EV Charging in Multi-Unit Dwellings

Option One – Wire an EV Outlet to the Underground Parking Space

This option works for most first-floor living units in a multi-unit building

  • Locate the electrical panel in the apartment.
  • Drill down (if wood structure) or find conduit to garage level for wiring the conduit.
  • Install the conduit, the new breaker, wiring in the conduit (#10 wire should be adequate for 120-volt to 240-volt outlet) wire from the panel to the wall outlet location.
  • Wire the outlet, 120-volt charging gives about 30 miles of range using overnight charging.
  • Bolt the charger to the wall (or put it back in your trunk).
  • Put a physical lock on the outlet.
  • The landlord may need to shift parking spaces to have car and charger located directly below the living unit.
  • In this configuration, the tenant has a parking space.  Tenant an outlet for EV charging, a charger available and direct billing of electrical use to the tenant account.



Option Two – Smart Outlet 

Product Spec for Smart Outlet, Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging.  Designed for Multi-Unit Dwelling Buildings and Easy EV Owner Invoicing. 

April 2019
Here is the spec for a 120v outlet replacement that allows for condo or apartment dwellers (multi-unit dwellers) to EV charge and have invoicing direct to the EV owner.

Status Today and Considerations
* Public super fast (20 minute) chargers of 300-mile range cars will be available many years from today.  The electricity network will take years to build.
* Multi-unit dwellers need “charge at home” convenience.
* Plug-in hybrid cars (with combination gas and electric drive) will be the primary car for multi-unit dwellers use for many years.  Drives may not be comfortable with all battery electric as their only car.
* Convenience of charging in multi-units needs to far more convenient for plug-in hybrid or for all battery electric cars.

Charging Challenges at Multi-Unit Dwellings
Single-family homes can quite easily install a charger, have a designated parking space and be billed for the electricity.   Multi-unit dwellers have challenges.   Charger installation requires landlord approval, many garages have electricity billing to the “house” account.  Billing specific to the tenant is not easy.  Landlords do not want to pay for car charing electricity.

Our Smart Outlet Solution
A smart outlet will replace a standard 20 amp outlet with the ability to invoice the EV owner directly.  Here is the product idea.

The smart outlet device is a hard-wired (bypass proof) electricity usage measuring device that can be installed in a multi-unit dwelling garage/condo or any building.  Power usage is standard electricity of 100 to 120-volts.
A landlord can use this device to determine how much electricity fee to invoice the tenant for charging their electric vehicle.
Key items:  Product needs to be robust, meaning charging is always available, the device locks the car charger unite in place and invoicing the EV owner must be super simple.

Product Features
* Overview of Use:  EV driver plugs in the 120-volt charger (provided by their car manufacturer) into the smart outlet, swipes a FOB card, charger activates, then user plugs in charger plug into their car, after charging session is complete invoice arrives directly to the EV owner.

Update May 9, 2019
A 240 volt, 16 amp outlet will allow for faster charging, about 10-12 miles of driving per hour of charging.  Here is a dual voltage J-Plug charger that can be bolted to the wall:  AxFast Charger.

Product Detailed Spec
* Purpose is for invoicing a user of an electrical outlet for their energy usage.
* Supports multiple users.
* Electricity rate billing fee can be adjusted to whatever is desired.
* Uses RFID, FOB or other login or account access system.
* Can be read by a phone app or other device.
* Invoicing the tenant is seamless, similar to FastTrack bridge toll billing.
* Billing can be sent directly from the device or from any connected source.
* Invoicing system must be generic and reconfigurable, so switching to a lower-priced system keeps the billing viable
* If Wifi is not available, charging session data must be cached for later upload to invoicing system.
* Blue tooth can provide initial account configuration and for entering use user information.
* A control box for multiple outlets may be required, with an antenna connection for LTE signal.
* Bypass mode will allow any user (non-registred, contractor) to use electricity from the outlet for free for a limited (adjustable) time.
* Electricity amperage required ranges up to 20 amps, Level 1 charging
* Electrical energy source can be from a battery, from a building, from photovoltaic solar or from any other electric source or directly from the electrical grid.


Product is similar to this device, with the addition
of hardwiring,
bypass-proof mounting and a lock to
keep the plug and car charger in place.

I’m Available for UX Product Development, Pilot Testing and Landlord Training:
* UX User Experience design, this device needs to be super easy to configure and use.
* Pilot program testing, this product launch needs to be robust and UX fine-tuned to be successful.
* Training of users, apartment house owner associations for a successful launch, initially landlords using this smart outlet may need more training attention to configure.

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