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Best option for condo's...who has figured out how to install charging?

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by Erleichda, Apr 17, 2017.

  1. Erleichda

    Erleichda Member

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    With all of the growth and changes, combined with HOAs and myriad building infrastructure, I'm looking for advice on solutions. A dedicated charging area near the meters/junction boxes? Running lines to each parking spot? Novel finance schemes to get a build out or add to it while growth is happening?

    I think we are upon a big growth bump with Model 3, my In Laws have 8 model S owners in their 3 building complex all looking for solutions. Advice appreciated!!

    Mike
     
  2. DarkMatter

    DarkMatter Member

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    One of the office buildings near here has come up with a novel solution: they have a bunch of regular outlets by a whole row of parking, then a single L2 charger. It's entirely possible that many condos could get away with one or two L2 chargers and a row of L1, since many people don't drive more than the 30 miles or so you can get back overnight in any given day, and the people who do need to can use the L2 when needed. Put the L2 so they work in two spots and make them J1772, and they'll even work for multiple people. There are now 70A J1772 EVSEs available. Two of those and a handful of L1 would fit in a 300 amp panel, and the assessment for it could be a separate co-operative if condo members talked it over.
    Disclaimer: I live in a house without a HOA, so maybe I'm expecting too much cooperation from people.
     
  3. Blu Zap

    Blu Zap Grinning member

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    I'm in an apartment complex with a big management company, Essex. I checked around other apartments in the area and found at least some level 2 chargers. Reporting back to my apt. management, it is in context of keeping up with the competition. That got their interest.
     
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  4. tga

    tga Supporting Member

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    As someone who's served on a condo and HOA boards, yes, you are expecting too much cooperation. ;)

    In my experience, fellow homeowners aren't too keen on footing the bill for expenses that benefit a few homeowners (capital expense for charging stations, ongoing operational expense for electricity). The electric car owners may wind up having to cover the installation themselves, and chip in for electricity.

    Consider a couple of high-power HPWC's and a few lower power (~30A) J1772's that non-Tesla owners can use. Clipper Creek is a reputable, solid brand.

    There's been lots of discussion here - search for "condo charging".
     
  5. deloryan

    deloryan Member

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    I've been involved in two condo buildings where chargers were installed. In my case, the power lines to the units ran on the ceiling of the garage. So we just tapped into our unit's power and put a new breaker box and charger at our assigned stall. In the other building I was on the HOA board when someone requested charging. In that case the unit meters were in a closet on each floor of the building. So, a new meter was installed in the garage and a charger was installed at that owner's stall. I've also heard of chargers being connected to common area outlets/power, but a power monitor device was installed so the owner could pay the HOA back for power consumption. Maybe a little less reliable on exact usage, but still serves the purpose. I think it would be very difficult to get an HOA to approve any charger without the user footing the bill.

    Apartments might be easier to install because there generally are not assigned parking stalls. I think it's a great approach to point out the building's competitiveness by having a charging amenity.
     
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  6. Max*

    Max* Autopilot != Autonomous

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    I'm on an HOA board now for my rental, and you're expecting too much cooperation from both the residents and the board members!

    If you have a 1 L2, and lots of L1, someone will abuse the L2, guaranteed. And then it's more work for the board to deal with it and put rules in place. And from what I've seen, boards are lazy.

    Add to that the additional shared expense, "I don't want to pay for someone else charging!" will be a common theme.



    OP - you need to bring a well formulated plan to the board. It has to include infrastructure costs, charging costs, etc. As well as a plan for how you're going to pay. Then you'll have a fighting chance. Include all anticipated costs, and show that it'll cost the condo nothing.
    If you just go to the board with "I want to charge my car, find me a solution" you'll likely get nothing (I know you're not planning on taking this route, as you're here asking questions)
     
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  7. DarkMatter

    DarkMatter Member

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    I was suggesting two L2 chargers with four spots, and I also agree that abuse is likely.
     
  8. brkaus

    brkaus Active Member

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    Consider 6-15 as well. Much lower cost and roughly 9 miles per hour.

    Metering of course would depend on how spots are shared.
     
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  9. GRiker

    GRiker New Member

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    My condo HOA did this successfully. The interested owners requested that the Board engage a commercial electrical contractor to calculate the max number of 50A circuits that could be added within the existing electrical infrastructure. That number came out to 60 (of 143 total units). A notice was sent to all owners, inviting them to sign up if they wanted a 50A circuit. All 60 were quickly spoken for.
    The contractor worked with all individual owners opting to install a circuit at their (dedicated) parking place. A base fee was established for an individual connection, taking the total bid and dividing by 60. Anyone wanting something above and beyond a box with a NEMA 14-50 plus 120v outlet dealt with the contractor privately to pay the difference.
    All EV circuits are metered through a single meter to track the monthly cost of the EV pool. That bill is split equally among all participants.
    Everyone's happy. The HOA had no costs, everything was borne by the folks installing circuits in their spaces.
     
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  10. David29

    David29 Member

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    I agree with you that the growth of EVs will put pressure on multi-family housing, and that buyers of less expensive cars such as the Model 3 will be more likely to live in multi-family housing than the wealthier folks who tend to buy Model S and X. In fact, the lack of solutions for urban charging could stifle the growth of the EV market in some areas. But the solutions are not necessarily obvious or easy.

    Details matter. Parking space location relative to the power supply, whether or not spaces are assigned to specific owners, who owns the spaces, excess capacity available, availability of 240 VAC service near the parking spaces, whether some people have garages, whether or not the location is in the snowbelt and needs to be plowed, etc., etc. The situations vary so much it is difficult to generalize.

    In my own case, I live in a condo and the board was not especially supportive of any shared option, perhaps because I was the only owner with an EV. (No one else has acquired an EV or plug-in hybrid in the 18 months since I got my Tesla.) Our condo is old and the wiring is almost all underground, making modifications difficult and costly. Parking spaces are limited. Lots of issues!

    For my own story as one example, and not necessarily one that applies to anyone else, see:
    Successful completion of Condo charging installation – Now I can charge at home!
     
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  11. BillO

    BillO Member

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    The HOA in my complex decided to go with a solution from Evercharge, a company specializing in multi-tenant charging. It is a little more expensive than everyone installing their own charger, but the system can schedule and throttle charging to allow more users before needing a service upgrade. They make it very easy for the HOA. As a user, I'm pretty happy too.
     
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  12. Erleichda

    Erleichda Member

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    Anyone in Portland OR? Ok to PM me.

    Love to hear others using Evercharge too.
     
  13. brucet999

    brucet999 Active Member

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    As mentioned by several others, HOA boards will not be friendly to expenditures that benefit only a small subset of the residents.

    What might be easier to get approved would be a plan whereby all users finance the installation of facilities and would own "shares". Plugs could be metered (a la EVgo) on a per-user basis and use restricted by log-in code to shareholders. Prospective new users would have to buy in before they would be allowed to plug in, thus providing funds for maintenance and/or expansion.
     
  14. Erleichda

    Erleichda Member

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    Can anyone give specifics on what panels/amps are needed for HPWC? Mother in law condo assoc. had estimates widely vary. One wanted to xray all the concrete before intalling lines; bill ended up over $10-15k per owner (5-6 Tesla owners). Another only $2k per owner. Plan is to route to each parking spot of Tesla owners, and these owners pay own way.

    Thanks!
     
  15. brkaus

    brkaus Active Member

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    The HPWC is configurable, up to 80A (when on a 100A circuit). I believe it can be configured as low as 15A. It's all in the manual.

    It can also have 4 HPWC connected with a data bus sharing the same current allocation. For example, if you have a 100A circuit, you can connect 4 HPWC (using a sub panel, polaris type wire connector, etc) and they will coordinate to not exceed 80A. If there is a single car charging, it will get all of it. If there are 4 charging, they will share.

    A 50A circuit will charge most cars fully overnight from empty.
     
  16. David99

    David99 Active Member

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    I have seen several condos who have chargers from networks like ChargePoint or Blink. I think that is a terrible thing! They charge way too much for the electricity. The condo management loves it as they don't have to pay nor maintain the chargers and they don't care how much the users have to pay. As a tenant you pay through your nose.
     
  17. MelaniainLA

    MelaniainLA Member

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    In CA, by law, they have to allow you to. See this: Electric Vehicle Charging Stations for California Landlords

    Residential

    For residential leases signed, renewed or extended on or after July 1, 2015, landlords are required to approve a tenant’s written request to install an electric vehicle charging station at the tenant’s parking space if the tenant enters into a written agreement which includes requirements regarding the installation, use, maintenance and removal of the charging station, requires the tenant pay for all modifications, and requires the tenant to maintain a $1,000,000 general liability insurance policy. The charging station and modifications must comply with all applicable laws and covenants, conditions and restrictions. The tenant is required to pay the cost associated with the electric usage of the charging station. The landlord is not required to provide the tenant with an additional parking space in order to comply with this law. This law does not apply: (1) when parking is not included as part of the rental contract; (2) to properties with fewer than five parking spaces; (3) to properties subject to rent control; (4) when 10% or more of existing spaces already have electric vehicle charging stations.

    Commercial

    For commercial leases executed on or after January 1, 2015, landlords are required to approve a tenant’s written request to install an electric vehicle charging station if certain requirements are met. The tenant is not allowed to install more electric vehicle charging stations than the number of spaces allocated to tenant under the lease. If no parking spaces were allocated, the tenant has the right to convert a number of spaces based on a formula which takes into account the square footage of the rented premises and the total number of parking spaces for the entire property. This law does not apply: (1) to a commercial property with less than 50 parking spaces; or (2) to a commercial property which already has 2 electric charging stations for every 100 spaces. AB 2565 is codified at Civil Code §§1947.6 (residential property) and 1952.7 (commercial property).

    HOA

    HOAs may not prohibit or unreasonably restrict the installation or use of electric vehicle charging stations in a designated parking space.
     
  18. David29

    David29 Member

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    Not sure why a ChargePoint charger should have any unreasonable costs, necessarily. (I can't speak to the Blink chargers.) I looked into getting a ChargePoint unit for my condo, and what the ChargePoint people told me is that they will charge whatever the property owner (the HOA in this case) asks them to. So if the condo association wants to have the users pay the full freight, and no more, ChargePoint would just charge what the utility bills them. The HOA or association can also add whatever administrative fee they wish. ChargePoint charges a few to administer the unit and do the billing, but I do not think it was excessive and would be reasonable if spread over several owners, I think.

    The advantage of a network like ChargePoint is that the condo association has little or no work or cost for administering the chargers. Users can be billed directly. The association does have to pay for the initial installation, which is on the order of $10,000 as I recall.

    Caveat: My pricing information is a couple of years old, though, so I would contact ChargePoint for current information if you are interested.
     
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  19. David99

    David99 Active Member

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    $10k seems excessive and that's where the condo management will set a high price to recover the cost. Really all that's needed is a 240 Volt outlet of some sort. Let the EV owner bring their own charger. If I'd own a condo that's what I would do.
     
  20. David29

    David29 Member

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    That works for an individual owner who has his/her own space and can install a charging facility at the space. That does not work well if there are multiple EV owners and they must share a charging facility. In that case, most associations will want to charge each user for the power used, versus absorbing all the cost. So some way to measure the power used and collect for it from the individual owners becomes necessary. That is where an outfit like ChargePoint comes in.

    Every situation is unique.
     

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