obtain final approval from the condo association. Ensure the EV charger complies with its rules, guidelines, and right-to-charge laws.

Remember that the process may vary based on the specific condo association's rules, local regulations, and whether the state has right-to-charge laws.

Understanding Right to Charge Laws

Right to charge laws were established to ensure the accessibility of charging options for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) or battery electric vehicles (BEVs), particularly in multi-unit buildings or planned communities like condominiums and HOAs. These laws facilitate the installation of EV charging stations for individual use, albeit with reasonable restrictions. Such conditions may entail covering the costs of necessary electrical infrastructure or upgrades, associated charging expenses, and maintaining insurance coverage.

In California and elsewhere, right-to-charge laws aim to tackle various complex issues. Who pays for the EV charging station equipment, installation, and electricity? Where will the EV charger be installed? Will it impact available parking spots, both deeded or otherwise?

In California, the law regarding EV charging in condominiums has evolved to encourage and facilitate the installation of electric vehicle charging stations. According to the California Civil Code Section 4745, it is now easier for condo owners to install EV charging stations as long as certain requirements are met.

States With Right-To-Charge Laws

Although most states do not have such laws, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, and Virginia do. These electric car charging laws are written differently in each state, so they have different impacts on potential charging clients. Basically, they make it more difficult for a homeowners association (HOA) or condominium association to prevent someone from installing and using an EV charging station.

Who Pays to Install an Electric Car Charging Station For a Condo?

Determining who should finance an EV charger in a condo depends on factors such as usage and ownership:

  1. Individual User: If the EV charger is for the exclusive use of a specific resident or household, that individual may cover the installation costs, equipment purchase, and ongoing electricity expenses associated with the HOA or condo EV charging. This approach ensures that costs align with the user benefiting from the electric car charging infrastructure.

  2. Condo Association: If the EV charger serves multiple residents or is installed in a common area for communal use, the condo association may assume responsibility for financing and installing the charging station. Funding for the project could come from HOA or condo fees, special assessments, or other sources. This approach distributes the costs to install an EV charger in a condo across all residents, promoting equitable access to charging infrastructure.

  3. Cost-Sharing Arrangements: Alternatively, residents interested in using a charger in a shared parking area may opt for a cost-sharing arrangement. Under this model, interested residents contribute funds towards installation and ongoing maintenance. This approach allows EV owners to share costs while gaining access to charging facilities.

Ultimately, the decision regarding who should finance an EV charger in a condo will depend on specific circumstances, resident preferences, and HOA or condo association policies. Open communication and collaboration among residents, property management, and the condo board are crucial for reaching a consensus and implementing an equitable charging solution.

Important Features of Electric Car Charging Stations for Condos

When selecting an EV charger for a condo, consider the condo's HOA's specific requirements or guidelines and the unique charging needs of the condo residents. This ensures that the chosen EV charger meets the necessary standards and seamlessly integrates with the electrical infrastructure in the parking area.

When considering EV chargers for condo installations, there are several features that are important to ensure convenience, safety, and compatibility with the electrical infrastructure. Here are some key features to look for in EV chargers for condos:

  • Wall-Mounted and Compact Design: Condo parking areas often have limited space, so choosing a wall-mounted EV charger with a compact design helps save space and ensure ease of installation.

  • Smart Connectivity and Mobile App: EV chargers with smart connectivity and a mobile app allow users to monitor charging progress, schedule charging sessions, and receive notifications remotely. This feature is especially useful for condo residents who may not be present when charging.

  • Ability to Authenticate Condo EV Charging Station Users: Some EV chargers provide user authentication options, such as RFID cards or key fobs, to prevent unauthorized access to the charging station in condominiums or HOA shared parking areas.

  • Metering and Billing Capabilities: EV chargers with built-in metering capabilities accurately measure energy consumption. This feature helps enable fair and transparent billing for condo residents and facilitates reimbursement processes, especially when multiple residents share a communal EV charging station.

  • Compatibility with Multiple EV Models: Look for EV chargers that provide compatibility with various EV models and charging standards (e.g., J1772, Tesla connector) to accommodate the different types of electric vehicles within the condo community.

  • Safety Features: Ensure that the chosen EV charger has essential safety features, such as overcurrent protection, ground fault protection, and overheating prevention. These features help protect the charging station, the electric vehicle, and the electrical infrastructure from potential hazards.

How to Charge for the Electricity Used By Condo EV Charging Stations

There are several methods for residents to pay for the electricity they use when charging an EV in a condo:

  1. Individual Metering: In some cases, EV charging stations may be equipped with individual metering systems that measure the electricity consumption of each user. Residents can pay for the electricity they use directly through these meters, similar to how they would pay for other utilities like water or gas.

  2. Subscription Service: Condo associations may offer subscription-based services where residents pay a monthly fee for access to the EV charging infrastructure. This fee covers the cost of electricity used for charging and may be included in the overall HOA or condo fees.

  3. Pay-Per-Use: Alternatively, residents may have the option to pay for the electricity they use on a pay-per-use basis. This could involve using a mobile app or RFID card to initiate charging sessions and paying for the energy consumed based on the duration or amount of charge.

  4. Third-Party Billing: Some EV charging networks or service providers offer billing solutions that allow residents to link their payment methods to their charging accounts. The provider bills users directly for the electricity consumed during charging sessions.

  5. Subsidized Charging Programs: In certain cases, condo associations or local governments may subsidize EV charging costs for residents to encourage the adoption of electric vehicles. Residents may benefit from reduced charging rates or incentives for using EVs.

Installing Electric Car Charging Stations in Condos Can Be Challenging

Although installing condo EV charging stations may be challenging, many successful projects have been completed. Such projects require open communication with various stakeholders and adjusting to the needs of condo residents.

In addition, multi-family EV chargers commonly require engineering reviews to obtain permits. Thus, navigating the EV charging station design and engineering process can be tricky.

GreenLancer is an online marketplace where you can shop for vendors who can fulfill your needs in record time. This helps EV installers move projects forward with greater velocity. You can sign up for free and shop services that fit your needs or complete the form below to learn more.


bottom of page