Are Ottawa’s condos and commercial properties ready for electric vehicles?

Energy solutions firm Envari develops new program to assess suitability for charging stations

It’s a modern take on the classic chicken-and-egg question: Which needs to come first – the electric car or the charger?

Envari, the Ottawa-based energy solutions company, is betting on the charger. Through its new assessment program, building owners and managers can determine what’s required to add charging stations for electric vehicles. Envari’s goal is to improve the infrastructure in multi-residential, commercial and retail properties in order to promote the use of electric vehicles.

“Consumers are saying they won’t buy electric cars because there are not enough charging stations,” says Adnan Khokhar, Envari’s Chief Energy and Infrastructure Services Officer. “Just as you see gas stations everywhere, drivers want to see the infrastructure for electric vehicles. They’re thinking, ‘If I drive from Toronto to Montreal, is there a place for me to charge my car?’ If there is no infrastructure, they won’t buy electric cars. We want to change that.”

The Envari assessment is geared towards condominiums, multi-residential units, commercial buildings and property developers. Khokhar says condos and multi-residential buildings are especially important, since 80 per cent of electric car users charge their vehicles at home.

“Adding chargers is not a matter of flipping breakers,” says Khokhar. “We want to assist businesses and condo boards in finding the right solutions and building the infrastructure to support consumers with electric vehicles.”

The assessment, which costs around $3,000, looks at the current electrical capacity of the building, metering configuration and voltages, as well as the age and condition of an electrical system. Based on these factors, Envari can also provide infrastructure and installation services. 

“Charging stations may be a new revenue source for condo boards,” says Khokhar.  “By engaging Envari to design a well thought-out electric vehicle charging system, condo boards can create a system where tenants pay individually for the associated energy use, rather than placing that burden on all building tenants.”

To schedule an assessment, visit for more information.