Electric Car Owner Avoids Condominium Association Shock!

Imagine this – you are an avid environmentalist, you are lucky enough to be one of the first individuals in your state to purchase the Chevy Volt (an entirely electric car), you have your Volt customized to make it even more fuel-efficient than normal and you proudly drive your car home only to realize at the moment you pull into the parking lot of your condominium association that there’s no place to charge your Volt. Yikes! What do you do now? 

As reported by WAMU 88.5, that’s exactly what happened to Ron Ball of Fairfax County, Virginia. Not only did Mr. Ball live in a condominium association with no charging station for his Volt, he also has no garage or even a designated parking space. Luckily, Mr. Ball lives in an association where the board was willing to have a serious dialogue with him and to come up with a solution to deal with charging his new car. 

 

If you’re like me, this may be the first time you have ever given this issue any serious thought. In fact, I suspect most governing documents of condominium and townhome associations are silent on the issue of charging stations.  With the cost of oil continuing to skyrocket and environmentalism in Colorado increasing in popularity – I propose it's time to start thinking about how charging stations could be handled in associations. Here are some initial questions to consider:

 

  1. How is electricity handled in your association? Is it the responsibility of the individual homeowners to obtain electricity or is it the responsibility of the association?
  2. How are parking spaces handled in your association? Are spaces deeded with each unit? If not, are there assigned parking spaces?
  3. How would the construction of charging stations for electric cars be handled? Who would cover the associated costs? Where would they be located in the association?
  4. How would the costs of electricity for charging vehicles be handled? 
  5. Would amendments to the Declaration be required to address the issue of charging stations?

By the way, did you know that Denver International Airport is slated to have the World’s Greenest Parking Lot? Is your association ready to take on DIA for this coveted title?!