Multi-Family – Residential – Retail – Commercial – Fleet

Glossary of Terms:

EV – Electric Vehicle
EVSE – Electric Vehicle Service Equipment – The wall or pedestal mounted equipment that connects the vehicle’s charger to the building’s electrical system.
EMS – Energy Management System – Meters total energy used by building and controls or limits amount allocated to EV Charging in real-time based on building demand.
SMART CHARGERS – Load balancing for multiple chargers on a dedicated circuit.
INTELLIGENT CHARGERS – Automatically manages/controls each EV charger based on the demand of the building in real time.

To EV or not to EV?

  • Property Values increase when EV Charging is available.
  • With incentives and increased driving range EV adoption rates have spiked in recent months. 
  • One of the top 10 questions asked by potential buyers/tenants is whether EV charging is available or can be added.
  • Home/Overnight is the most convenient time & location to charge EV’s.
  • Cost effective.
  • Least impact on energy grid & most sustainable solution (distributed loads).

Electric Vehicle Charging – Challenge or Opportunity

Common Concerns:

  • Cost recovery.
  • Management of users & usage.
  • EV charging impact on building electricity costs (demand/load).
  • Capacity.
  • Infrastructure upgrade costs.

Common questions:

  • How do we make sure users are paying for the electricity they use?
  • How many EV chargers do we have capacity for?
  • How can we track all usage and easily manage the cost recovery?
  • How will EV charging effect our Peak Demand Charges levied by BC Hydro?
  • Will EV charging effect the cost of electricity for the entire building?
  • Do we need an implementation strategy and policy?

EV Charging Solutions & Property Type

  1. Residential/Commercial/Retail.
  2. Public Parking.
  3. Visitor Parking.
  4. Residential Only.

Common Scenarios:

  • EV users plug into common/shared electrical outlets.
  • EV users using existing EV Plugs but do not pay.
  • Existing EV Plugs are turned off to avoid pirate use.
  • EV circuit is quickly maxed out (or soon will be).

Resulting Issues

  1. EV users are getting free power.
  2. EV users are paying a flat rate based on estimated/guessed use.
  3. Impact of EV’s on the service, supply and energy costs to entire building unknown.
  4. Demand surcharges unclear, unknown or estimated.

Developing an EV Strategy

Information, Analysis & Planning – The Most Important Steps

  • Cost, Profit & Impact Modelling.
  • Rebates & Incentives.
  • Cost Recovery.
  • Policy & Process.
  • Equipment.
  • System Design.
  • Installation.
  • Monitoring/Energy Management.

Energy Management/Monitoring allows Energy Savings:

  • Control building systems to balance & reduce demand.
  • Manage building energy resources to reduce demand or increase amount of power available for EV charging.


  • How many charges can your site manage before costly service upgrades are required?
  • Track & allocate all charges related to EV to users and recapture capital & operating costs.
  • Adjust billing amounts/methods as you expand.

Project Financing/Leasing.

Scoping Study

Regardless of the size of the parkade, number of pre-wired stalls or electrical service size, it is often wise to commission a study that indicates what it would involve to have EV charging available for every parking stall in the building.

With this study it can be determined:

  • The cost of the infrastructure/distribution upgrades.
  • The cost of the project per parking stall.
  • Capacity of your current electrical service.
  • Amount of EV chargers that can be supported.
  • The point you will need to increase electrical capacity.
  • What the best solution is for your site.
  • A clear runway for EV implementation and future-proofing.

A Study Would Also:

  • Prevent wasting money with “band-aid” or temporary measures that need to be altered or replaced as more electric vehicles require charging.
  • Include all engineering and design efforts to develop a comprehensive plan that can be used by the Strata Council to evaluate options, costs, and the viability of unit owners having Level II Electric Vehicle Chargers installed in their personal parking location.
  • Provide options for cost recovery of infrastructure and operating costs associated with electricity usage and include:
    • A site plan for each parking level, with routing of wiring and conduit for all circuits to support every space in the parking garage,
    • An Electrical Single Line Diagram for the building showing all proposed circuits and panel layouts,
    • An analysis of the electrical capacity available, the proposed electrical capacity used for EV charging and the estimated operating costs (demand and energy usage) to charge vehicles.
    • A detailed cost estimate for installation of charging in each parking stall that will allow Council to establish a plan for cost recovery of infrastructure costs.

Policy – Strata

  1. Strata own the backbone.
  2. User owns the EVSE.

Many owners may not intend on buying an EV anytime soon. It’s important these unit owners understand one of the key benefits of “Intelligent EV Charging” is to protect the non-EV owners in the building. For several reasons:

  • It ensures all electricity costs (energy and demand) are accounted for and attributed to the EV charging activities and those EV owners pay for this,
  • It ensures that the available electrical capacity is not consumed by the early adopters, leaving no capacity for those owners that may choose to add an EV at a later date, and
  • It reduces the disruption that a ‘free for all’ approach to installing EV charging has caused in many buildings (mix of contractors, power disruptions, installation methods & equipment, etc.)