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Charging Infrastructure - Condo owners, and others in a similar position

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by Booga, May 26, 2016.

  1. Booga

    Booga Member

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    For those who are in a condo or similar situation, where you don't have a garage with power, what are you doing to get power at home to your car?

    I've owned a condo for 3 years now, and to the extent that I stay in my current area, I hope to continue living here, but I know it won't work forever (the day I get married, have kids, etc. I will need a bigger place). If I move, I'll make a garage a requirement for my next place. Right now, here are my challenges:

    1) My unit (ground floor, thankfully for the purposes of this) is about 50 feet away from my designated parking spot.
    2) I would have to run wiring first to my patio to support the charging (drywall repair, etc. for probably 25-30 feet), then 50 feet to my spot, and be deep enough (a certain number of feet below the ground) to meet requirements.
    3) In order to not have the cord laying on the sidewalk to my car, I actually need to have the sidewalk broken into so that it can be run inside or below it, to the parking spot, and then have the sidewalk repaired.

    I'm guessing that this is going to run me something like $2-3k to make it a reality. This is just a little pricey and if I have to move in the next few years, it's going to mean I most likely take a loss on the installation unless another EV owner buys the place.

    Few alternatives:
    1) Maybe my workplace can more easily install a charging spot in the parking garage and I just use this. Not ideal, because it limits my ability to do a 95% charge before a road trip, but as long as I left work with 80%, I can get to a supercharger in any direction I go with relative ease.
    2) I have an AC unit about 15-20 feet away. If I can somehow use that same line, that would be great. My guess is that this isn't realistic, maybe due to limitations in the wiring that was placed there.
    3) Maybe the electric company can help me get an electric line and separate meter to a parking spot, even if it isn't the one right in front of the building. This would especially easy if I can get a NEMA 14-50 line placed, because then I would just need to plug in twice a week and be in good shape. This could cost me a good bit though.

    Any thoughts on my situation or insight from what others are planning to do? I have at least 1.5-2 years to figure this out and so I'm not too concerned right now, but it is on my mind.
     
  2. Lunarx

    Lunarx Member

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    Location:
    SoCal
    What is the wattage of your AC Unit and the size breaker feeding it?
    That sounds the most promising, but will require a switch box be added.
    I have a switch box on my dryer outlet and it works great.
     
    • Like x 1
  3. GSP

    GSP Member

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    1) If you are going to stay for a few years, get a quote or two for a 14-50 install, so you will know what it really will cost. They likely will use a "ditch witch" type machine to make the run underground without disturbing the sidewalk or lawn.

    2) Look into workplace charging, of course

    3) get a quote for a 240 V outlet on your outside wall. Then you could get a heavy duty extension cord and run it to your car overnight. You can get a cover that is make for pedestrian safety for where it crosses the sidewalk. A simple 6-20 outlet could save money on the install, and the extension cord weight and cost. Charging is limited to 16 A, but at 240 V that is enough for an overnight charge as long as you are not a super high mileage commuter.

    4) look into the switch idea to allow either A/C or EV charging, but not both at once. This could be less expensive.

    Good Luck,

    GSP
     
    • Like x 1
  4. Booga

    Booga Member

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    Interesting. Yeah, that sounds promising actually. If they have a switch box that can give priority to the AC unit, then that would make it even easier in the summers. I'll look into it - thank you.
     
  5. Booga

    Booga Member

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    Okay, will do - I'll make sure to post back. I've seen a few discussions on this topic over time, but not a whole lot yet. I'm guessing it's going to be more common with the Model 3 than the Model S and so I'll share it to help others.
     
  6. Boourns

    Boourns Member

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    Also, your condo presumably has an HOA that will need to approve anything you do. I would get the ball rolling with the HOA either now or as soon as you have a plan for what you want to do. Dealing with the HOA has proven to be a burdensome and lengthy process for many people. If you have the HOA bylaws (you should have received a copy when you closed, and many are available online), you can review them to get an idea of the approval process.
     
  7. 182RG

    182RG Free The Service Manuals From Tyranny

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    The first thing I would do is approach your Condo Homeowner's Association and broach the subject of the need for EV charging. I'm president of the Homeowner's Association for my beach property. I would be more than open to reviewing and raising it as a proposal. It's the job of the Association to review these types of infrastructure requests. Our property has individual garages and pads, and there is no common parking area. But if there were, I'd certainly consider it.

    Before you do, do your homework. Research and prepare information on questions they are likely to ask. Show examples where this has been done. You say you have a designated slot. If there is a common parking area where slots could be dedicated to EV charging, this might be an option. It's more likely to be "Yes" if it is about sharing, not just about you. Find out what approximate costs would be for installation and maintenance. Find out how others handle billing of power (if any). Get as much lined up as possible so it is easy to say "Yes" or "No". Good luck.
     
  8. AZ Desert Driver

    AZ Desert Driver Genesis - The Beginning - MS60D in its nest

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    I was going to suggest boring under the sidewalk, but the concept of a wire-cover ( Drop Over Cable Cover Ramp - Ideal cable protection in high traffic pedestrian areas). is a better idea. No installation and has a high reclaim value.
     
  9. 182RG

    182RG Free The Service Manuals From Tyranny

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    The property doesn't belong to him. Stringing something across the sidewalk, covered or not is likely to be against regs for the Condo (or for anywhere for that matter). Best bet is to formalize some type of installation.
     
    • Like x 1
  10. AZ Desert Driver

    AZ Desert Driver Genesis - The Beginning - MS60D in its nest

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    Yeah - you are probably right. I was thinking about how street fairs, and other temporary installations string wires along walking paths safely . Did not consider "ownership", just functionality and safety.
     
  11. Tiberius

    Tiberius Member

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    Try here. Charging Standards and Infrastructure

    There's more than the Model 3 section to the forum. You can't honestly think you're the first person to ask this.
     
  12. Booga

    Booga Member

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    Thanks @Boourns and @182RG - I'm on the HOA board and so I've begun chatting briefly with the property manager. She said that the work involved probably isn't worth the hassle, but she's happy to work with me on it. I've seen what people bring to the board and a well thought out plan goes a long way. I'm reaching out to an electric contractor to get their take on the situation and an estimate.
     
  13. Booga

    Booga Member

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    Thanks - I'll check around. I spent time on the Model S sections and also the official Tesla discussion boards and only had limited success. I wasn't aware of this section and so whether I thought I was the first or not, I definitely felt like the only one. In my Google searches, one of the Model S owners had put up $9k to get their charging outlet. No way I could afford that, so yes, I didn't have a clear solution.
     

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