TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker or making a Paypal contribution here: paypal.me/SupportTMC

Charging at New Apartment - Tow Warning

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by fluxemag, May 9, 2014.

  1. fluxemag

    fluxemag Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2013
    Messages:
    342
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    I recently moved into a new building, chosen in some part due to the two J1772 stations and spaces in their private parking garage. My friend already lived there and told me no one ever uses the station, and I can say now he was correct. So I am the only car charging here, with an extra space to boot. The only cars that are ever parked there besides me are ICE'ing (not a huge issue so far). So I basically come home from work, plug in, and unplug the next day when I leave for work. Charging completes at some point while I'm sleeping. All is going well for the first month, but then earlier this week I got a big orange tow warning on my windshield. It said the spaces are for actively charging, and that if I'm found again I will be towed.

    So I called the management office and asked why they were patrolling this situation in the middle of the night when no other electric cars are in the building. They said it's the policy. I let them know I changed the settings on my car to take the entire night to charge (I made it start charging at 5A). The office was very surprised to hear that was possible, but said ok, just make sure you move it when done. I realize that this strategy isn't going to work however for a few reasons. I don't drive much on the weekends for one, and truth be told I don't actually have an assigned spot in the garage. My wife and I "share" a spot (since I never need it). The other factor should be that charging for that long could get expensive, but the charger isn't configured to charge me at all. The rate is $0.00 per hour on my account for some reason.

    Why did this become an issue all of a sudden? I think it might be because it's the prime spot in the building to park, with others having to drive down multiple floors. I just thought it was kind of petty considering the lack of others competing for the chargers. If there were three cars, sure I would be happy to move my car promptly, just as I did for the last couple months at my prior apartment.

    Final Thoughts:

    I might have to get a second assigned spot. There's no way I can make my car charge for ~36 hours if I don't drive at all on Sunday (my car is a "40")
    I could call the office again and ask them to change their policy until another plug-in moves into the building.
    I should call the charging station owner and ask them if they meant to make the rate free.
     
  2. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2013
    Messages:
    4,711
    Location:
    Buckeye, AZ
    It's not polite to block an EV charging space when you're not charging. I would not expect the world to revolve around my charging schedule.
     
  3. fluxemag

    fluxemag Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2013
    Messages:
    342
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Couldn't agree more. But this is a private station, where I am currently the only user with an access card. It's not even listed on any of the charging station apps. So who exactly am I blocking?
     
  4. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2013
    Messages:
    4,711
    Location:
    Buckeye, AZ
    Maybe a possible solution would be to get your own, fixed parking place and install a private charger at that spot. I wonder if building management would allow you to do that? I know life can be tough with an EV at an apartment garage. Policies can be changed, but as EVs get more popular, you may opt for your own charging equipment just so that you at least have control over when and where you charge.
     
  5. omarsultan

    omarsultan Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2013
    Messages:
    1,496
    Location:
    Northern California
    Visitors with EVs?
     
  6. JohnQ

    JohnQ Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2012
    Messages:
    1,585
    Location:
    Redding, CT
    I'd say this is about the optics, as you surmise. Same car parked in a prime spot all the time. And, if you have to pay for an assigned spot (you didn't say) then you are effectively getting a free parking pass. I would get the second spot and charge every second or third evening. Keeps everyone happy and is probably the fairest outcome.
     
  7. GuyHall

    GuyHall Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2014
    Messages:
    148
    Location:
    Granite Bay, CA
    The policy probably changed when others (EV owners, EV visitors, potential EV owners evaluating, etc.) complained that you were hogging the charger even when you weren't using it. Changing your charging rate allows you to meet the letter of the law, but certainly not the intent for a shared resource. Remember, most of us are out there trying to convince more people to buy evs.

    I should note that I've seen far worse. It would drive me nuts when I would see a LEAF parking in an EV Charging spot and not even bother to plug in. I politely asked the driver why, and the response was he was late for his work shift and this was the closest spot.j He was going to consume one of the two EV charging spots for a large hospital for the day.

    I can tell you're not like that and you are concerned about the topic, so please leave it available for others to use. As a Tesla owner myself with big ones (ah batteries right?), I know one can lose sensitivity to the need to charge. But please locate a another space for your regular parking needs and promote others to buy EVs.

    Guy
     
  8. GDH

    GDH Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2012
    Messages:
    1,009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    If you live in NW you could always charge at Good Sam, they have a Blink charger and you can park there overnight....it's always open.
     
  9. strider

    strider Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2010
    Messages:
    2,920
    Location:
    NE Oklahoma
    Yep, I'll chime in that you should get a second spot. You are effectively getting a free garage spot when everyone else w/ 2 cars has to pay for 2 spots correct? That's not fair to others. Are there unassigned spots you could use on the weekends?
     
  10. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

    Joined:
    May 17, 2009
    Messages:
    18,235
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    Will they allow you to install a 110V outlet in your reserved space? Then you could use the J1772 station when you needed more range and free it up and top up the rest of the night in your reserved spot.
     
  11. markb1

    markb1 Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2012
    Messages:
    2,318
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    I can't help but think of workarounds. The car will consume shore power for climate control. It seems like it would be possible to write a script, using the REST API, to keep the climate control on, thus maintaining the appearance of charging, even when the batter pack is full.

    But, yeah, to be fair, you should probably pay for a parking space, and the above idea is wasteful, anyway, so don't do it. :)
     
  12. fluxemag

    fluxemag Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2013
    Messages:
    342
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Quick update, I got the additional paid parking space down stairs. The management office instructed some contractors to park in the electric spots now. I guess they showed me! The good news is there are 110V outlets all over the place next to parking spaces in the garage.

    I also made copies of the violation notice they gave me so I can put them on ICE cars.
     
  13. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2012
    Messages:
    5,793
    Location:
    Skaneateles, NY
    well that's not cool at all. I'd start putting those violation notices on the contractor's cars.
     
  14. spentan

    spentan Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2012
    Messages:
    1,256
    Location:
    SoCal
    This is interesting, I had a similar issue with my apartment complex.

    There is a mall across the road with EV Chargers, but their rule was no overnight parking. I clearly said look, I'm paying for the charging, as well as the fact that using it overnight means that I'm not blocking users during the day.

    In the meantime, I complained to my Resident Services Office, and they arranged to annex a parking spot in to my apartment allocation that has a 110v outlet.

    Then I got a call from the mall security saying that I can park there overnight if I want to.

    Also, San Juan Capistrano Supercharger is 15mins drive away, so I use that for a quick topup if I come home after a long trip and have a depleted battery. Otherwise I just plug into the 110v. Its perfect. :)
     
  15. strider

    strider Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2010
    Messages:
    2,920
    Location:
    NE Oklahoma
    Nice job taking the high road. I agree w/ yobigd20 and put those violation notices on the contractor's cars every day.
     
  16. Canuck

    Canuck Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2013
    Messages:
    3,962
    Location:
    South Surrey, BC
    I don't think the "high road" includes placing flyers daily. That sounds like a bit of a lower road to me. Nothing wrong with it, per se, it's just not what I'd call the high road.
     
  17. strider

    strider Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2010
    Messages:
    2,920
    Location:
    NE Oklahoma
    Good point. I was referring to the high road when it comes to his fellow residents who have to pay for all of their parking spots while he was getting to park one of his cars for free.
     
  18. tdiggity

    tdiggity Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2012
    Messages:
    721
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA

    Nice. :cool:
     
  19. PhilBa

    PhilBa Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2013
    Messages:
    1,355
    Location:
    Seattle
    what's pretty clear is that management is being petty and somewhat disingenuous. While putting flyers on the vans isn't the high road, it certainly is higher than the one management is taking. Maybe they just wanted him to pay but they could have just said that.

    It's going to be a long time before even a tiny percentage of apartment buildings are considered EV friendly. This is why I don't encourage apartment dwellers to own an EV.
     

Share This Page