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Condo board considers installing EV chargers for unit owners

Ilyce Glink and Samuel J. Tamkin, Tribune Content Agency on

Q: I am on the board of directors of a homeowners association (HOA) in Evanston, Illinois. The board is gathering information about installing electrical vehicle (EV) chargers on our HOA property.

The board is particularly interested in the concept that was described in your article from last year. You said there is an option for an outside company to install and maintain the EV charger. Then, they share revenue with the HOA.

Because our HOA is self-managed, we don’t have the business network to tap into finding such a company to install EV chargers. Can you point us to a resource that provides info on specific companies that do these EV charger installations?

A: We don’t make specific recommendations to our readers. However, if you Google “EV companies that license charging stations to condo,” a number of companies pop up that you can research. These companies should be licensed to do business in Illinois and should have good reviews. You should ask for a list of references to see how things worked out and how much others liked doing business with the company.

You might also talk to your friends and relatives that live in larger condominium buildings or rental buildings that have installed EV charging stations. Ask them which companies are handling those EV charging stations.

Now, you might find that an EV charging station may or may not work for your building. Let’s say you live in a 10-unit condominium building. The EV company may not feel it’s worthwhile to install the EV charging station if there won’t be enough volume to justify the cost to put it in. In that case, your building would have to pay for the installation and maintenance. But, you’d keep all the revenue from unit owners that use it.

 

You also have to consider whether your building has to have sufficient electrical power to support an EV charging station. Many older buildings do not.

For those who don’t have electric vehicles and are unaware how they work, you have three types of charging methods:

1. Level one chargers involve plugging your car into your standard 120-volt home wall outlet (say, in your garage) and watching your car charge up. It can take a long time. A standard wall outlet may give a car about three miles for every hour charged, so it can take hours to fully charge a vehicle.

2. Level two chargers are much faster, offering higher-rate AC charging through 240 volts (in residential applications) or 208 volts (in commercial applications), but it can still take a few hours to fully charge your vehicle.

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