An Electrifying Adventure in Charging at Marina Palms  

By EC Campaigns Organizer Mary Linn 

In March, Electrification Coalition Business Council (ECBC) member ADS-TEC Energy invited the EC to attend and assist with the unveiling of the first deployment of its ChargeBox at Marina Palms, a multi-family residential condo in Miami, Florida. 

Florida is the second-biggest electric vehicle (EV) market in the U.S. after California. Within the state, Miami-Dade and Broward counties boast the highest number of electric car sales, according to Drive Electric Florida. EV charging stations for multi-family housing such as condos and apartments provide property owners with a unique way to attract and retain residents. Multi-family housing owners face unique considerations when installing charging stations, ranging from parking and electric service access to billing. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, more than 80% of EV charging take place at home, but in large residential buildings, the charging landscape is much more complicated than in single-family homes and small multi-unit dwellings. Electrifying all or a share of parking spaces with slower Level 2 chargers in a building with several hundred apartments or condos is not a long-term solution as EVs ramp up due to space limitations, insufficient power, and electrical wiring onsite. 

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Marina Palms faced such a challenge. The rapid increase in EVs and long charging times made accessing one of the six Level 2 chargers difficult, frustrating residents. Installing more Level 2 chargers would not solve the problem; the number of parking spots at Marina Palms was already limited, and even after installing Klaus lifts to increase parking capacity, there was little space left to install more Level 2 chargers. The demand for EV charging on the premises is also greater than the building’s available power supply. 

“We realized we needed an alternative, but the challenge was finding a more advanced, speedier technology that could be installed in limited space, with minimal disruption and construction, and without requiring costly electrical upgrades,” explained George Barriere, general manager of FirstService Residential. This is when ADS-TEC Energy entered the picture. 

ADS-TEC Energy’s ChargeBox is an innovative charging solution that connects directly to the grid, allowing property owners to avoid costly transformer station upgrades or grid expansions. The footprint of the equipment is small, so it can be installed in tight places and doesn’t require costly infrastructure upgrades. It is also equipped with a battery, enabling it to gather and store electricity when rates are low, decreasing the cost of charging for users. During charging, ChargeBox can deliver up to 60 miles in five minutes (for reference, Level 2 chargers deliver four miles or less in five minutes). 

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At Marina Palms, ADS-TEC Energy’s ChargeBox has proven to be a huge success. A ChargeBox and two dispensers sit outside the parking garage; installation was minimally disruptive and cost-effective. Residents charge their cars according to a schedule developed around individual charging time preferences; this (as well as the expedited charging times) eliminated the frustration residents were experiencing not having enough chargers available. Predictions are that this type of high-speed charging solution will start to be the norm in multi-family buildings worldwide.  

EVs are particularly well-suited for Miami and could save Miami residents an average of $10,000 and up to $26,000 over the lifetime of the vehicle. Solutions like ADS-TEC Energy’s ChargeBox make owning an EV more accessible and enable more people and their communities to experience the numerous benefits offered by EVs. Thank you to Marina Palms and ADS-TEC Energy for the opportunity to celebrate this exciting development in multi-unit dwelling charging. 

Amy Malaki

Amy Malaki is the Director of Partnerships and Policy at SkyNRG and SkyNRG Americas, pioneering global leaders in sustainable aviation fuel production and supply. Prior to SkyNRG, Amy was the Associate Director for the transportation portfolio at the ClimateWorks Foundation where she developed philanthropic investment strategies to advance a sustainable, equitable and low-carbon mobility system. She also pioneered the organization’s international aviation decarbonization strategy. Prior to that she focused on Asia business development at Better Place, a Silicon Valley electric vehicle network startup. She has a B.A. in Chinese and China studies from the University of Washington and an M.A. in international policy studies (energy and environment) from Stanford University.