Volume 26, Issue Number 3, Spring 2022
Environmental/Utilities Issues


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When you Need EV Chargers Installed, Who you Gonna Call?

Things to Look for When Hiring an Electrical Contractor

By Mark Marmer | Other articles by Mark Marmer

The Current Situation
Today, almost every car manufacturer has an EV on offer. In fact, there are over 5 million EVs on the road and EV sales in Canada are doubling annually.

In 2021, the Canadian Government set a mandatory zero-emission target for all new light-duty car and passenger truck sales by 2035. Meaning that electric vehicles may soon be the only new vehicle option on the market.

That is a great thing for drivers, manufacturers, and the environment. EVs are cheaper to drive and maintain, offer better performance and are significant assets in the fight against climate change.

For condo owners, managers, and boards, the question becomes not if they will need to install EV chargers but how?

The Who, Where, How, and Watt
On May 1, 2018, the latest revisions to When you Need EV Chargers Installed, Who you Gonna Call? Things to Look for When Hiring an Electrical Contractor the 1998 Condominium Act went into effect. The revisions establish the processes for getting Electric Vehicle Charging Stations (EVCS) installed in condominium buildings. Beyond the guidelines, there are still other factors to consider, including new distribution equipment, charger types, billing software, and load management.

For charger installations in condos, the ideal solution must be both cost-effective, energy-efficient, and future-proofed. Dynamic load management allows for the greatest number of cars to charge simultaneously within the building's electri-cal capacity and with the lowest cost of infrastructure.

This process is a lot to understand and put in place. With EV infrastructure projects often ranging between $20,000 to $100,000+, this is something you'll want to do right the first time.

An experienced electrical contractor can guide you through the entire process and offer a complete solution ensuring the least amount of work for the corporation, board, or manager. Choosing the right electrical contractor will lead to having a successful, future-ready installation.

Here are a few things to consider when choosing a contractor for your EV charging project.

  • Be an experienced electrical contractor. After all, EV chargers require an electrical installation.
  • Be able to provide references for similar installations in your area. Whenever possible, we recommend visiting a few of the referenced sites to see them for yourself.
  • Be able to provide education. Managers, boards, and committees will have lots of questions. Many of these may relate to the installation, and others might be about EV ownership in general. It's best to have a contractor who has a total depth of knowledge in all aspects of EV driving and operation. Ask the contractor if they own or drive an EV, and if so, for how long.
  • Have independent engineering services to determine your site's size, shape, and load capacity. This analysis will determine how many vehicles your site can accommodate and the most economical manner to bring EV service to each vehicle. This type of research and knowledge comes with experience.
  • Have access to the latest hardware and software on the market to suit your needs. These should be completely agnostic and not tied to a single product, hardware, or software.
  • Use only open source parts and services that will not bind you to any vendor. Doing so avoids long-term contracts or proprietary equipment. No one wants to be stuck with outdated specialized equipment.
  • Make things clear by providing you with a detailed roadmap outlining all related costs. A thorough plan ensures you understand what you are purchasing.
  • Be able to assist you in writing an EV policy for your community. This policy will outline the EV charger installation process and the draft policy may be easier and less costly than starting from scratch.
  • Assist you to manage new charger requests from owners and residents with minimal input from management.

In conclusion
Installing EV chargers is not a simple project. With multiple factors, safety protocols, and future thinking initiatives in play, this is a project you'll want experienced professionals to do.

Before you start your project, remember that no two installations are the same. Make sure you have the right electrical contractor on your side—one who is transparent, knowledgeable, and experienced.

Your contractor should be able to support you through the entire installation process, ensuring that the project is completed in a legal, safe, and cost-efficient manner.

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Spring 2022
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