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Installing Charging In Apartment/Rental

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by tri335, Feb 19, 2015.

  1. tri335

    tri335 Member

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    Washington, DC
    Hi. I have been talking with an apartment complex I may be moving into later this year located in the Philadelphia region. They are open to the idea of installing an electric charging station for cars in the garage. They had asked me what kind of charging system I would need. I have plans on purchasing a tesla model s this year so I'm new to this process. What should I tell them is the best? I know marking the area off and making sure we minimize ICE'ing is important but for the charging system what should I ask for and where can I point them for more information for installation? I assume a tesla station in the apartment is ideal but I'm also trying to be considerate to future electric car owners and their needs in an apartment complex. What are people asking their apartment/rentals to put in? I don't think I am paying for this and I think the apartment is a new build and on the more expensive end. They have had a few inquiries already but nobody has provided more information. Any tips?!
     
  2. Chipper

    Chipper Active Member

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    Well the best for YOU would be an HPWC from Tesla, but it would not do anyone else any good unless they own a Tesla. If you want it to be available for Leaf et. al. then you would have to ask for a J-1772 plug (preferably at 50 AMP). This would give your Tesla 40 amp continuous charging or about 28 MPH.
     
  3. mibaro2

    mibaro2 Member

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    Agree with Chipper.
    Don't go below 50amp charger. with a 50 amp charger, that means you will charge at 40amps, or the equivalent of using a 14-50 plug.
    If the apartment owners want to install a more powerful unit ( I think they go up to 90amp ), then that is great.

    Glad to see an apartment owner that is installing a charger.
     
  4. tri335

    tri335 Member

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    Thanks guys that's very helpful. I'll pass this info on to the apartment community. They seem receptive so lets see how far it goes. The good news is that they seem to be getting a bunch of calls/requests from multiple people so that seems to be really working. thanks!
     
  5. bovine

    bovine Member

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    #5 bovine, Aug 6, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2015
    I was able to convince my apartment community (Houston, TX) to install a private NEMA 14-50 outlet for me, powered by my unit's electrical meter so that I would pay for the actual electricity used. Although there aren't assigned parking spaces here, I can usually get one of the covered spots nearest my private outlet depending on the time of the day.

    To facilitate the process and to help the apartment manager understand what I was asking for, I went to Home Depot and pre-purchased the metal enclosure with mounted 14-50 outlet ($30) and a 50A two-phase circuit-breaker ($10). Having something physical to show, a proposal for where on the wall it would be mounted, and that I had already determined that there was space in my breaker box for another circuit breaker helped out the discussion.

    I was required to pay for the labor to install it by the commercial electrician selected by the apartment (only $530). They also needed me to sign an addendum to my lease saying that I agreed to leave the outlet installed when I move out, and that I would not leave it unattended while charging. (Being inside of the apartment is fine.)

    Prior to getting this 14-50 outlet installed, I was simply using a long 120V extension cord through my apartment's window. I probably could have also purchased a long cord and adapters to plug into the NEMA 10-30 dryer outlet inside of my apartment, but both of these options would require me to leave the window ajar all of the time.

    20150806_200733.jpg
     
    • Helpful x 1
  6. linkster

    linkster Member

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    All great ideas posted. Also, installing a load center to accommodate future additional EV charging stations.
     
  7. Ingineer

    Ingineer Electrical Engineer

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    The cheapest most useful solution is a simple NEMA 14-50 outlet. All EV's can then "bring their own". EVSE Upgrade - Low-Cost EV Charging Solutions sells portable level 2 units for other EV's and a 15-40 adapter.

    Put in a 200A subpanel near the EV charging area and you can add 4 NEMA 14-50 outlets or 6 14-30's.
     
  8. FlasherZ

    FlasherZ Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv

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    There's a lot of latitude in the Code for more than 4-6 receptacles as well... article 220 offers a lot of room for them to consider oversubscription and non-coincidental loads, as long as the panel is protected properly with an overcurrent protection device. With many of the 14-50's for other models likely to use 16A or 32A chargers, there's room for many more. But you're right in that you'd be limited to 4-6 Teslas actively charging with 14-30 or 14-50 at full rate.

    Now, that said, there are solutions out there that allow for significantly greater oversubscription where high-density applications exist - at TMC Connect, there was a talk about a set of networked chargers that adjusted J1772 pilots so that in case demand is too high, the cars can be throttled. The expense of such a solution compared to offering 14-50's, though, may be prohibitive until the apartment complex reaches that point.
     
  9. jbcarioca

    jbcarioca Active Member

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    If that option is to be considered, and I agree it should not be if another good option is available, there are other considerations.
    The two shared service options now generally available are EverCharge (the one which presented at TMC Connect) and ChargePoint:

    EverCharge uses a single connection, often 208/30, to serve up to five EV's, with charge available based on throttling to vehicles least in need of charging. Obviously the available per vehicle charge or even a single dedicated one is nothing like the 240/50 connection or better that we all want. OTOH, most EV's in Multi-unit housing are on maintenance charge or not charging at all, so there is rarely need for more capacity. EverCharge works best in capacity-limited buildings and/or ones with obstreperous HOA's or restrictive local ordinances because they provide insurance and billing management for the HOA. everCharge charges $1000 for the charger plus $200 if you want a Tesla connector plus all installation costs and $15 a month to administer the process.

    ChargePoint has dedicated charging for each space, so is closer to the personal outlet model that is optimal. ChargePoint charges $40 per month per charger plus electricity used at the rate set by the HOA, but there is no setup or equipment charge.

    I have EverCharge in my building because the HOA would not approve a dedicated connection. EverCharge has been responsive to issues, but the entire process is not smooth and I really have trouble recommending them. They are fairly flexible though so I suspect (hope) it will be better in the future.

    ChargePoint is very expensive to use, at $40 per month overhead, but the electricity has no markup form them and can even be free if the HOA does not want to extract payment.

    All things considered neither of these is a good option.

    Were I to do it again I'd endure lots of grief to have my own dedicated charger if at all possible.
     

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