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Newbie Question: Looking to buy Tesla with limited charging options

All,
Apologize in advance if this has been answered elsewhere. I love the model S and have been researching a lot about the vehicle.
However, my question is more a general one on the options for charging.
I live in San Jose, CA but in a condo and our condo does not have any charging stations. I do have a dedicate car spot there.
What options do I have to have my car get charged overnight?

I live in SanJose and might potentially be commuting to San Jose or even Sacremento 2-3 times a week and upto Palo alto on the other days.
Just love everything about the car except the whole less available options around having it charged always. Anything that can help put my fears to rest will really help me!
Thanks in advance.

Correction to above post.
I live in SanJose and might potentially be commuting to San Francisco and Sacremento 2-3 times a week and upto Palo alto on the other days.

Do you own or rent the condo?

Are there any outlets nearby? I guess I should assume you've checked but you don't specify.

Either way, with a dedicated spot you should be able to get an outlet installed. I believe there is a law in California that requires any HOA's to allow one to be installed.

I'm sure others will chime in on this too. Yes there are other threads that discuss this. Use volkerize.com to search the forums here as I'm sure you've noticed there are no native search tools.

I know there are also some great threads on this topic at teslamotorsclub.com.

Cheers!

For your weekly driving you need to have 240 V and at least 30 A, better 50 A charging access. Without dedicated charging at your home it would be very painful. Did you ask ?

More info on the California state law regarding EV charging at condos.
http://jungreislaw.blogspot.com/2012/08/electric-vehicle-charging-in-hom...

If there is a 110 volt outlet nearby, then you should be able to get by for your commute within San Jose and even your commute to Palo Alto, though be aware that after a 40-50 mile drive, charging to recover that range will take 10-12 hours. That figure could be better or worse depending on the conditions of the drive. Since the car (with 85 kWh battery) can drive 230 miles or more, you don't necessarily need to fully recharge every day if you can catch up on the weekend.

For driving to Sacremento, you would need to find a place to charge while you are there. A round trip between San Jose and Palo Alto is pushing or even exceeding the range of the Model S. A 110 volt outlet charging at home isn't really going to cut it either for this kind of driving.

Also keep in mind that if you do use an existing 110 volt outlet in the shared garage, the amount of electricity you will be using will not be insignificant, so it is probably not fair for the HOA to have to pay for that.

If you can get a NEMA 14-50 outlet installed on a 50 amp circuit near your parking space, that will fully meet your needs. That's what some other Tesla owners with condos have done. The basic cost to install the outlet not that much, $200-250 + permits, but the thing that will really tack on the extra costs are that you would need your own meter so that you could be charged for the electricity cost and also, I'm assuming that you're parking space is a good distance away from where the 50 amp circuit would be sourced from, which means the electrician would have to run a long line and might have to do additional work like drill holes, add conduits (piping) etc. I think it would cost quite a bit.

Another option is to maybe see if Blink or Chargepoint would be willing to install a charger in your building (and of course the HOA/building owner would have to allow it). Then you wouldn't have to pay for the installation, though the daily charge would be more expensive than if you were to charge directly through an outlet.

And of course your other option is to use some public charger near your home. You can use sites such as http://www.recargo.com/ to find them. If one was within walking distance of your home, maybe that would work.

Keep in mind that even if you have a NEMA 14-50 or a Blink/Chargepoint station at home, for trips to Sacremento, you would still need to find a place to charge. There's a Supercharger (http://www.teslamotors.com/supercharger) station just beyond Sacremento in Folsom, and I'm sure there's plenty of public chargers in Sacremento as well. The key thing is that unless you are able to visit the Supercharger, you have to have the time to let your car charge for at least a few hours in Sacremento.

I live in South San Jose and going to Palo Alto takes 35-40 rated miles one way and without extra driving in PA or SJ you would need about 70 rated miles every day... 110 V overnight gives you 30 to 40 rated miles.
Another option would be to find a place in PA to charge. If you do some walking/running you could stop at the TM headquarters... they have bunch of 14-50 and one 60 A HPWC (~45 m/hr ).
Sacramento think long term - there is a SC planned south of Sacramento ( probably near Tracy ).

Thanks everyone.
This is really good info. I pinged my HOA and here is what they said. So, it looks like I need to investigate the vendor first for a quote.
----note from HOA beings----

At the present time, the bld. isn't equipped with the power in the garage to allow for the charger installation. There are minimal outlets in the garage and the power usage to those outlets is billed to the HOA (paid by everyone). If one person had a charger installed, we would need to charge the owner back for the energy use. So the problem comes in that we don't know how that would be done. A past owner asked about this same thing. I ran it by the board of directors and here is the reply I gave:

"The Design Review Committee would be happy to consider a well thought out proposal set forth by the resident. To be considered, we would request that the Owner commission a report from a qualified vendor that addresses all our concerns including, but not limited to: separate metering, planned path of travel of electricity to parking stall, capacity electric use, proof that building would retain sufficient power for existing uses, name of vendor providing installation, and other information required by the Design Review Committee (such as insurance, etc). I would also want to make sure we would have no liability for damage to auto due to fluctuations in power, etc."

----note ends----

Sounds about right. The power company may be able to address many of these issues. Indicate to them that there may be similar requests accelerating in the near future. They may opt to upgrade neighborhood capacity.

Mention to the HOA and utility that the bulk of your usage is likely to be at night, under the car's control.

Don't forget to include a shutoff with a lock so if you're paying for it, it doesn't get hijacked.

Vince

Harish

I face similar challenges - I live in a pretty new condo complex in San Jose - I have a deeded parking space in a condo parking structure that holds about 150 cars and have been struggling to find an EV charger install option that (a) would not be prohibitively expensive and (b) would be acceptable to the HOA board.

I would like to install a level II (220v) charger, but as with many parking structures, we don't even have any 110v outlets close to any of the parking spaces.

I have been getting info/quotes from a couple of installation companies and I seem to have 2 options:

1. Tap into the power conduits that carry power from the parking structure meter rooms directly to individual condos (so would be metered) - these conduits actually run fairly close to my parking space - the challenge is that this would require installation of a new breaker panel box and the EV charger on the wall by my parking space - HOA do not appear to be agreeable to this because (a) they believe the breaker panel box would be "unsightly" and (b) they say that we cannot tap into the "power conduit" that is going from the meter room to my condo, because that power conduit is HOA property rather than my property...

2. In the parking structure meter room - there do appear to be several spare/unused breakers - we could possibly connect to one of these and run conduit/cable to my parking space - however, this would be an "un-metered" supply and the HOA will not allow this, even if I pay them an agreed amount every month - I am currently looking into the possibility of a "sub-meter", but am not sure whether PG&E currently allow sub-meters to be installed...

The biggest challenge I see at the moment, is that even though CA law allows condo owners to install EV chargers, there are a few caveats and nobody has really laid down any practical guidelines for doing so.

For example, the law appears to state the following with regards to EV charger installs in exclusive-use condo parking spaces:

"Prohibitions are not acceptable. Any language in governing documents effectively prohibiting or restricting installation or use of electric charging station is void or unenforceable; except that:

Reasonable restrictions are allowed. These are restrictions that do not significantly increase the cost or significantly decrease efficiency or performance; but just remember that the State promotes the stations and courts determine what is "reasonable" (so be reasonable!).

All permitting requirements and health and safety standards apply and all building codes apply. An "Electric vehicle charging station" has to be designed to comply with the California Building Standards Code. The charging station may include several charge points simultaneously connecting several electric vehicles to the station and any related equipment needed to facilitate charging plug-in electric vehicles."

Well that's great, but who determines the definition of "reasonable restrictions" and "significant cost increase"... ?

Would love to hear from anybody who has experience (particularly in the SF Bay Area) of EV charger install in a condo parking space.

Thanks
Mike

Unreasonable = effectively impossible?

I do the reverse commute - Sacto to San Jose. You are going to want to able to do a range charge to make the round trip or work a side trip to the Folsom SC into your plans.

O


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