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How to Handle Electric Vehicles in Your HOA

As people become more environmentally conscious and join the green movement, the popularity of electric vehicles has been slowly rising. We’re starting to see more Volts, Teslas, and other green vehicles on the streets. That means there are likely a few homeowners in your HOA with these types of electric cars. And it brings up the question of how best to handle electric vehicles in your HOA policy.

When discussing creating a policy for electric vehicles with your HOA board and HOA management company, there are a few important factors to look at:

HOA Infrastruture

The first step is to examine whether your association’s infrastructure is able to handle a charging station for electric vehicles. A charging station requires at least a parking space and a power outlet, and you ideally want to have an outdoor rated Level 2 charger, which is the kind most owners of electric vehicles want to use.

If you can do this in your HOA, will the spot be designated to a certain owner or be made public for many? Figuring out these details will help you create an effective policy.

Cost of Electricity

Consider how electricity will be paid for. It costs around a few hundred dollars per car per year for electric cars, which isn’t bad, but those amounts still have to be accounted for.

One option is to have the HOA pay for the electricity. Or, you could use a meter to calculate electricity use and bill the owners of the vehicles that way. With this option, you’d need to make sure the usage was being reported accurately and also make sure someone is regularly reading the meter.

A third option would be to estimate the cost of electricity and charge an annual fee to all electric vehicle owners.

After you’ve figured out how the cost and infrastructure would be handled, it’s time to choose your strategy. We give three options here.

#1: Create Charging Stations

If you have guest spots in your community, those could be potentially converted into charging spots for electric vehicles. Although you would lose the spots, you’re able to add an amenity that is centralized on the property and looks good to prospective members.

#2: Let Owners Install Outlets

Another option would be allowing homeowners with electric cars to install their own outlets—at their own expense—in their parking spots or garages. The downside is that you have to decide if you’re still going to charge owners for that electricity. You also might then be dealing with outlets installed haphazardly around your community.

#3: Don’t Do Anything

Although this will almost certainly be met with resistance, there’s always the option of doing nothing, especially if there aren’t a large number of electric car owners in your HOA. You might decide that the costs associated with getting a community electric vehicle-ready isn’t worth it for now.

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