EV’s and charging them are becoming recurring topics for any HOA. This makes any experience with the topic extremely valuable. E-Flux offers a solution for the billing calculations affiliated with EV-charging. In this interview an Amsterdam HOA tells all about their experience and their approach regarding EV charging (points).
Your HOA has installed quite a few charging points! How did you manage to do this?
We’ve been preparing our parking garage since an early stage in the development. The first hurdle we faced was the fact that it was deemed impossible to connect the individual apartments to charging points in the parking garage. This meant that we would have to install a separate connection.
All talk no knowledge
‘At this point, we as an HOA had no real knowledge about these types of installations. We requested offers from quite a few providers and it soon became clear that most of them had no real knowledge but were quick to smooth talk their way into our assignment. It took us a lot of deliberation, but we decided to listen to our in-house installer and figure out the costs based on his advice. A good charging solution in a parking garage uses load balancing to make sure that even during peak charging periods, all EV’s are provided with enough power to charge. As it turned out, charging points aside, the basic installation with load balancing, cables, enforced connection (3x250A), and work activities was going to cost a pretty penny, something that the HOA hadn’t budgeted in advance.’
With this approach we managed to engage enough participants to pay for the assignment.
‘After making an inventory with the inhabitants it turned out that we wouldn’t be able to make it work financially because the group of inhabitants with EV’s was too small to finance both the charging points and the installation. We then set up an alternative in which the inhabitants could pick one of two options:
- A: Pay for a charging point plus a portion of the basic installation (load balancing, cable work etc.). This would result in a fully functioning charging point at your individual parking spot.
- B: Pay for a part of the basic installation of the charging system. A charging point would not be included, but the payment could be seen as an investment in the system which would help realizing the assignment. If and when you would switch to an EV, you would only need to buy the charging station.’
How did you end up at E-Flux?
‘After quite a lot of trial-and-errors in the span of the first year we discovered that the system we purchased from the installer did not fit our needs completely. The biggest bottleneck was the billing of the kWh’s which had to be done manually. This compelled the HOA to send individual bills to each user. The amount of work this entailed added a lot of strain to the members of the HOA. The alternative was to add this to the responsibilities to the HOA-administrator, bus aside of this costing quite a lot of extra money, it was deemed impossible for commercial drivers to submit their HOA charging bill with their leasing company. Charging at home became twice as expensive this way as drivers would pay for electricity through their leasing contract but would also have to pay the HOA for the same electricity.’
No subscription charge but automated billing.
‘We then researched multiple companies that offered the billing of kWh’s for HOA’s. A downside of these companies is that they work with a subscription charge. Some of the charging point owners have not yet started using their charging point and a charging subscription was not yet necessary for them. We ended up asking our installer for advice and when the discussion came to a boiling point. He recommended the E-Flux eMobility solution.
E-Flux offers their service as a charge per kWh or as a subscription that is paid by the individual user. This ensures that the costs are fully billed to the end user, but the fact that the HOA can determine our own price per kWh was the deciding factor.’
What advice can you offer other HOA’s that are considering installing charging points?
- Start as soon as you can, preferably while still constructing the building.
- Make sure that you separate the costs of the basic installation and the individual charging points. This makes a system more affordable for the HOA.
- Calculate the desired price per kWh. (Including all additional costs and taxes)
- Automize your billing process (through E-Flux).
‘We are very satisfied! The installation and the collaboration with the installer went perfect and they are so easy to get a hold of, even at night! Ever since we’ve switched to E-Flux we don’t really ‘experience’ E-Flux anymore. There’s no need to since everything works as should without any problems or complaints. To me that says enough. Our HOA is completely unburdened by E-Flux.
How would you rate E-Flux?
- Service: 9
- Employee contact: 9
- User friendliness: 9
Want to know more? Contact us!
Is your HOA looking for a system to automatically calculate the costs of EV-charging? Please contact us through the contact details at the bottom of the page!