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What If You Don't Have A House?

Discussion in 'Charging Standards and Infrastructure' started by physicsfita, Jul 5, 2015.

  1. physicsfita

    physicsfita Member

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    So, it seems that I'm stymied on my journey to get a Model 3 at (what seems to be) the first step: buy a house. :crying:

    I've been renting a condo for the last couple of years during my separation and divorce, trying to save some money for a down payment on some place with off-street parking (which I don't have right now). If I could have rented for one more year, it would have been no problem -- unfortunately, my landlady decided to sell my place, and the listing broker successfully did everything possible to sideline me from getting an offer in (I suspect, but can't prove, that he's trying to help out a friend). Unless, by some miracle, my backup offer actually works, I'm going to have to move very soon. The one house I found that could have worked failed inspection -- at this point, it looks like more rental, probably for at least a couple of years, due to needing to recoup moving expenses and whatnot. (Not to mention that most management companies in Ann Arbor make getting your damage deposit back a full-contact bloodsport...)

    In this time, my trusty Prius is probably going to need to be replaced. I drive quite a bit -- about 40,000 mi/yr, with a 120 mi round-trip commute, plus lots of road trips. It's got over 325,000 mi on it now. While Ann Arbor has a lot of public chargers for Michigan, they're hardly ubiquitous, and most have a 4-hour time limit -- the idea of having to walk to the car around midnight in all types of weather to reposition it seems far from ideal. They've been talking about putting chargers in at work, but I've heard that talk before, and nothing ever materializes. I've followed the installation of the Ann Arbor supercharger with great interest (and posted a lot to its thread), but recent statements by Elon Musk imply that I wouldn't be allowed to use it for regular charging.

    This really bums me out -- my plan B if the Model 3 didn't show up before my Prius needed to be replaced was to buy a Volt (or possibly the Bolt, if it had something similar to the supercharger network), but the same charger access issues apply to it. At the moment, it's looking like I might end up getting another Prius when the time comes, despite the fact that Toyota isn't interested in EV's (and I don't really want to reward that behavior). :crying: Since I drive my cars until they're dead, I probably wouldn't be in the market again until the Model 4 (or whatever it will be called) comes out.

    I know that trying to predict things out even a couple of years in advance in the EV space is basically impossible, but does anyone know if anything is coming down the line for people in my sort of situation?
     
  2. Ugliest1

    Ugliest1 S85: "Sparky"

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    #2 Ugliest1, Jul 5, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2015
    Ok, I don't want to continue or promote the now-ad-nauseam thread about "Supercharging - Elon's statement..." but if you really want to wade through argument after argument, go ahead. The thread devolved into word-parsing Tesla's website. However there were plenty of posts that went into all kinds of detail about acceptability of supercharger use.

    My takeaway is: there is no problem with people using supercharging when they don't have any other available options. The whole point is to remove obstacles and promote EV use. So your situation (IMHO) is perfectly fine for supercharging use.

    In the aforementioned thread, it seemed to me the only scenario that everybody* had problems with was people that have charging ability at home, but specifically avoid home charging and go to superchargers to save electric costs.

    [EDIT] * on reflection, everybody except a few word-parsers
     
  3. BrianC

    BrianC Member

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    Step one is to talk to the people at work who will say if the chargers will go in or not. One of the things they take into account is will people use them or not (wasting money).
     
  4. physicsfita

    physicsfita Member

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    I've been doing that -- one of the people in my department is on the relevant infrastructure committee. The chargers in question would be donated (I'm at a public university), and there is a donor lined up. The problem is with disengaged higher administration -- the last time this came around, a solar company offered to install chargers with offsetting solar production for the cost of a stimulus grant -- no net contribution from my school. Our top official couldn't be bothered to sign the paperwork.

    Don't worry, I'm fighting the good fight, but, due to experience in this and other things, I will also believe that they will be installed when they cut the ribbon, and not before.
     
  5. Electric700

    Electric700 Member

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    #5 Electric700, Jul 5, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2015
    What about connecting to an existing 120 V or 240 V outlet, either indoors or outdoors? Even 120 V can add almost 50 miles of range overnight (4 miles of range added per hour, for 12 hours). 240 V at 24 A can add over 200 miles of range overnight (17 miles of range per hour, for 12 hours).

    As the other poster said, Tesla might not have a problem with you using the Supercharger(s) to charge up when needed. You could also talk to your local Tesla Store about it.

    About the top official who wouldn't sign the paperwork, consider just going ahead and encouraging him/her to do it if that's all it would take. It sounds like just one small step is needed to offer a huge benefit.
     
  6. physicsfita

    physicsfita Member

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    From what I understand, 120 V in winter just keeps the battery warm without really adding range -- maybe things have changed?

    As for the official, she is no longer with the school -- that was but one very small example of a lack of leadership that lead to her contract not being renewed. (Anyway, the ship sailed for that one -- that was in 2008 when stimulus funds were available.) I would like to hope that her replacement will be better, but I haven't been convinced yet.

    Next time I take a trip to Ohio, I'll ask the people at the store -- good idea.
     
  7. Zythryn

    Zythryn MS 70D, MX 90D

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    120V in winter won't work.
    Have you looked around for places to rent that have charging available for renters?
    We are getting a number of those popping up in Minnesota, I'm not sure what the situation is in MI though.
     
  8. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Active Member

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    I'd have thought that Michigan not having Tesla service centers would be the bigger problem. :p

    But anyway, if you're renting somewhere it's always possible that the landlord's OK with you paying to have an outlet or EVSE installed. If the Model 3 and other PEVs are released successfully, the increase in demand should increase the willingness of landlords to support plug-ins.
     
  9. physicsfita

    physicsfita Member

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    We seem to be behind the curve with respect to MN that way -- near as I can tell, nobody's offering anything like that. Hopefully, the release of the Model 3 and the Bolt might start to change that, since there will be more people in my boat.

    - - - Updated - - -

    That does concern me, as well. However, it seems that the Belle Tire around here takes care of basic things like tire rotation and brake inspection, and from what I can tell with the Model S owners I've talked to, Tesla takes care of them pretty well if some issue does come up. In any event, I would think that the fact that they haven't taken the "coming soon" Detroit service center off the map implies that there must be some sort of deal being quietly cut with the state.
     
  10. Electric700

    Electric700 Member

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    You can still charge almost normally in the winter time even on 120 V though with perhaps a slightly reduced charge speed (links below). The best thing to do when you need to charge in cold weather is to start charging the car immediately when you park it, so the battery doesn't need additional time to heat up for charging.

    Check out the post at the bottom: Charging o/n at 120V - how many miles do you actually get? - Page 2.

    Here the car is actually adding 4 miles of range per hour (-0.4 F, 8th post): plugged in at work first time @ 120V hum-dee-dum [Archive] - Tesla Motors Club - Enthusiasts & Owners Forum.
     
  11. Zythryn

    Zythryn MS 70D, MX 90D

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    I have tried this. It is not reliable enough to count on in the winter.
    In Florida or California, sure. I suspect Michigan is more similar to minnesota though.
    Some winter days, if the car is parked outside, I get no gain in range. Other days, perhaps 2 or even 3 miles per hour of charge.
     
  12. BrianC

    BrianC Member

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    Is moving closer to work out of the cards as well? Two plus hours driving every day would drive me bonkers.

    Depending on work alone to charge would not be a ideal thing as well, what happens when people buy the new Bolt and Leaf and start using the chargers? You really would need to find something at home for that kind of hike every day.
     
  13. physicsfita

    physicsfita Member

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    I really don't see moving closer in the cards. You would be amazed at how many of my colleagues do similar commutes (my work town really isn't that nice, and I'm really understating it here) -- of course, getting academic schedules to line up can be challenging, so I can't carpool as much as I'd like. My department has been super-supportive; when gas prices went up a while ago, they compacted my teaching schedule so I don't have to go in every day any more. I do most of my prep work at home now, so that helps. Oddly, I don't really mind the drive up, as I use it to plan my day, but the drive back can get tedious -- I've got my favorite parking lots where I can grab a power nap if need be. At least the commute is (mostly) against the rush both ways. We'll see, though, things can change a lot in a couple of years...

    - - - Updated - - -

    I have to say, I wouldn't mind if some gas station or convenience store put in a chademo charger along the way, as long as it cost less than gas...
     
  14. TexasEV

    TexasEV Active Member

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    As much as I like my car and encourage people to buy one, I would advise against buying a Tesla if you don't have access to 240V charging at home. It's just not the same experience.
     
  15. republic

    republic Member

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    I've done quite well with a home 120V outlet and public CHAdeMO chargers. Unfortunately, Ann Arbor doesn't have any Level 3 chargers other than at the Nissan dealership, but that could change in the next couple years.
     
  16. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

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    A Supercharger is almost open in Ann Arbor...
     
  17. republic

    republic Member

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    I wonder how much he'd have to use it to receive a Sternly Worded Letter. :p I used the Bethesda SC for my first month, until I got a 120V.
     
  18. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    As there is no alternative, I'd think that he wouldn't get one. there's a difference between necessity and greed.
     
  19. republic

    republic Member

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    True, and I doubt Ann Arbor with 8 stalls will face congestion anytime soon, with Michigan sales curtailed and the city not on a busy cross-country route.
     
  20. jbcarioca

    jbcarioca Active Member

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    As a P85D owner I have had no access to home charging for my first three months of ownership. The nearest Supercharger is two hours away.I travel constantly so my car has remained without connection for as more than three weeks.

    The first few days were problematical but i soon found easy access to free charging; the downside was staying with the car while charging, mitigated by nearby free CHAdeMO fast charging. During my three months numerous destination chargers have appeared nearby and more level 2 chargers have appeared too.

    My home charger in a condominium was activated this morning. Oddly it is the first Evercharge installation of a Tesla adapter. Now I really will no longer need to use the local free chargers, but i still will be using them because my shopping and dining habits have altered to favor the charger locations so i want to continue encouraging them.

    When the OP is thinking of a Model III I would counsel ignoring the charging issue. Infrastructure buildout is so very rapid almost all over the world that it simply will not be an issue anymore by two years from now. Even now owners very quickly adapt.

    At TMC Connect last week I met owners from many places from Russia, Japan and all over North America. Many of us do not have home charging now and many more did to when they took delivery. Everyone who has not done it strongly advises against it. Even my local Tesla store said "don't buy until you have home charging installed". I did it anyway. I am thrilled that I ignored them. I met many Tesla drivers and other EV drivers, made friendships and accelerated my learning curve.

    Ignore the naysayers! Buy your S now! Then do what you can to get home charging, but you'll enjoy the initiation to the community and you'll be happy you did not wait.
     

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