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Living in a townhouse with no ability to charge overnight

Discussion in 'Mid-Atlantic' started by clydeiii, Aug 16, 2018.

  1. clydeiii

    clydeiii Member

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    I took the plunge and purchased a Telsa 3 this week. My current living situation is such that I rent a basement unit of a townhouse in Capitol Hill, and of course house does not have a garage or any associated parking space. I've lived there for 10 years, and park on the street every night.

    Currently, I work on the Hill and so walk to work nearly every day, and don't need to worry much about driving, but eventually I'll start working up on Maryland again near the end of the year, and so will begin driving about 40 miles every day.

    I'm trying to brainstorm ways to charge my car so that I don't ever have to worry about being stranded somewhere with no charge.

    The obvious choices for me, at the moment, include the public parking lots of the Whole Foods on H St, the Trader Joes in Eastern Market, and, much less convenient, the Canal Park chargers at 200 L St SE.

    But charging at any of these locations is relatively slow, the two connected to grocery stores are basically limited to 90 minutes, and at the moment it seems like a much better use of my time to drive out to the National Harbor and use the Tesla Superchargers there.

    A few questions:

    * Am I missing any public EV charging options on the Hill?
    * Have any other Tesla 3 owners come up with unique ways to home charge their car for people in similar situations?
    * I've heard about a network of vehicles that will drive around and charge EVs at night for paying customers in Asia. Does any such service exist here in the US?
    * I've read that there are Superchargers coming to the Hill by the end of 2018. Does anyone know where these might be located?
     
  2. JohnSnowNW

    JohnSnowNW Active Member

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    I can't really see that you have a lot of good options for public charging at the moment. If you join Plugshare you'll be able to see residential chargers that may be helpful. You could try contacting an owner to see if they'd let you charge your car there on the regular. I don't know the area well, but there is a 14-50 outlet available just north of Lincoln Park. Since this is most likely a Tesla owner, they may be more amenable.

    Just a thought.
     
  3. clydeiii

    clydeiii Member

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    I am not a member of this network yet but will look more into it. The location you mention, it doesn't show up on their map: PlugShare - Find Electric Vehicle Charging Locations Near You Do you only see this location because you're a paying member?
     
  4. WATTS-UP

    WATTS-UP Member

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    This may not be the answer to the problem of charging but, Tesla has a super charger at National Harbor. You can at least get a full charge there. Given that you only do 40 miles a day running to the supercharger once a week may not be that bad.
     
  5. clydeiii

    clydeiii Member

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    Absolutely. I drove down to National Harbor to get a full charge yesterday. It's not super convenient, but it's the best option at the moment that I can see for residents on the Hill.
     
  6. JohnSnowNW

    JohnSnowNW Active Member

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    I am not a paying member, you just have to sign up to get access to the residential chargers. When you click on the chargers you have access to addresses and phone numbers.
     
  7. Yinn

    Yinn Active Member

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    Download the app too. It’s convenient when you’re on the road. For your situation, a Chadmeo adapter may be a good investment. There’s quite a bit of those in the area; especially if you’re gojng to have to pay for supercharging anyway.
     
  8. theflyer

    theflyer Member

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    I live in a condominium without charging but I do have access to a normal outlet that nets me about 30-40 miles a night of charging depending on how long I can charge. I know several people that live in townhomes and rely solely on the supercharger network.

    I'm glad you took the plunge. Our situations are far from ideal but I've never regretted making the purchase, even when I was driving ~70 miles per day and only able to get back about 40 each night. Back in 2016, there were far fewer superchargers and I had to rely on CHAdeMO to get me through the week.

    Here are some lessons learned to consider/keep in mind.

    Voice your opinion to Tesla that you need the Model 3 to support CHAdeMO charging. There is a CHAdeMO at City Center you could use. Model S/X CHAdeMO Adapter

    Arrange your shopping around charging. If you can queue up two hours of chores near a charger, you can net maybe 60 miles of range on a L2 charger. Make sure to find a place with higher-end L2 charging. Not all L2 charging is the same. The plugshare app often includes information about how fast the charger is at that location. If not, note your charge rates as you visit different locations and learn which are fastest.

    Even better, get to know the stores around the five supercharging locations in the DC area (Gaithersburg, Potomac Mills, Springfield, National Harbor, and Laurel). Give those stores your business. Springfield has become my go-to location as I hate the thought of having to pay for parking at National Harbor and everything is so expensive there as well.

    Remember, all Teslas have fairly high levels of vampire drain as they are never truly off. Use the energy-saving settings if needed. Assume at least four miles of range loss a night and more during the winter.

    NEVER let the car drain the battery all the way down. Ideally you do not want to go below 20% on a regular basis. Regular charging to 100% and regular draining the battery are the worst things you can do to the pack.

    Depending on your desire to advocate, seek out a local business or other venue and convince them to install charging. You could also try to make friends with other townhouse owners around you and see if you could do a deal to charge at their garage or in an alley. Once you start working in another location, try to advocate for workplace charging. Maybe you could identify a friend with a garage who'd let you install a charger and use it to top up. We are trailblazers and that isn't always easy.

    Tesla has a great workplace charging program where they will supply the chargers and a stipend to install the wiring and other stuff. Tesla launches a new ‘Workplace Charging’ program to supply free charging stations to businesses

    What I can say for certainty is this:
    1) Charging options improve every day.
    2) Advocacy works. I am now on my condominium board. I ran partially on getting charging installed and am pretty close to getting it done.

    You will quickly learn the process that will work best for your scenario. There will be some days that are annoying but they are more than offset by the joy of getting out on the road on the weekends with a Tesla.
     
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  9. CatB

    CatB Member

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    And a nice dinner at destination charging site can also help. Dinner and a play even better...
     
  10. P85_DA

    P85_DA Supporting Member

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    This situation is just going to suck in winter ..if u are leaving ur car parked outside and not drive daily u want some kind of plug or charge up to high Soc at the SC
     
  11. Damien Sandow

    Damien Sandow Member

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    Where will you be working in Maryland? The supercharger in Gaithersburg or Laurel may become an option for you while you run errands.
     
  12. tangent

    tangent Member

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    I had similar situation years back when I leased a Chevy Volt. I lived in a Townhouse with no garage, and some vertical and horizontal distance between the front door and the car. Options of adding a new circuit breaker were out because of cost and I was renting the location.

    Eventually I was able to locate a good GFCI outlet which is right at the foyer bathroom, and ran a long 10-gauge cord to the vehicle. I also installed durable wire cover at area where there would be heavy foot traffic to avoid tripping hazard. With that, I was able to get anywhere between 3 to 5 miles per hour of charging, that was enough for my daily 35-mile commute with surplus everyday.

    There are some minor inconvenience though. For example, anytime any appliance such as blow dryer in used in the bathroom would trip the circuit or make charging stop, other than that, I was pretty happy with the solution, and I am still using it with my Model X.
     
  13. Yinn

    Yinn Active Member

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    You just gave me an idea. We've been approaching this all wrong. You could just use one of these:
    48E82B9C-62E0-4F2A-A1D2-2BB18C8FEA14.jpeg

    There’s a laundromat a couple blocks east on 11th........
     
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  14. clydeiii

    clydeiii Member

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    I have a washer/dryer in my apartment, and so probably have that sort of outlet. But running that cord outdoors, across the the sidewalk, and into my car, seems unreliable. It also assumes I can park next to my apartment, which isn't always guaranteed.
     
  15. Yinn

    Yinn Active Member

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    I was just kidding about that as well as the laundromat. Your best bet really is to pick up a chademo adapter though.
     
  16. clydeiii

    clydeiii Member

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    I'll look into it, but chademo seems pretty rare in DC...unless I'm missing something.
     
  17. Yinn

    Yinn Active Member

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    There's one in city center as @theflyer mentioned. Then depending on which way you go, there's a bunch more in the surrounding area depending on which part of MD you're going to. I normally wouldn't recommend it, but without a consistent charging solution; the option is to charge whenever you can wherever you can.
     
  18. clydeiii

    clydeiii Member

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    I try to avoid city center if possible, and the location in question also has J1772 plugs as well. I think the worst part about most city charging is that they're inside of parking garages, and nearly all of them require you to pay to park there while you charge. I don't know for certain about the city center chargers, but I'd assume this is the case as well.
     
  19. clydeiii

    clydeiii Member

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    But you're right, having every charging option available to me is important, so getting a chademo adapter is important. Do they work yet?

    From April, Tesla

    "The CHAdeMO adapter doesn't currently work with the Model 3, but it is expected that it will with a future OTA update."
     
  20. cmalinowski

    cmalinowski Member

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    Is it near the casino? Could be a win/win. You supercharge while winning all of that money you spent on the M3 back at the tables :)

    Good luck, though. Looks like decent amount of chargers in MD depending on where you end up. 95 corridor seems pretty flush with some. And one is scheduled for Elkridge, but don't know where.

    Chris
     

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