Toronto condos are starting to build EV chargers into parking spots but they're expensive AF
Love 'em or hate 'em, electric vehicles are here to stay — and with so many people now ditching the pump in favour of the plug, developers need to start re-thinking how they build parking spaces.
Or, in some cases, how they re-build them.
This is effectively what Toronto condo market expert Robert Van Rhijn argues in his latest blog post for strata.ca, a GTA-based real estate listing and analysis firm.
Given that 2021 gas prices were relatively affordable compared to 2022, I'm not surprised that 46 percent of Canadians surveyed in June for Ernst & Young's EY Mobility Consumer Index said they plan to buy an EV as their next vehicle," wrote Van Rhijn, who is Strata's founder and broker of record as well as a proud Tesla owner.
"That's up from 11 percent in 2021. If these drivers follow through on their intentions, hundreds of thousands of EVs will hit Canadian roads in the not-too-distant future. Based on federal government mandates, those numbers will be in the millions by 2035, when all new vehicles must run on batteries."
While he himself has access to an in-house charging station within his condo building, Van Rhijn expresses his surprise over just how rare such an amenity is, and "how long it's taken condo developers and boards to react to the surge in demand."
The broker points to a recent Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada survey that suggests one-third of Canadians who live in apartments and condos have trouble finding convenient places to park and charge their electric vehicles.
"Until a couple years ago, many condo corporations were doing little or nothing to make on-site chargers available to residents. Now, they're playing catch up," he writes.
The cost of a parking spot in a new downtown Toronto condo under construction. 🚘 😮 pic.twitter.com/JK6Uk3e3P8— Pay Chen (@PayChen) August 17, 2022
"Residents of the 10-year-old Thompson Residences at King and Bathurst, for instance, were recently emailed details of the corporation's ongoing upgrades to the building's electrical infrastructure to support up to 68 EV charging stations on two levels of its underground garage."
Good news for EV-driving condo owners in that building, right?
Not quite, since residents are being forced to cover the $277,549.75 it will cost to upgrade the garage — and that doesn't factor in the cost of the actual EV chargers, which must be purchased by individual owners who want them. These chargers, according to Van Rhijn, can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $5,000.
"However, many other condos are finding more affordable options — particularly newer and pre-construction condos," he writes.
With some buildings charging nearly $120K for a pre-fab EV parking spot, that may not be entirely true.
Nonetheless, the team at Strata believes that EV ports "will soon be a standard amenity on par with gyms or outdoor terraces," though they may not be quite there yet.
"Some of our clients are already asking how much it would cost to install EV chargers, and how they affect the resale value of pre-construction condo units. As it stands, added resale value is in line with the lofty cost of installation," writes Van Rhijn.
"But as more residents pressure condo boards to install chargers, and as more new builds include them, they will likely become more affordable."
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