New provincial policies now make it more simple to install electric vehicle charging stations in stratas

Apr 6 2023, 8:06 pm

The Government of British Columbia will be making changes to the Strata Property Act to simplify the process of installing electric vehicle charging stations in strata residential buildings.

As the installation of such equipment typically requires stratas to agree to the expense, the voting threshold will be lowered from 75% to 50% approval for expenditures and changes to common and personal property for installing the charging stations.

As well, strata corporations will need to obtain an electrical planning report to help understand their building’s electrical capacity and plan for the expansion of charging stations.

Furthermore, stratas must approve homeowners’ requests to install charging stations at the expense of the homeowner when reasonable criteria are met.

“Many BC strata residents are eager to switch to electric vehicles, but the lack of charging stations in their buildings is holding them back,” said Ravi Kahlon, BC minister of housing, in a statement.

“Our government is committed to help people reduce their carbon footprints by improving access to EV charging stations in residential buildings. That’s why we’ve introduced legislation to make it easier for strata corporations to greenlight charging stations.”

Tony Gioventu, the executive director of the Condominium Home Owners Association of BC, calls the legislation changes a “practical solution” to overcome some of the current challenges with expanding electric vehicle charging infrastructure in strata buildings.

“They strike a good balance between enabling the adoption of more EVs, electrification of parking garages, and providing strata corporations with the flexibility necessary to appropriately manage their properties and protect the interests of all the owners,” said Gioventu.

All levels of government have been working to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles, with the federal and provincial governments offering various rebates and incentives for vehicles and charging equipment and directly funding the installation of public charging stations.

Relatively recent policy changes by the City of Vancouver require new multi-family residential buildings and one- and two-dwelling homes to include charging equipment for 100% of the parking stalls. For non-residential buildings, the proportion of parking stalls required to have charging equipment is 45%.

Both the federal and provincial governments have legislation to have 100% of new vehicle sales in 2035 be 100% zero-emission models. As of 2021 in BC, 13% of all new light-duty vehicle sales were zero-emission models.

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