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Charger for condo. Need lots of guidance

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by Gopal, Jul 7, 2016.

  1. Gopal

    Gopal Member

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    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Best way to work with the HOA?
    What is a reasonable plan to offer?
    What type of device/equipment to install?
    Choice of electrician to do the job?
    What is a reasonable cost to expect?

    Thanks ahead of time.
     
  2. DrManhattan

    DrManhattan Member

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    Hopefully you're overcomplicating it. Just get an electrician to come out and give you a quote. Submit plan to HOA. Then go from there.
     
  3. RubberToe

    RubberToe Supporting the greater good

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    What state?
     
  4. David29

    David29 Member

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    Having just gotten my approval from my condo association board after several months of work, I would say that it depends a great deal on your individual association, their experience and attitudes, your location, and perhaps most important, the layout of your condo -- Where is your condo's power supply panel? Where are the parking spaces? Etc. I do not think generalized answers would be helpful to you. You need to understand what your own condo board (HOA in your terms) expects and can do. What do the condo rules say? What precedents are there, if any? Are there other EVs or plug-in hybrids at the condo, and is there interest in a shared charging facility? These are things you need to figure out and your approach will depend upon the specific situation you face. Your costs can vary tremendously depending upon the physical situation.

    Don't be surprised if it takes a long time. It took me almost a year to get approval of my plan, and I still have construction ahead. My conversations with other condo residents in my area indicate that a year is not unusual.

    In my case, no one else had asked for a charging arrangement at my condo. The physical arrangement is very challenging because I park in an open lot, a good distance from my own unit's power panel.

    My first approach was to suggest a charging arrangement that could be used by any resident. That did not fly, mainly because of our very limited number of unassigned (guest, handicapped) parking spaces, and because of the cost of installing equipment suitable for multiple users (such as a ChargePoint charging kiosk).

    Next I tried to get approval to install a charger in a garage space that a friend was not using and was willing to let me use. The board rejected that for reasons that related to the specific location of the parking space and the power panels -- I will spare you the details.

    Finally I got approval of a plan that involves exchanging parking spaces with another resident whose space is better located to install a charger. So I hope this plan will come to fruition this summer.

    Good luck! And if you have more specific questions once you get started, I imagine there are others in TMC who have faced most types of situations.
     
  5. MartinW

    MartinW Member

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  6. MartinW

    MartinW Member

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    Sorry, had some difficulty with the site...

    I'm in a 57 unit condo with freestanding covered garage. To pull out 240V to be accessible would cost the HOA about $15,000. They declined - I'm the first with an EV, so very little demand yet.

    They let me connect a 110V to the light grid, with a meter and a lock box. This will cost $1,055 via a Tesla approved company.

    This will work for me since my work commute is only 2 miles, and I can charge there with a Level 2 charger.
     
    • Informative x 1
  7. DrManhattan

    DrManhattan Member

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    2 miles!? Ride a bike! :)
     
    • Like x 1
  8. MartinW

    MartinW Member

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    Haha. I tried that once. Pittsburgh is very hilly. Despite running for 6 miles 3/week, biking to work almost gave me a heart attack.
     
    • Like x 1
  9. zambono

    zambono Member

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    You don't need a Tesla approved company to add an outlet. Other than being out of town for an extended period of time I wouldn't even bother with the 110, 3 miles an hr charge.
     
    • Helpful x 1
  10. Max*

    Max* Autopilot != Autonomous

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    Let me preface this by saying that I'm on the board of directors of my rental condo, and I can answer how our board would handle this. I doubt all boards are the same.

    Get a written quote, and offer to pay to install it.

    If you have metering to your condo, this is easy. If you're on a shared plan, it gets harder. You'll need to separately meter your usage.

    Assume board members are not EV savvy, and have no idea about charging. Explain why you need this, and explain the costs that you'll be covering, and explain how you'll pay monthly for the electricity used, and explain how you're not asking the condo to pay for anything, and explain the minimal impact to the property.

    See above. Also, if it looks intrusive, I can see the board denying it.

    Do you have a garage? A parking spot? Is there electricity nearby? Are you individually metered or are utilities included in your condo fees?

    Get 3+ quotes, you can use a Tesla electrician if you want, but I'd get at least 2-3 quotes of non-Tesla electricians in your area.

    $200 - $20k. It depends on too many variables to answer.
     
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  11. David29

    David29 Member

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    My full story on what it took in my condo is here, if you are interested.
    Finally got approval to install charger at my condo!
     
    • Informative x 1
  12. skip8jj

    skip8jj Member

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    Regarding installation of a circuit to charge a car in a condo in Oregon: The HOA cannot say no per State of Oregon rules, Tesla people in Tigard or Washington SQ can point you to the Or. Rule which is similar to that of other states. However, the owner must be prepared to cover all costs associated with the installation including any upgrade to the service to the facility that may also be necessary.

    Therefore the best place to start is with a local electrician, not necessarily what is listed on Tesla's web site.

    My own experience included three bids, one was on the Tesla list, another that was on the Tesla list did not want to do it the way I wanted it done so he dropped out. Two others came in with relatively close bids.

    Our building is almost 60 years old. The electrical service to the units is limited by 70amp disconnects and a wire size of 6. Two of the electricians wanted to use capacity off of the HOA common area breaker box which could accommodate a 50 amp circuit. However, I was not in favor of that because I did not want to negotiate capacity and how to bill for my usage with the HOA. Furthermore, while there may be capacity now, if a couple of other owners wanted EVs and room for their charging requirements and an upgrade was called for, I would also be dinged for a portion of the costs.

    Due to my limited service at the disconnect, 70 amps, I did a trial electrical load calculation (for estimation purposes, there are on line sites with forms) to determine what level of power might be available for charging. It looked like 40 amps max which would net (80% continuous) 32 amps to the car. That's about 23 miles / hour charging rate. As further support I had copies of my electrical bills showing about 4kWh/day average use. My electrician, whom I knew had installed a couple of chargers for Leafs nearby, accepted my request and sorted out how to install a circuit to a location behind my assigned parking space and installed a HPWC with the dip switches set to 32 amps. It took roughly a month for the City chief inspector to finally approve the installation after several conversations and additional details about what appliances we had. This part was handled by the electrician.

    The installation works like a charm. The Tesla charging screen is set to call for power at midnight, 32 amps, 240 V, cutoff at 78%. If I know we have a trip coming up, I use the Tesla app to turn on the charger an hour or two before we are to depart which provides us with a full battery to go with.
     
  13. skip8jj

    skip8jj Member

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    I forgot to add that once I had a plan for the circuit, I submitted it in writing to the HOA board along with notes on other activities that had been accommodated by the HOA in the past such as the running of NG pipes through the basement garage areas for specific units. Further, my installation did not require any alteration to the outside of the building. You might need to be prepared to answer or address questions about liability insurance.
     
  14. Gopal

    Gopal Member

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    Oregon
     
  15. David29

    David29 Member

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    Good point. I was required to increase my homeowner's liability coverage to a million dollars. Cheap, as it turned out.
     
  16. RubberToe

    RubberToe Supporting the greater good

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    Here is what I went through in California, not sure if the rules in Oregon are any different. I'm also the President / Treasurer of the H.O.A. so I know the process from both sides. Also depends on what your CC&R dictate. I know in California, the HOA cannot stop you from doing the install, presuming you follow the rules...

    Condo Charging - Minimal cost installation and some questions

    My 11 page application to the HOA consisted of:
    1. 4 pages of insurance policy showing addition of $1,000,000 liability for charger ($58 per year)
    2. 3 pages showing description of charger being installed.
    3. 1 page city permit for installation ($168)
    4. 2 pages electricians liability insurance
    5. 1 page electricians contractors license

    All the above plus a written request to present at the meeting where they approved the project.

    RT
     
  17. RubberToe

    RubberToe Supporting the greater good

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  18. RubberToe

    RubberToe Supporting the greater good

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  19. RubberToe

    RubberToe Supporting the greater good

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  20. Gopal

    Gopal Member

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    Clarifications

    I live in Portland, Oregon. So tips on electricians would be appreciated.
    It's a 1996 condo. Board members are nice acquaintances and seem reasonable.
    One other person is also interested in getting a charger (Volt)
    Garage is concrete.
    Even though I have lived there for years, I'm not 100% sure I own my space (assume I do).
    My space is about 50 feet from power supply.
     

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