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Everything HOAs Need to Know About EV Charging Stations

Silver electric vehicle being charged at a charging station surrounded by trees.

The growing popularity of electric vehicles (EVs) is changing the transportation landscape in the United States. In 2021, there were already 2.13 million EVs on the road, with a 35% increase in EV sales between 2022 and 2023.

The rise of EV ownership comes with the need for electric vehicle charging stations. Homeowners’ association (HOA) board members must educate themselves on EV charging to create informed policies that set their communities up for long-term success. Read on to learn more about electric vehicle charging and how it can impact your association.

What Are EV Charging Stations?

An EV charging station is a site that offers EV charging ports, which pull an electrical current from a power source and transfer it to an EV through a connector. A charging station can have one or multiple charging ports in one location. Drivers plug their cars into the station’s port to charge the vehicle.

Depending on the EV charging port equipment and the electric car’s capabilities, there are three EV charging levels:

  • Level One. Alternating current (AC) Level 1 charging connects your EV to a power source using a J1772 connector and a standard NEMA connector. This allows you to plug the vehicle into any standard 120 V outlet found in most homes. However, one hour of charging only adds five miles of EV range.
  • Level Two. AC Level 2 generally charges through 240 V service and is a popular choice for home EV charging. While EVs can use the same Level 1 J1772 connector for Level 2 charging, some vehicles may need an adapter for Level 2 charging stations. Level 2 charging adds about 25 miles of EV range for every hour of charging.
  • Level Three. Direct Current (DC) Fast Charging or Level 3 charging is the fastest EV charging available. Depending on the EV model, the CCS, CHAdeMO, and J3400 connectors allow for Level 3 charging, with adapters available to support connectivity across equipment. Only 30 minutes of Level 3 charging adds between 100 to 200 miles of EV driving range.

Legal Considerations Before Installing EV Charging Stations

An increasing number of public and private EV charging stations are being built daily to support more EVs on the road. However, there are rules and regulations that all HOA boards must consider before moving forward with community EV charging installation. Be sure to understand the legal actions or consequences related to EV charging stations by referencing:

  • Governing Documents. Review your HOA’s governing documents for any rules that may apply to EV charging stations. Most associations have restrictions on home exterior modifications or common area alterations that could affect charging station installation.
  • State, Federal, and Provincial Laws. Some laws have regulations on residential EV charging. For example, California law prohibits HOAs from restricting the installation of EV charging stations on a homeowner’s property. Work with your HOA attorney to ensure your policies comply with these laws.
  • Community EV Charging Station Policy. When constructing your HOA policy on community EV charging, include details on fees, how to schedule station use, and who is responsible for maintenance. A comprehensive policy can help the board avoid complaints, violations, and community disruptions.

Read “Top FAQs About Violations” to learn how to easily maintain compliance with community policies!

Yellow electric vehicle charges outside as a man and child walk into a home.

Benefits of EV Charging in a Community

It’s important for your board to keep a pulse on the changing needs and wants of homeowners. By adopting policies and implementing EV charging in your community, you increase homeowner satisfaction and may experience other benefits, like:

  • Competitive Marketability. An established EV charging infrastructure is a strong community amenity for your marketing efforts. It shows that your HOA is a leader in adapting technology.
  • Increased Property Values. Studies have shown that homes with EV chargers or in close proximity to EV charging stations have increased property values.
  • Attract and Retain Residents. Offering convenient EV charging capabilities in your community is attractive to homeowners and potential buyers who already have an EV or plan on purchasing one. 
  • Property Futureproofing. Embracing electric vehicles as the future of community living will help you stay ahead of EV trends and keep your HOA relevant and appealing.
  • Positive Environmental Impact. EVs create far less carbon emissions than gas-powered vehicles. Permitting EV charging installation in your community shows a commitment to sustainability.

Read “Eco-Friendly Community: 8 Easy Ways To Go Green” for more ideas on how to reduce your carbon footprint.

Community EV Charging FAQs

As vehicle preferences and priorities shift towards electric vehicles, your HOA board likely has questions about community EV charging stations. Here are the top five.

  1. Do you have to pay to use EV charging in a condo or HOA?

In most cases, you must pay to use a community EV charging station. If an electric vehicle service provider (EVSP) installed the unit, the company will manage the station’s network, maintenance, and operations, including collecting payment. When homeowners use these EV charging ports, they pay the EVSP directly.

  1. Are HOA boards responsible for making sure EV charging units are installed by a professional?

While HOA boards aren’t legally responsible for privately owned EV charging units, they can require installation by a qualified professional. The HOA proposal process may request information from the homeowner on who will install the port, giving board members the opportunity to ensure the contractor is experienced, licensed, and insured.

  1. Are community associations required by law to accommodate an owner’s request to enable EV charging in a community?

EV charging laws in community associations vary by state. California, Florida, and Colorado laws prohibit HOAs from denying reasonable EV charging station requests. However, other states and HOAs have different regulations on EV charging. Consult your HOA attorney to see what laws apply to your association.

  1. Who pays for EV charging installation in an HOA?

The party responsible for the cost of EV charging installation depends on who owns the property. A homeowner installing an EV charging port on their property is responsible for all expenses. If an HOA installs a public EV charging station in a common area, the board will use budgeted funds for the installation.

  1. Can a homeowner install an EV charging station on their private property?

Yes, a homeowner can complete an application to have an EV charging port installed on their property. The HOA board reviews the application to ensure all requirements are met. If approved, homeowners can install a personal electric car charging unit.

Are EV Charging Stations Against the Rules?

EV charging station policies are meant to enhance community living and improve property values. However, some HOA rules and regulations may not be serving residents as originally planned. Check out our ebook, “Is It a Good HOA Rule?” to learn more about passing good policies and avoiding unreasonable rules.