As the market leader in EV charging in multifamily communities, EverCharge knows all the struggles they face.
Issues with shared parking spaces, little available power, no extra wall space a more common than most think, and there are not many solutions to overcome them. Most EVSE suppliers simply ask tenants or property managers to foot the bill for an extensive infrastructure overhaul, that makes little financial sense and gives even less incentive.
EverCharge has always pitched a more intelligent solution. One which leverages technology like wireless connectivity and machine learning to make the charging stations far more power efficient, saving thousands of dollars in the process. Often pitching ideas that work great in single family homes or office parks but are wrought with difficulties for multifamily communities. While we are certainly enjoying the fruits of being the market leader, we often wonder have other EVSE suppliers simply forgotten about multifamily communities?
The Shared Solution
While we have come across quite a few competitors many pitch the exact same solution, take the existing power, install as many EV charging stations as possible until the garage is totally tapped out of power and have residents share those stations.
At first glance this seems to be a fine solution, after all, often times most building amenities are shared so why not charging stations too? Unfortunately once a building has two EV drivers sharing one station things start to fall apart pretty quickly. Why? Charging a car takes time and seeing as most drivers leave and come home at similar times, one person is usually left without power, leading to the dreadful fight in the garage scenario. Sharing a station between two drivers is hard enough, once you start putting in three, four, and five EVs to every charger things become impossible.
Sharing a station rarely works and even if its do-able creates a lot of work for everyone involved. EV drivers will need to sign up for time slots, property managers and HOA's will have to ensure that those time slots are adhered to, and a valet may need to be hired just to ensure the cars are swapped in and out on time. While on paper it looks to be the right solution, we can tell you from experience that sharing a station is always asking for trouble.
The Power Approach
Often when sharing stations is found not to work, the next suggestion comes straight out of Tim Allen's book.
That's right often times the very next suggestion is bringing in additional power. While this certainly will fix the issue and can potentially allow every space in the garage to have an EV charger, its also happens to be by far the most expensive. Bringing in more power is not as simple as calling your local utility company and asking them to up the wattage. Typically it takes tens of thousands of dollars in infrastructure additions to do it, and that's not even factoring in the man hours.
Sometimes even that might not be enough. In one building we worked with the only way to bring in additional power was to trench new power cables through an existing highway. Doing this would have cost millions and caused severe traffic delays. The homeowners association had all but given up on the idea until we were able to provide a better solution.
The Right Approach
Intelligence is the key in solving the EV charging conundrum in multifamily communities. Buildings need a system that allows for the maximum number of installs and the minimum price. It's really that simple, and while the two scenarios above can bring EV charging to your building, they will cause far more problems than they solve.
Smart technology is key and it's something most EVSE suppliers completely overlook. Instead, they focused their energy on building apps and web forms that while mildly useful are completely redundant systems as most EVs already come with something completely similar. EverCharge chose to focus our engineering energy on allowing the technology to actually think about and eventually know your charging habits. Allowing for maximum efficiency, we can install ten times the number of stations at a fraction of the cost.
EverCharge's system is unique in that it not only brings smart technology, but also top-flight service. We provide 24/7 on-site maintenance, service, and support, along with $1M liability insurance. In essence, we are the only true "set it and forget it solution". It's certainly true we are tooting our own horn but the fact remains many EVSE providers have and are leading multifamily dwellers down the absolute wrong path and causing more problems in the process.
If EVs are truly going to catch on we need to ensure people are taking the right approach the first time.