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Successful completion of Condo charging installation – Now I can charge at home!

Ulmo

Active Member
Jan 19, 2016
4,328
4,427
Vienna Woods, Aptos, California
That is a really great story.

I think anything that ends up with all parties in good agreement is a win, if it allows you to charge your car.

I only have 48 Amp charging on my new 60D made in November 2016. I find it to be adequate for my needs. I did have my electrician wire for the full 100 amps, but the HPWC keeps limiting charge down to 60 or 48 amps because it notices errors. I think there's a bad circuit breaker at the main panel, and I'll diagnose it soon (I'm thinking the cheapest way is for me to go ahead and upgrade to 72 amps on the car so I can really stress the hell out of it and hear it crackling, and set up different breakers once I know the problem; I originally suspected it was torn wire insulation, until I found out that it is double insulated and the inner insulation looks fine and felt the conduit vibrating one morning and traced it to the brand new Siemens main service panel crackling).

Since you have 100 amp service, I assume the breaker box only allows maximum of 80 amps continuous (but sometimes the electricians install a 125 amp breaker box for 100 amp service for just this and similar issues); you could, if you like, at some later date, re-run the conduit from the HPWC to the breaker box (main service panel), with larger conduit, and larger wire, and upgrade to 80 amp breaker, for 64 amp charging capability (rotary switch setting "B" in the North America & Japan version of the current newest Wall Connector). I am not certain, but maybe code allows you a breaker in the 90 amp range for 72 amp capability. (Like I said, if the electrician used a 125 amp main service panel, you could go all the way to 100 amps breaker for 80 amps continuous.) While not free and not maximal, that upgrade path seems relatively inexpensive compared to your former ordeal, and to get you a nice bump in speed, if you ever find it that important. Like I said, I find 48 amps quite suitable for my needs right now, and I put a lot of distance on my car thus far. If I had a 120kWh car battery, I might think differently, wanting to get it to a large state of charge even for long distance travel, and would lean on my home setup more than SuperChargers for this type of thing. But I only have a "60" battery (62kWh usable, 72kWh usable potential, according to wk057).
 

Ulmo

Active Member
Jan 19, 2016
4,328
4,427
Vienna Woods, Aptos, California
As a postscript, I found out later that Eversource offers Time of Use rates here in the Boston area, which I had not known when i applied for the circuit described above. So I have now applied for the TOU rates. I can schedule most of my charging to occur during offpeak, and the electric service is used for nothing else except a bit of security lighting, so it is a no-brainer to use the TOU rates. I expect to save roughly $10 per month on average compared to normal residential rates. I am now awaiting the installation of the TOU meter -- should happen within the next 2-3 weeks, I am told.
The main caveat would be that I will need to do some charging during peak hours when I use preheating or precooling, and that will eat into my savings.
We are lucky in California to have an electric vehicle rate that is extremely inexpensive if used during the tight charging window at night (when they activate mine, I'm expecting rates to go down to around $0.12/kWh compared to now at around $0.50/kWh). You should verify that your utility has no electric vehicle rate. I have to prove I have an electric vehicle, but that's pretty easy.
 

David29

Supporting Member
Aug 1, 2015
2,239
1,880
DEDHAM, MA
We are lucky in California to have an electric vehicle rate that is extremely inexpensive if used during the tight charging window at night (when they activate mine, I'm expecting rates to go down to around $0.12/kWh compared to now at around $0.50/kWh). You should verify that your utility has no electric vehicle rate. I have to prove I have an electric vehicle, but that's pretty easy.
Does your low EV rate include both energy (generation of the power) and delivery/transmission? If so, that looks like a real bargain, at least compared to here. Here in Eastern Mass., the utilities were deregulated about 20 years ago so that generation is not regulated and is effectively a separate purchase. So the TOUR cover only the utility's charges for transmission and distribution, not the energy. For me, energy alone has been running about 9.6 cents per kWh. The TOUR offpeak rate for the delivery portion of the bill is about 6 cents more (plus a monthly fee).
 

jbcarioca

Well-Known Member
Feb 3, 2015
5,469
28,246
I really enjoyed reading about your experience. My own was eight months long, but involved a 300 unit condominium with enclosed garage deeded parking spaces. I was, at the time, the only EV in the building, and everyone was supportive other than the Association attorney, who was very concerned about explosion and electrocution risks. She did not woory about all the 120 volt lighting surrounding our pool nor all the ICE's. The only source of power was common source and utility rules prohibited private metering in common areas.

In the end I had to use a third party, EverCharge, which is very expensive but works. Now, 18 months later, I am very happy. There are now a half dozen EV's from several manufacturers and a couple other Teslas.
 
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rjdoc74

Member
Feb 27, 2014
925
704
LA, CA
Hi guys, thank you for letting everyone know about EverCharge. I left them a phone message as well as website message a few days ago, but never heard back (maybe holidays). Could you give me an idea about pricing structure of EverCharge (monthly fees, one time fees, etc). TIA!
 

jbcarioca

Well-Known Member
Feb 3, 2015
5,469
28,246
Hi guys, thank you for letting everyone know about EverCharge. I left them a phone message as well as website message a few days ago, but never heard back (maybe holidays). Could you give me an idea about pricing structure of EverCharge (monthly fees, one time fees, etc). TIA!
Their standard fees are $15 monthly fee plus usage. The usage depends on cost, usually set through whoever is supplying the power and follows an incomprehensible formula that Evercharge does not explain. Despite that my actual charges compare favorably with my condo costs plus the $15, installation varies greatly but is never cheap.
 

ig_epower

Member
Sep 10, 2016
184
201
Oakville
That was an amazing account of all the hoops that you had to jump through to realize your goals. Kudos to you. I live in a house so I had no problems setting up my HPWC. I have a dual charger built into my MS but I only have 40A coming from my HPWC and I find it quite adequate for my needs. While my HPWC housing is inside my garage, I park and charge my car outside in one of three possible locations on my driveway. The longer cable that I ordered reaches all spots without issue. Sometimes when I just leave the end of the cable on the ground, I keep the handle/connector covered with an old golf club cover to keep it dry and to keep the plastic handle free of nicks and scratches if it is on the ground. Happy home-charging! It is so much better than having to wait at a SC.
 
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evluxury

Member
Jan 23, 2017
15
19
Charlotte, NC
For the first 10 months with my Model S, I was charging mostly at a nearby Tesla Supercharger. But this week, my electrical installation was completed and now I can charge at my condo.

How did this work out for you? I recently bought an S85 and this is going to by my same situation for the first 6-8 months, unless I can find a solid garage nearby with a handful of L2s.
 

David29

Supporting Member
Aug 1, 2015
2,239
1,880
DEDHAM, MA
How did this work out for you? I recently bought an S85 and this is going to by my same situation for the first 6-8 months, unless I can find a solid garage nearby with a handful of L2s.

Charging at the Tesla Supercharger was probably less of an inconvenience for me than it would be for most people. First, it is literally only 2 miles from my house. Second, I am retired so I do not drive very much, and my schedule is pretty flexible. Even so, it got be a minor annoyance at times. I tried to make use of the time by running an errand nearby, or bringing a book or magazine to read, but I was not always successful at making good use of the time. And it still got old, especially in the winter. But it did work, no question. In addition, I charged at level 2 chargers when I could.
I felt a little guilty about using the Supercharger for "local" charging, but I asked my sales rep about it and he told me not to worry about it. The supercharger is at a service center, and tended to be busy, but in all the times I used it there was only once or twice when all the stalls were full while I was there. I think one time I waited a few minutes, and another time I just came back later.
Now I am quite glad to be able to charge at home. Definitely more convenient.
Good luck with it! If it is only for 6-8 months, it should be quite tolerable
 

evluxury

Member
Jan 23, 2017
15
19
Charlotte, NC
First, it is literally only 2 miles from my house.

Mine is only 5 miles (10 mins) away from home, which is nice. But my drive to work is only 2 miles so it shouldn't need to be charged often.

Once I finally get off the waitlist for the garage near my work, they've got a dozen free L2 chargers which will be nice.
 
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David29

Supporting Member
Aug 1, 2015
2,239
1,880
DEDHAM, MA
Mine is only 5 miles (10 mins) away from home, which is nice. But my drive to work is only 2 miles so it shouldn't need to be charged often.

Once I finally get off the waitlist for the garage near my work, they've got a dozen free L2 chargers which will be nice.

That sounds very doable! I hope you find some excuses to drive a lot more than the 2 miles each way to work, though, just for the pleasure!
Good luck!
 
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Ivan.R

Member
May 3, 2016
30
24
PA
@David29 this is an incredible recount of what you went through to get charging up and running. I'm currently on the waitlist for a Model 3 and also live in a condo in MA of similar type/size to what you describe (mill building, permanent exclusive use of assigned parking spots etc).

I was curious if I could connect with you a little more to understand some more details around the types of agreement you entered into with the condo board as I think it will be very applicable when I get ready to attempt this process sometime in 2018. Would you be open to discussing a bit further with me at some point?

Thanks!
-Ivan
 
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David29

Supporting Member
Aug 1, 2015
2,239
1,880
DEDHAM, MA
@David29 this is an incredible recount of what you went through to get charging up and running. I'm currently on the waitlist for a Model 3 and also live in a condo in MA of similar type/size to what you describe (mill building, permanent exclusive use of assigned parking spots etc).

I was curious if I could connect with you a little more to understand some more details around the types of agreement you entered into with the condo board as I think it will be very applicable when I get ready to attempt this process sometime in 2018. Would you be open to discussing a bit further with me at some point?

Thanks!
-Ivan

Sure. You can PM me and then I can give you my cell phone or email and we can chat further.
 

artsci

Sponsor
May 10, 2012
6,260
3,248
Timonium, Maryland
My brother is on the board of a condo community in Massacusetts. They have 6 or 7 parking stalls in the community, each with about a dozen parking spaces. Each is covered. Knowing where the future is going, the board is planning to install chargers in each of the parking stalls. I think more of the condo world is headed this way and sooner than we might anticipate.
 

beeeerock

Active Member
Mar 12, 2015
1,510
428
Kamloops BC Canada
My brother is on the board of a condo community in Massacusetts. They have 6 or 7 parking stalls in the community, each with about a dozen parking spaces. Each is covered. Knowing where the future is going, the board is planning to install chargers in each of the parking stalls. I think more of the condo world is headed this way and sooner than we might anticipate.
I sure hope this is the trend. I worked on my strata for probably a year before getting anywhere. I ended up getting elected to council, which at least allowed the other council members to realize I wasn't a nut job. I couldn't vote on anything relating to my project of course, but at least I was able to lobby from a better position.

In the end, I applied for an received a grant for a portion of the work. In order to get it approved by council, I had to do some work in all 5 building parkades, with the full amount of work done in mine. Now I'm getting comments that more connections will be coming soon, rather than mine will be the only one forever... so attitudes are changing.

The biggest boost to this sort of situation is the increasing number of options for charge equipment that talks to the cloud and meters power. Being able to fairly recover power costs was a big stumbling block and the units that did meter at that time were the commercial types, with monthly subscription fees that would easily exceed the cost of the power!! I ended up with a FLO X5, but I see that Chargepoint now has a similar sort of device available.
 

David29

Supporting Member
Aug 1, 2015
2,239
1,880
DEDHAM, MA
My TOUR account is finally active, after waiting for than 10 weeks. It took 6 weeks just for Eversource to install the meter, and then another 4 weeks to activate the account! And even though I was told this morning that the account is active, the meter display has not changed, so I am not sure I am actually on the TOUR plan yet. I guess patience is a virtue when dealing with the electric utility...

Just to update this story in case anyone is still reading this old post -- Eversource discontinued the TOUR rates at the beginning of 2018. So I have been paying "full price" since then, with a net average cost per kWh of about 23-24 cents. Very prices, sorry to say.
 

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