Thinking of joining the EV-lution?

It’s about to get easier for businesses and multi-unit residential buildings to install EV infrastructure. Is your business ready to welcome the surge in EV drivers?

Here are 6 things to consider if you’re thinking about getting EV chargers installed:

#1 Get an EV readiness assessment

Your preferred contractor will be able to provide you with a thorough analysis of your building’s existing infrastructure and electrical loads to determine the charger type and quantity that’s right for you.

#2 Understand the charging ‘levels’ available

There are three main classes of chargers on the market which differ in power output and how long it takes to charge a battery. Make your selection based on your needs:

  • Level 1 charging can be used on any standard 120 VAC outlet. It is primarily used for home charging as it takes the longest to charge (can take 24+ hours).
  • Level 2 charging represents more than 90% of all commercial charging applications in Ottawa and is the most common type of charging for multi-unit residential and commercial buildings.The typical charge time is between 4-10 hours and it requires a 208/240 VAC power source.
  • Level 3 or DC fast charging provides the quickest charge of all three levels, at under 30 minutes, however demands greater electrical power requirements. Typical applications include service stations, large shopping complexes, and fleets.

#3 Determine whether networked or ‘smart’ chargers are right for you

connected remotely to a larger infrastructure of connected chargers, these  stations make it easier to set up a fee structure and charge for the service. While these smart chargers may have a larger up-front cost, it may be well worth the investment. For instance,  you could allow one to  two hours of free charging at your business and charge for usage beyond that time. Or you could limit charging access during certain parts (peak times) of the day.  Most networked stations also provide a dashboard to monitor usage, energy data and costs so you can adjust your charging times or rates according to your needs.

#4 To share or not to share?

Power sharing allows networked chargers to share power with each other or other devices on the same circuit to reduce the need for electrical upgrades. The chargers communicate with each other and adjust their power in real time, depending on how many chargers are being used and the available power supply. EVs may charge a bit slower, but this will keep the circuit from being overwhelmed. Power sharing chargers also have the ability to be integrated into the broader building automation and control system and adjust power consumption in response to other electrical loads being used.

#5 Costs beyond installation

Most networked or smart chargers will have subscription fees associated. Make sure you consider and understand any additional fees and costs associated with the type of charger you install. Maintenance costs should also be considered

#6 Take advantage of government funding while it lasts

If you are considering EV charging, now is a great time to get started. Canada has mandated ambitious targets to transition to zero-emission vehicles and is funding EV infrastructure projects through the Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program (ZEVIP). This funding initiative provides up to 50 per cent of project costs for the purchase and installation of EV charging stations for businesses, workplaces, light-duty fleets, on-street parking, and multi-unit residential buildings. The funding goes beyond just the cost of chargers and is a great incentive to get started now rather than later.

Want to learn more about ZEVIP funding? Hydro Ottawa is delivering ZEVIP funding for eligible charging projects in Ottawa. You can learn more about the program, available incentives and how to get started at

Learn More:

Download the info-sheet