Re: Electric Car usage in communities
From: Chuck Harrison (
Date: Tue, 27 Jul 2021 22:12:53 -0700 (PDT)
At my community in Seattle, the first electric vehicle (a Leaf) arrived
almost 10 years ago. The owner paid all costs to install a level 2 charger
at one of the common buildings adjacent to his assigned space in the
parking area. The installation included a commercial-quality usage meter
(kWh) and the owner pays an amount every month reimbursing the community
for the measured usage.

When the second EV (mine) arrived about 5 years later, the community
realized that simply repeating the pattern of the first installation would
be unsustainable as we would quickly run out of electrical service capacity
for all the vehicles to charge simultaneously. Inasmuch as I have an
engineering background, I began to look for an "optimum" solution. It was a
long time coming.

Fast forward to today. We have six electric vehicles now, mostly charging
on 120V (level 1) outlets, and the arrangements are rather ad hoc. However
we are building out a plan which will soon (next month!) provide four level
2 stations and a "smart" control system which spreads out the charging
power over time so that our existing electrical service will not be
overloaded. Our plan has a long term vision of supporting about 25 stations
in our parking lot at a loosely estimated total cost of $100,000. The build
out will be incremental as demand arises.

The money is not coming from the community budget; we established an "EV
Collective" organization which is primarily funded by a one-time member
subscription fee. All charging stations are owned by the Collective (no
personal chargers permitted) and every EV owner is expected to join and pay
in. EV owners will reimburse the community for the amount of electricity
used (the new level 2 stations we are installing automatically measure
consumption and report it electronically).

As I have shepherded this process for 5 years, I can probably answer almost
any question about our system. However I can't tell you how the "smart"
charging actually performs until we complete the installation next month
and get some experience with it.

Chuck Harrison
Duwamish Cohousing

On Tue, Jul 27, 2021 at 8:47 PM Henning Mortensen <hmortensen [at]>

> Thank you Muriel,
> We have all outlets in our parking garage charged to our common electrical
> charge, so when I plugin I am upping the usage by charging and I offered to
> pay for it. We are just very confused about how this should be handled.
> What happens when other larger battery cars (ie. tesla's and such) also
> join the community and demand more than a 110v plug.
> I applaud your community for thinking ahead and getting ahead of the curve.
> We have a level 2 charger installed but then assigned parking so the
> charger is not available to me.
> btw we have been calculating KWH = battery size (24kwh) * (charge out -
> charge in) * .95 charger efficiency
> For my car this has resulted in calculations that correspond to a
> kill-o-watt meter and a charge monitoring program from our power company.
> I keep track of when I charge, the mileage on the car and the charge level
> out and it)
> I am glad to hear that your community saw the future need and invested in
> charging infrastructure. I am going to assume that the investment is being
> recouped through charging fees beyond just the electricity used.
> On Tue, Jul 27, 2021 at 9:01 PM Muriel Kranowski <murielk [at]> wrote:
> > Why the consternation? Is it because your neighbors are all paying for
> your
> > car's electrical charging?
> >
> > My community made a large investment (being paid back over several years)
> > to install high-level charging stations in several locations. The initial
> > installation was completed just a few months ago and the project is still
> > being rolled out. What I just wrote is all I know about this so don't
> > bother asking me for details, but it should be great for current and
> future
> > EV owners.
> >     Muriel at Shadowlake Village
> >
> >
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