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Now, to convince body corporate

Discussion in 'Australia & New Zealand' started by omniwolf, Oct 31, 2015.

  1. omniwolf

    omniwolf eNizl

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    #1 omniwolf, Oct 31, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2015
    Hi all,

    I have finally convinced the wife to allow me to buy a Tesla. For those interested, it went a bit like this:

    • We're looking to start a family, so -
      • Can't keep using my small two door car.. baby probably wouldn't fit in the boot
      • Current car is a sports car, it's a rough (great cornering) ride, and very noisy, not appropriate for a precious child
      • Tesla is the safest thing on 4 wheels! Very appropriate for a precious child
      • Probably can fit the baby in the front boot?
      • Also a 4 wheel drive car is safer than 2, so I used this to justify the D
    • Slow (12 months) of subtle and not so subtle hints
    • Took her for a test drive when Stone was here doing that in 2014, made sure she realised how happy I was
    • Ensured I knew all the facts about where Tesla saves money, and made sure she knew (although I don't think this was very successful, in the end it's an expensive car).

    And so a couple of months ago, instead of a birthday present there was her laptop at my spot on the breakfast table with the Tesla ordering screen open on it. Unfortunately (depending on how you look at it), we live in an apartment block, so getting the charger in will be a challenge and I wanted to jump that hurdle before going ahead and ordering the thing.

    Speaking to the only guy in body corporate that I know, I gave him the low down and he said they would have to talk about it in the next committee meeting. I convinced him to let me come to the meeting and represent myself, and have since been trying to prepare for this make or break performance. Things I have done:
    • Went to the Tesla showroom in Artarmon and spoke to some helpful folk there, they gave me Mitchell the "Charging Specialist"'s number
    • Rang Mitchell, he said I should get an electrician to do a site survey, and gave me Ricky from Zapp Electrical's number
    • Rang Ricky and organised a site survey. He came in a couple of weeks ago and completed this.

    The result of the site survey was that it would be too hard and expensive to cable the charger up to the switchboard room, but there was a body corporate power outlet 1 car spot over from mine, and we could bridge that with an isolation switch over to my spot, then install the charger on that. I would only get a trickle charge, but it would be better than nothing. I also do very little driving (about 6200 kMs a year these days), and Ricky suggested that it probably wouldn't even be worth installing a metre on it - I'm likely to use a few bucks a week at most. Maybe body corporate would just absorb it?*

    In vague preparation for this I started collecting my petrol dockets every time I fill up since about a year ago, this has given me some interesting stats, I also found my old service receipts which gives me a basic idea of how much I drive each year. Using this I can do some simple maths and work out how much per quarter or per week charging my Tesla should cost me/body corporate. If you like tables and graphs, have a look here:

    200SX - Google Sheets

    After crunching the numbers as best as I could, it seems if my driving habits stay the same, I'll be spending about $4 per week on charging the car. Not bad, Ricky!
    *Now, I'm fully aware body corporate will be unlikely to say "$4 per week? what's that, a couple of hundred dollars a year? No probs I'm sure no one will notice!", so I have prepared a few options for them, in order of my preference:

    1. Body corporate just deal with $4/week increased costs. No work for either party required going forward
    2. I get the last few years of body corporate electricity expenditure, work out an average, then for the next quarter I can analyse the difference and see if I'm actually noticeably adding to the electricity bill. If not, then we continue as is, if so, then maybe option #3...
    3. I offer to pay something like $60 per quarter on top of my strata levies. This will cover my electricity usage (and some, see Tesla Extrapolations sheet, B9), no extra work from them or me required.
    4. I put in a metre and self read each quarter, work out the costs, and reimburse body corporate. This will require work from me, and work from them (ensuring I pay the right amount).
    5. I put in a smart metre that phones home, something like Jet Charge where body corporate and myself are automatically charged. From what I can tell the monthly fee from this will probably be more than I actually pay in electricity usage, but if I have to I will. More cost to me, but no work from either party.


    What I think my road blocks are going to be:
    1. Body corporate is unhappy with me installing the charger at all. Not sure I can figure a solution to this, other than possibly swapping car spaces with someone where they don't mind
    2. They are not willing to negotiate about the me using the body corporate power circuit. I'm hoping having got a licensed electrician in to do the site survey will cover this, but who knows

    I guess worst case is I don't get a charger in the car spot, and I just use the Artarmon super charger for all my charging requirements... sounds lame though.

    Anyways, thanks for reading, if you have any thoughts please let me know! The committee meeting is tomorrow evening, I'll report back with my results :)

    Nick.
     
  2. Dborn

    Dborn Confirmed

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    You get a mobile connector as well. That just plugs straight into the PowerPoint, no installation at all. Just come to an agreement on reimbursing the body corporate. Also, Neutral bay? You're ,a hop skip and jump from Tesla. For your low mileage a once a week visit for 50 mins should see you right and include coffee, bikkies, and Internet plus time to attend to your emails! Provided you don't choose night time or Sunday's, but even then, Internet is available from the car!
     
  3. omniwolf

    omniwolf eNizl

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    true, the UMC can be an option if they have a problem with the actual charger install, thanks!
     
  4. paulp

    paulp Member

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    Buy the meter. It will cost you less than $100, but without it the body corporate will always have someone that is unhappy. Also maybe ask for a 1 year trial. They will forget about it a year later, and it's easier for them than a permanent solution. I wouldn't give them all the options as it will confuse them and make it hard, just ask for a 12month trial with you covering all installation and running costs.
    Mitchell's a great guy....and your excuses for getting the tesla may also be the reason that you end up leaving apartment living. (Babies)
     
  5. Miggy

    Miggy Member

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    Get yourself on the BC and make any changes that you need, this will benefit you and all EV owners in your complex.
     
  6. Blue heaven

    Blue heaven Member

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    I 100% agree with this comment, and don't forget to point out the ICE owners should be paying for all the cleaning of oil stains on the carpark floor.
     
  7. omniwolf

    omniwolf eNizl

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    #7 omniwolf, Nov 1, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2015
    yeah, i wasn't planning on laying all the options down at once, just telling them I have a few options and then going one at a time until they agree. A "trial" sounds like a good way for them to mitigate risk, good idea i might use that. And regarding your last point.. agreed. But that might mean we suddenly need to pour the funds in a different direction :(

    It doesn't _quite_ work like that, but i'll see how the meeting goes :)
     
  8. doctorwho

    doctorwho Member

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    I installed a wall charger and meter in my apartment block and I'm also on my body corporate committee. I used Jetcharge here in Melbourne, it may be worth contacting Tim to speak with him. The other issue for the committee to consider is the total power supply of the building and how they want to cater for more EVs in the future. I live in a 1 year old new apartment block and even we only have enough supply for 2 additional EV connections.
     
  9. meloccom

    meloccom Moderator Aus/NZ

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    If you own your apartment I also recommend that you get on your Owners Corporation Committee as soon as you can.
    I have written a thread outlining My Charging Story (Long)
    Fortunately in my case the meter room is on the same level as the garage, but it still cost $3,500 for the installation.
    I have a second location at a holiday house that I share with friends and have installed a sub meter (see picture) that allows me to monitor the energy used by my car so I can compensate them for the cost. I would recommend that at a minimum you install a sub meter and agree on a rate to compensate the Owners Corporation.
    image.jpeg
    If your mileage is low even 10 Amp charging will be sufficient, only relying on Supercharging for longer trips.
    Most existing building stock including mine will need to install an additional connection for when electric vehicles become more common and us early adopters need to keep Owners Corporations on side.
     
  10. omniwolf

    omniwolf eNizl

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    yeah, off the bat the body corporate guy didn't think there'd be enough power on what was coming in from the street to power the car, I'm hoping a trickle charge on the existing circuit should be OK. He specifically mentioned that upgrading the power to the unit block would be prohibitive and basically that they wouldn't do it.

    yep i remember reading this when you first posted it, a great read and gave me hope that I could do it in my apartment!

    yeah, a lot of people are telling me to get on the committee, as I understood it I would have to wait for the AGM before new members can be voted on, and I assume I'd probably have to wait for an existing member to leave.. either way it is vaguely interesting to me, even if only to champion the ability of the building to support multiple EVs. However to be honest at this stage I'm just interested in only getting one for myself if that means it can happen quicker, I can try and help others later :)
     
  11. paulp

    paulp Member

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    tesla's are a bargain compared to the bottomless money pit known as children. Enjoy the car whilst you can.....before the future kids trash it.

    - - - Updated - - -



    You are only planning on the 10 amp mobile connector. Its hardly any demand, you can set if for quiet periods, and you should assure them that the connector/car is smart enough to only draw available power, so in theory it should never trip the circuit. You wont need new circuits or wiring. That existing plug, with a small meter next to it, is all you will need. Our S85 has done 5800km, and we have used 1245kwh of charge (sub meter reading). If that were over a year you would use 3.4kwh per day. Thats less than a large fridge, so you can assure them that the load is less than any owner can install in their apartment without permission.
     
  12. Dborn

    Dborn Confirmed

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    The mobile connector is rated at 10 amps and that is the maximum it will draw. However the specs on the connector say it actually draws 8 amps. That is 20% less than it is rated for which is what is standard in the USA. Apparently over there you cannot draw more than 80% of a fuse rating on a continuous basis. So, I agree entirely with paulp. 8 amps is 2 kW and that is precisely what my car says it is receiving when I use the mobile connector. However, 8 amps sounds a lot better to the non informed than 2 kW which sounds a lot. By the way, 2 kW is what 2 single bar heaters draws. Or two kettles. Some cooktops draw 6 kW! Admittedly not continuously, like a car charger, but it makes a good discussion point!! Look up other appliances like air conditioners. You will be horrified how much they draw!
     
  13. omniwolf

    omniwolf eNizl

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    #13 omniwolf, Nov 1, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2015
    thanks guys! I think this is exactly what i'll need - I feel this will be the real tripping (excuse the pun) point (sorry again).
     
  14. danielp

    danielp Member

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    Just going to test some assumptions... What do you mean that it is too hard to run a cable from the MDF room to your car space? Does it look complicated?

    You may also want to explore seeing if there is a more convenient charging spot - such a visitor's spot that could be reallocated (but these changes tend to cost more if strata needs to allocate units)
     
  15. omniwolf

    omniwolf eNizl

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    The MDF room is on level 6, the car spot is on level 1 (2 levels underground). There is no riser between these floors, so the cable would have to be laid manually somehow. On top of this I doubt the unit block would have enough power to support it anyway.

    The closest car spot would be level 3, which still presents a similar problem, and as you say strata would have to allocate me extra units which i'm not after.

    Thanks for the reply!
     
  16. omniwolf

    omniwolf eNizl

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    Well, I had the committee meeting.

    They ended up agreeing to a "conditional trial period" - basically I can use the charger in trickle mode (8A) and we'll give it a go for 3 months and if there's no problems, we'll be on our way.

    They're going to draw up something for me to agree to in the next day or two, then i'll put my order in!!!

    Thanks to Dborn and paulp for the stats about the trickle charge, I think that's what got it over the line.

    They also made a point about what would happen if more people started wanting to charge their electric cars, so I told them about someone on these forums (melcomm i think?) who had by laws added to his body corporate by laws.. i'll have to dig them up now so my committee can have a read
     
  17. Dborn

    Dborn Confirmed

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    Good start.
     
  18. paulp

    paulp Member

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    Thats great news, well done!
     
  19. danielp

    danielp Member

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    Well done. I also have some by-laws I can share.

    I'd also suggest that the committee have a think about how they could provide services for more vehicles, as this will determine the by laws. For example, the building would need to decide if it wants to manage sort of shared service or allow each unit to install their own. For the latter they'll need to look at adding a distribution panel (?? I'm no expert here) in the car park that people can feed off.
     
  20. omniwolf

    omniwolf eNizl

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    thanks, if you could share your by laws that'd be great!
     

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