By Laura Bryson
To be honest, the first time I sat in my (100% electric) Chevrolet Bolt, my reaction was: “Oh! It’s just like any other car!” Of course, there’s so much that’s different about it, but mostly just in how you fuel it.
During the first year of owning my Bolt, I lived in a condo in downtown Toronto and didn’t have access to home charging. Thanks to the Bolt’s long range and our driving patterns, this wasn’t a big deal and we ended up relying exclusively on public charging for that entire first year. It wasn’t ideal, and it was a welcome change having a private home charger while living in Kitchener and now in downtown Toronto.
My landlord was open to having a charger installed in one of three parking spaces in our back alley, acknowledging that it was a value-add to the property. Even if you live in a condo or rental apartment, though, it’s possible to get an EV charger installed for personal or shared use. It’s great having a charger where your vehicle spends the most time – at home or at work – because fueling it becomes like charging your cell phone. Plug it in when you get home, and it’ll be ready to go the next morning.
I would be remiss to say that cold weather is not a challenge for the battery range. In our early days, we had a close call when we seriously underestimated the impact of -30 degree weather driving from Toronto to Boston. Needless to say, it was a learning experience and we’re sure to leave more buffer in cold weather now 🙂
If you have any questions, please feel to reach out to me.
Hi Laura I was reading your story in regards to your experience with your electric car. My spouse Jacques bought his electric car last august 2018 we live in a condo and we are having problems with plugging our car in a 120 volt. They won’t allow us even though we suggested to them we will pay for electricity we use. The corporation says it will cause precedence that is there excuse. We have hit a brick wall the Corporations are not forth coming with new technology. Where we live there are two corporations: #381 that is where our property is and we are paying for parking #316 and they have no problem for us to pay for electricity and share with the other corporation half the amount of money. But our corporation #381 are refusing the president of our corporation is a bully it is a power trip for him. So I have read other story’s in regards to other condo owners same issues I think the Ontario government should reinforce the law for us they want us to buy electric car good for environment but can’t plug in. We have gone to our MP in our region Orleans Ontario waiting for response we have got in contact with CAO suggest we should resolve issue amicably not working next step go see a lawyer cannot really afford it so any other suggestions!!!!
In fact Ontario *has* made it easier for condo dwellers to install EV chargers: if an owner offers to pay for installation, the condo corp basically *must* allow it, unless it has obtained a professional opinion that there would be major problems. See:
Although the government in Ontario has made it easier to get approval, condo corporations still make it difficult to actually get one installed. I’m currently going through the process in my condo building to have a charger installed in my personal parking spot and in addition to the high installation costs (almost $5000), the condo corporation is forcing me to get additional insurance, restricting the type of tools that can be used during the installation, forcing me to pay again if in the future they decide to go with a network based charging system, and if they receive complaints from other unit owners they can force me to remove the installation. I’m not sure about the legality of these terms but I’m not a lawyer and can’t afford one so I’m not sure what my options are.
I have the same issue and while I used to live in Orleans, I’m just outside of it in the Beaconhill area.
I live in a rental apartment building in the Yonge/Bloor area. Management absolutely will not allow us to plug in a home charger in the underground parking. They will not even consider wiring in pay-by-use chargers. An EV would work well for me on my 6 km commute to the Portlands. There is transit down there but it is somewhat infrequent for the hours I work. My employer down there has issues wiring in chargers in the employee parking lot. As the Portlands is currently unprotected flood plain.
I’m sure I’m not alone in this. An EV can only work best if you have ready access to charging at home or work. Otherwise I’d be sold.