Interest charge

Charge Up Fairfax Commits to Electric Vehicle Drivers | Fairfax County

Jwo Years after Virginia passed right-to-charge legislation for owners of electric vehicles, challenges remain for a variety of residents, including those who use common-access parking, live in multi-family buildings, or live under strict homeowners association (HOA) regulations.

The bill, passed in April 2020, established the right of electric vehicle (EV) owners to access charging stations by preventing home and condominium owners from prohibiting the installation of charging stations, provided certain conditions are met.

To address concerns and receive community feedback regarding charging stations, the Reston Association (RA) hosted Charge Up Fairfax on November 9th.

During the event, residents were asked about their EV needs, as well as the best protocol for installation and compliance with state law.

In line with Fairfax County’s goals to reduce carbon emissions through the Fairfax County Community Energy and Climate Action Plan established in September 2021, local government is particularly interested in encouraging residents’ ability to use charging stations for electric vehicles.

“Strong growth in electric vehicle (EV) use is essential to meeting Fairfax County’s ambitious carbon emission reduction targets set out in the Community Energy and Climate Action Plan (CECAP)” , said John Morrill, divisional director for innovation and sustainability. “Charging electric vehicles is generally easier at home, and the industry assumes that most people can do most of their charging at home.”

However, many people in the county face challenges when trying to set up their own charging stations.

Some of these struggles include strict regulations imposed by local HOAs, a lack of private garage or driveway access in residential buildings such as apartments and condominiums, and people living with shared access parking. that will not meet the needs of the EV owner.

“Fairfax has over 1,000 HOAs and as a result, a significant portion of Fairfax residents do not have ready access to home charging,” Morill said. “Our meeting at Reston on November 9 [provided] county staff with the opportunity to learn about the specific challenges of communities of common interest as we plan programs to assist those communities.

By working with residents in neighborhoods with strict HOA presence, Charge Up hopes to address the concerns of HOA members alongside residents through reimbursement packages.

Another common obstacle for residents can be the costs of installing a charging station and the resulting cost of electricity to use it, as well as the technical work required to keep them up to date. All of these constraints should be addressed through financial aid grants that would cover costs up to $5,000. Communities identified as economically disadvantaged will have the opportunity to apply for two grants, with their reimbursement covering up to $10,000 of the cost.

While the purpose of the meeting was to assist residents regarding future access to charging stations near their residences, the Fairfax County government also points out that the Washington area is currently home to various public charging stations, including more than 200 located in Fairfax County.

To find nearby charging stations, residents are encouraged to use the alternative gas station locator, which can be found online at bit.ly/3WHOtqF.