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Condo owner seeks advice on navigating EV charger installation with HOA: 'I would join the board to make the change'

"They probably can't block it but they can make it expensive and difficult."

"They probably can't block it but they can make it expensive and difficult."

Photo Credit: iStock

Buying an electric vehicle is an exciting investment. However, it can't run without the proper charging infrastructure, which can get more complicated if you live in an apartment, condo, or homeowners association community.

In a Reddit post in the subreddit r/HOA, a user asked for advice from the community on navigating the challenges of installing EV chargers in their condo complex parking lot. The user stated that grants could cover the costs of up to six EV chargers. However, they wanted more advice on where to go next.

"Two questions: 1- Can the board stop it because it will take away a 1/3 of the guest parking?" the post read. "2- If approved, what mechanisms can be put in place to limit time in the charging bay? There's no security staff."

EVs produce no harmful tailpipe pollution like that from gas-powered cars and even save drivers thousands by lowering the costs of gas, repairs, and maintenance. Tax credits and incentives make EVs even more enticing. 

As the OP said, there are also grants and incentives for installing charging stations. In May 2024, the U.S. government announced applications for funding $1.3 billion in charging expansion. This is vital for EVs, which can travel, on average, 300 miles on a single charge, according to Octopus.

According to PEW Research, there were 61,000 EV charging stations in the U.S. as of February 2024. Approximately 64% of Americans live within two miles of these chargers. But sometimes, these can be inaccessible, vandalized, or even blocked. If you are able to install a charger at your home, traveling locally or on short trips could be a breeze. 

However, if you don't own your home or live under HOA guidelines, it can be difficult to install EV chargers, as other EV owners have found. One Redditor was banned from charging their EV in their own garage by an HOA, while another homeowner in Virginia was told to purchase a $1 million insurance policy. 

This is not the only instance of HOAs barring residents from adopting sustainable practices. Some homeowners have been unable to install solar panels on their roofs or have been forced to comply with landscaping rules. One HOA community even banned bicycles.

In the Reddit thread, commenters advised the OP on how to deal with their HOA regarding installing EV chargers.

"The board needs to agree on what's best for the building as a whole, and this is a significant change to a shared area meant to benefit everyone," one user commented. "There may be board members interested in getting EVs and would be happy to push for this with you."

"In the long run many buildings will probably elect shared charging systems, where you have your own charger but the power is allocated according to the number of chargers active," said another. "Less infrastructure investment, but still significant, and more rules for owners in that they have to buy the HOA approved system."

"They probably can't block it but they can make it expensive and difficult," commented another user. "This is one of the times, I would join the board to make the change and bring several of my EV friends too."

Joining the board isn't the only way to work with your HOA if you want to make changes in your community. Knowing where to start can go a long way.  

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