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Installing a Model-S Charger on a Public Right-of-Way

Discussion in 'Charging Standards and Infrastructure' started by gjamrok, May 1, 2012.

  1. gjamrok

    gjamrok Junior Member

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    I have a reservation for a Model-S (P-237) and am trying to figure out how I will charge the car and was wondering if anyone with any experience in this area can help me.

    First, the Model-S won't fit in my garage. It is a little too long and I don't have the money to rebuild my garage.

    Second, like many of the drivers in my neighborhood, I usually park on the street (parallel parking) in front of or behind my house.

    Third, because of the way my house is situated I don't have a driveway long enough to have a car park on it. My house is on a triangle plot of land that has a sidewalk and a parkway (the right-of-way in question) in front of and behind the house and it is illegal and unsafe to drape a charging cable across them.

    Fourth, because the charging port is on the driver's side of the Model-S the cord may be exposed to moving traffic, and equipment damage and cord management become an issue.

    I know it is going to be an uphill battle to try and get this done but as electric vehicles become more and more prevalent I think this will become a big issue.

    I have heard that some municipalities have allowed this but I can't find any examples of it on-line.

    When I visited City Hall (Culver City, CA) I was juggled around from "Building & Safety" to "Planning" and eventually to "Engineering" then I was told by someone in Engineering that "it's going to be very expensive even if you can get the approval and afford all the permits because it's a public right-of-way". He also said there will be liability issues and they will need to know all the numbers up front. What kind of wiring is used, what would the measurements on the enclosure that will house the charger be, what will the voltage, amperage and wattage be, etc. And if all that is approved it will be considered an "Attractive Nuisance" by the city.

    I think they are grossly under estimating what an important issue this will be for electric car owners. He told me that he felt that I was in a very small minority of automobile drivers that would have this problem and that "99% of drivers have a garage that they park in every night". Which I think is absurd and grossly incorrect. Most every street in Los Angeles is filled with cars every night of the week.

    I have found some helpful documents online from Santa Monica, CA, Sonoma County, CA, Portland, OR and something from Virginia Clean Cities and Electric Drive Washington that address the issues of having an EV charger in a public right-of-way but I am not a professional contractor nor am I particularly wealthy. I just want to have an electric car and be able to charge it in front of or behind my house.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    I'm including a photo of the house so you can get a better picture of what I'm talking about.

    IMG_1933.jpg

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  2. Jason S

    Jason S Model S Sig Perf (P85)

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    Tunnel a conduit under the sidewalk imho. There are certainly allowances made for drainage, so you should be able to get by with a cord conduit under. ... Ok, so that's my "Redneck" solution but it prolly wouldn't make the city happy.

    Park in the garage is the 'make the city happy' solution though.

    Could ask engineering to put their brains on it though. Rather than tell them they must do X or Y because it will become a common thing, just toss ideas at them ... make it collaborative. They'll say what the issues are and maybe there is a way around the issues.

    For instance: I see a nice light-pole across the street. It has power from somewhere. You could replace that nice tree by your house (that'll become a sidewalk hazard in a few years) with a light-pole that happens to have a NEMA14-50 plug on it. You do a quid pro quot with the city and provide an attractive pole powered by solar or LED with your home power and get a plug on the street with a lock on it. ... But that certainly isn't a cheap route to take.
     
  3. Lloyd

    Lloyd Active Member

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    How about making an extension on the bottom of tour garage door allowing you to back in and still charge with the car secured. It would be easily reversed if necessary when or if you need to sell the house.
     
  4. Turn half your garage into a carport...should not cost that much..
     
  5. MarkR

    MarkR Member

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    Your situation sounds really challenging . . . thought about moving? I'd be tempted to build a small extension to your garage just to accommodate part of the hood of the S. I like that you appear ready to plug your car into your (solar) roof! The Model X looks to be shorter - might think about another model (and another wait).:eek:
     
  6. AndrewBissell

    AndrewBissell Member

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    #6 AndrewBissell, May 1, 2012
    Last edited: May 1, 2012
    Option 1: Consider using your garage as a car port - leave the door open when the car is parked in it. The S will fit in garage and driveway combined as far as I see. It's no more vulnerable than if the car was parked outdoors. You would obviously have to relocate items you store in the garage to a garden shed or something.

    Option 2: Contract with one of the subscription charging companies that offer home and workplace charging. They may be experts in navigating these issues for the workplace end of the equation. If necessary argue that home is a workplace (your consulting business or whatever).

    Option 3: After you get a temporary solution like Option 1 working go on a harm offensive with local officials and politicians. Drive them in the S. impress them. Show them how you charge at home. Know what %age of people can't even achieve the marginal solution you have. Point out how EVs benefit energy security, are green, reduce need for foreign wars, or whatever hits their political buttons - and show them how they are in the front line with the seemingly mundane issue of street-side charging. Ask them to be part of the solution. Do this for yourself and all the other guys. (I have been lobbying with @EVA_scotland on this issue as most of Scotland's population parks on street. The Amsterdam model is an inspiration - buy an EV, dealer informs city, city organises two EV parking bays on street near your home. Not dedicated to you, but there are two so likely always available.)
     
  7. richkae

    richkae VIN587

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    Street parking is a huge reason Tesla should consider offering the charge port on both sides.
     
  8. Tommy

    Tommy Member

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    I would avoid the public-right-of-way area solution; if even approved there is no guarantee that the space itself where the EVSE serves won't be occupied by another car when you most need a charge.

    You mention the length of the S "is a little to long" Hopefully that translates to under 6-8". If so, I would facade the front of the garage with man-made stone such as Culture Stone or Eldorado to permit a larger garage door to cover the outside of the opening and not look like it is hanging on the garage wall (the door would still fit within the opening's dimensions). This should extend the inside length by 6-8" without looking like an add on.
     
  9. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    Outfit the garage with lockable cabinets (not that expensive, then use your garage as a carport leaving the door open. Personally, I'd look at extending the garage....
     
  10. Lloyd

    Lloyd Active Member

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    Also, Could you make a small parking pad at the end of your house on the grassy side? You could run power to the end of the house under the eves. If you cut and repoured the curbs properly nobody would likely know any different. I would just do it and ask forgiveness later if caught without permitting.
     
  11. tdelta1000

    tdelta1000 Active Member

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    Congrats on the S and welcome. Question... Where would you prefer to charge the S??? If it's near the garage then have an licensed electrician run wiring to the exterior wall of the garage nearest the house park there at night to charge the S. Another idea is to have an electrician run wire to both sides of the house near the sidewalks in weather proof housing so that you will be able to run the charge from there over to the Model S. I hope my ideas spark other ideas for your final solution.
     
  12. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    Remember that, with the Model S, there is no need for an EVSE. All that's needed is a NEMA 14-50 plug, which can be mounted nearly at ground level in a small weather-proof box. You could even put a decorative stone or planter around the housing to make the plug less conspicuous.
     
  13. Problem with charging on the street is that it is possible that another car may occupy the space which will make it difficult to charge, better to charge within the envelope of the property rather than depend on a specific street space, always being available to charge.
     
  14. Sig698

    Sig698 Model S Sig Perf #698

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    I agree with the carport and locking cabinets choice, seems like the cheapest/lowest risk of fines way to go.

    If you REALLY are on a budget and don't mind an eyesore, though, just get some of these: Yellow Jacket Cable Protectors - Product Line with the ADA ramps and call it a day.
     
  15. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    Hard to tell how long the driveway is, but could you park on a diagonal to avoid blocking the sidewalk?

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  16. From the picture (using the bush as a reference point probably in the range of 3 feet long) I would guess about 6-7 feet from the garage door (longest part of the driveway) to the sidewalk, and probably 15 feet diagonally, so I do not think that will work
     
  17. drees

    drees Active Member

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    There's a few of Blink L2s in Mission Valley here in San Diego on the street in a right of way in front of an apartment complex.

    My Nissan Leaf Forum View topic - San Diego - Current List of Public Charging Stations

    blink_civitas.jpg

    My personal comments (similar to others already):

    Trenching isn't cheap.
    Figure out how to slightly lengthen your garage so your car will fit. Might be more affordable than your think compared to trenching (assuming you're paying someone to do it).
    Use porous/permeable pavers to allow parking car on the "triangle" that allows the grass to grow through. When the car isn't parked there the pavers will barely be visible.
     
  18. Lloyd

    Lloyd Active Member

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    Plant a hedge around the pavers (great idea) to keep prying eyes in Culver City from your car! Add a security light.


     
  19. neroden

    neroden Happy Model S Owner

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    #19 neroden, May 18, 2012
    Last edited: May 18, 2012
    Legally, something obscure is going to make a difference: do you own the land under the street or not?

    In some places, it's a public right-of-way, but the neighboring landowner has fee title up to the center of the road. In this case, you have a strong legal case that you have to be allowed to do it, becasue as long as you aren't obstructing the right-of-way, you aren't interfering with the city's rights.

    In other places, the city actually owns the land under the road and even between the road and the sidewalk. In this case, you're frankly begging permission and have to buy an easement from the city.

    Sidewalk rules also matter. If you're responsible for sidewalk maintenance (which is usually a bad position to be in), you have a perfect right to rip up the sidewalk, trench under it, and replace it. If the city is, they probably won't let you do that.

    There is no way it will be an "attractive nuisance", any more than a streetlight is, and I think the city engineer is giving you crap. Do you have an alderman or equivalent to go to?

    Of course, even if all the issues with permitting are solved, it's going to be expensive. There is no way around that. It might, indeed, be cheaper to lengthen the garage.
     
  20. markb1

    markb1 Active Member

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    There are tools to tunnel under concrete, so the sidewalk probably wouldn't need to be ripped up.
     

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