An Ottawa man is fighting the board of the condominium complex where he lives because it does not want him charging his electric car on other residents' dimes.

The board's president has told condo owner Mike Nemat that an outlet he has used to charge his car will be disconnected.

At a condo, all tenants share the electricity bill, but Nemat argues his Chevy Volt costs only about a dollar per night to recharge.

The board said it should not pay for fuel for electric cars because it does not pay to put fuel in other cars. But Nemat said he offered to pay for all the hydro costs caused when his vehicle is plugged into the outlet. 


Mike Nemat said powering his electric car costs less than a dollar per night. (CBC)

"They seem to think this car consumes a significant amount of electricity," said Nemat. "Realistically, it is only about the same as a microwave or any other small appliance."

Board wants condo owner to pay $3K for meter

Condo rules state Nemat could plug in a block heater for a conventional car, which requires similar power, at no cost.

Electric vehicles in Canada:

  • Chevrolet Volt goes for about $41,545.
  • Hydro cost is about 1.5 cents per km.
  • Chevrolet Volt can go 40 to 80 km on electricity without charging battery.
  • Some provinces offer rebates for owning electric or hybrid vehicles.

But the board wants Nemat to install an individual meter at his outlet, which would cost $3,000.

"This isn't some evil electric car that consumes a ton of electricity. It's just a drop in the pond compared to what the whole building pays," Nemat said.

One of Nemat's neighbours, Steve Forbes, said he does not agree with the condo board's stance.

Forbes said he is happy to see an electric car in the parking lot.

"I think it's a technology that should have been here long, long ago," Forbes said.