Government / Industry

Canadian Condo Owner Not Allowed to Charge Chevy Volt Electric Car

Canadian Condo Owner Not Allowed to Charge Chevy Volt Electric Car

In Ottawa, Canada, a Mike Nemat is fighting with his condominium complex about charging his electric car, a Chevy Volt. The residents of the complex split the electric bill for the whole complex, so they do not want all the owners to have to pay for his car. He is arguing that charging the car only costs around $1 a night to charge. In addition to that, many of the other condo owners do not care if he charges his car. Most of them are pleased to have an environmentally friendly car at their condo complex.

The problem that condos, or for that matter most places, are having with people plugging in their electric vehicles is they do not know how much it actually costs to charge an all-electric vehicle. In the case of the condo association, they are asking that the owner of the Volt pay to install a meter outlet for his vehicle. This will cost around $3000, which does not make much financial sense for the Volt owner. There are many other cases where people are traveling, and they cannot find a place that will allow them to plug in their car.

The reality is that a hybrid-electric car, such as a Chevy Volt, will cost between $20 – $30 per month in electricity charges. Condo managers, as well as the general public, need to find out the true costs of charging these vehicles before they declare it is not allowed. Electric cars are much better for our environment than gas cars, but unfortunately, buying one is very expensive. People who purchase electric cars should be allowed to charge them, instead they are faced with ignorance. Therefore, people who purchase electric vehicles need to do their homework before they make the purchase. They need to make certain they will have a place to plug the car in.

Checkout this CBC article to see a video with Mike explaining the details.

View Comments (8)


  1. Jon

    February 1, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    Plug-in add-on meters for 120V, are $20 at Canadian tire, use and honour system.

  2. Cavin

    February 1, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    I’m not sold on electric cars being better for the environment at this time. The manufacturing process is much dirtier, specifically the batteries. I’m not saying that fossil fuels are cleaner, I just want to point out that the benefits of an electric vehicles complete lack of emmisions may be offset by the manufacturing process of the batteries. How long are they good for, how often do they need replacing, and what kind of recylcing program has been implemented to deal with massive volumes of large electric car batteries. Also, many places use fossil fuels to create electricity, so charging your car rather than filling it with gas or diesle isnt really as “clean” as its made out to be (I live in BC where we get most of our power from Hydro-Electric Dams, not everyone is so lucky). Maybe in a few years as technology progresses in the field of batteries it will be viable, but at this time I would not purchase a fully electric vehicle.

  3. Thomas

    February 1, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    What if its plugged into coal fired electricity ?… or Hydro that has already wiped out a small eco-system or displaced a culture ?… think green or smoke it ?…

  4. James

    February 1, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    I couldn’t agree more with Calvin above. The manufacturing of these electric vehicles is quite possibly more harmful to the environment than use of fossil fuel. There needs to be more independent study of the complete manufacturing process of electric vehicles versus cars that operate on fossil fuel.

  5. kodi

    February 1, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    At least he lives somewhere that actually has plugins period
    I’ve lived in two separate Condo’s on vancouver island and because nobody needs block heaters here condo’s aren’t built with outdoor plugins period.

  6. Rob

    February 1, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    If this isn’t a case of someone being cheap I don’t know what is. It’s a matter of principle. If he can afford a $40,000 + car then he can afford the $1 a day it supposedly costs to charge. As for this comment about the charging station “This will cost around $3000, which does not make much financial sense for the Volt owner.” That’s how much it costs ANY Volt owner who wants/needs one. What if he owned a home? He’d still have to pay the $3,000.

  7. johnathan

    February 1, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    That is incorrect, they are asking him to install a seperate meter to monitor the cars usage of power for 3000 dollars. Most homes would already be metered. As well if the condo fees include power they should not be allowed to dissallow him from plugging in his vehicle. I doubt they go through each condo and force those people with three computers drawing 1200 watts a piece to do the same. If this gentleman has purchased an eletric car he most likely also has other low power goos for the environment appliances in his home.

    Eveb manufacturing for an all electric car is better, less parts means less waste produced. Not to mention efficiency rating vs electric vs gas/diesel

  8. Casey

    February 4, 2012 at 10:43 am

    Did they include a fair-use policy in the agreement? Perhaps a monthly cap? Do they offer multi-tier packages with more power for the “power” users?

    I think Canadian internet service providers are attempting to redefine “unlimited”, maybe they should take a page from them…

    The car is a visible user of the utility, thus prompting debate. When are they going to go around checking who has a plasma vs lcd tv?

    If they want to cap/throttle a single user everyone in the group needs to be metered or none at all.

    Everyone involved had agreed on the co-pay deal, unless there are limits in it for such let them plug in their car.

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