Are residential communities ready for the electric car revolution?
Let's say you have an electric car, and you are looking for a new place to live. Common sense would tell you to find out first if the communities you are considering offer electric chargers for your vehicle. That didn't happen at the Breeze Galloway condominium complex, in Miami's Cutler Bay neighborhood. Recently, one member of the Homeowner Association's board noticed a cable extended from the balcony of an apartment on the first floor to a vehicle parked in front. Immediately, he alerted the HOA. Soon after, the community's lawyer sent a letter to the resident demanding the removal of the cable given the hazard of electric shock and the risk for pedestrians because the cable was extended across a sidewalk use by other residents.
“Before buying an electric car you should check first if your community has a way to charge it safely”, said Jonathan Caceres, who lives in the complex and who has been a board member for around four years. Caceres himself has thought about buying and electric car, but the fact that his community doesn't have chargers has stopped him from doing it.
The popularity of electric vehicles has taken by surprise a vast majority of communities that were built in the last decade. Breeze Galloway, a complex with 70 units, was finished in 2006 and currently does not have any plans for installing EV chargers for common use by all of its residents, because almost all of them have vehicles that run with gas.
The board suggested to the resident in question to start a process to install his/her own charger station, but that would require a specific space, an electric line linked to the resident's electricity service meter, and some other considerations, like architecture standards, that would be hard for the board to approve. The resident would have to cover all the costs.
It is estimated that one million electric vehicles run in the US, around 2% of the total cars on the road. Some analysts project that by 2025, 25% of the vehicles sold would be electric.
Still, electric charger stations are rare in communities and condominium complexes around the country, with the exception of California. There are initiatives in some areas for communities to installs charger stations as a way to attract green-minded residents, increase average rent and property values and meet new ecological regulations enacted by states and cities.
In the case of the Breeze Galloway complex, the resident complied after the warning and removed the vehicle and the cable. This could've been easily avoided if the resident had just checked the features of the complex in advance, something that now can be easily done by just consulting EasyMGT database of thousands of communities.
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