Need help determining best charging option!

Need help determining best charging option!

I got my Tesla Model S yesterday and LOVE it! I could use some help though. I live in a high-rise condo and asked the building engineer for a quote on dropping the line and the monthly charge. Here's what he proposed:

"The Owners can engage an electrician to install their chargers after the power drop is completed. The flat fee for 30 amps breakers per month will be $220 per month based on current pricing of energy. If the resident chose to install meters it must be industry grade and certified . If meters are installed the cost including burden cost will be .10C/KWH (vary based on energy contract) plus a demand fee for Oncor of $70 per month for 30amps circuit.

The most we can offer is the 208/120 volt. Your electrician can install a converter to adapt to the 240. The other option for a 240 would require you installing a special transformer and meter at your location."

Does that monthly fee for metered and unmetered sound exorbitant? At 10 cents per KWH, any idea what my monthly charge would be? Notice they're adding a $70.00 per month "demand fee" in addition to the metered hours. Off the top of my head, this seems ridiculously high and is likely to exceed my monthly fuel costs for a similar vehicle. ( I plan to drive the car roughly 8-10K miles per year.)

I'm a complete ignoramous when it comes to this stuff and since you guys have been so generous with your help and advice with others, I thought I'd give it a shot. Anyone have any thoughts, suggestions, alternatives?


DouglasR | March 11, 2013

I've never heard of a demand charge for 10 kW, and yes, it does sound exorbitant. Where are you located? Lehua?

Carefree | March 11, 2013

This sounds outrageous. They clearly try to squeeze money out of you. Time to move?

jat | March 11, 2013

Unless you really need to charge fast, 30A@208V will be plenty as you will refill any daily usage overnight with no problem -- it will take about 15 hours to do a standard charge from zero, but you shouldn't often need back-to-back full range. I would expect flat-rate $220/mo will be cheaper than $70/mo + .10/kWh, and you are still only getting 30A.

This is all assuming an 85kWh battery -- smaller batteries will be even less of an issue.

RanjitC | March 11, 2013

@Jat I drive 15k a year and use approx 20 kwh a day, that works out to 2 bucks a day at .10/kwh. This will cost him $70 monthly and $60 electricity Total $130 rather than $220 flat rate. I do agree 30A is more than sufficient for daily use.

shop | March 11, 2013

Where are you located?

negarholger | March 11, 2013

Cost per year
ICE : 10000 m / 25 m per gal = 400 gal times $4 per gal = $1,600
Flat fee : $220 per month times 12 month = $2,640
Metered : 10000 m times 0.4 khW per mile = 4000 kWh times $0.1 per kWh = $400 plus 12 * $70 = $1,240

jat | March 11, 2013

@RanjitC - I read that as a $.10/kWh surcharge over the regular electric rates - if it is the total price, then it probably will be better.

mallynb | March 11, 2013

Dngc170 -- See the Tesla calculator under Go Electric in the header. Can you arrange for a separate private residential meter, with power routed directly to your parking space instead of through the building meter? If so, you could avoid the commercial metering charges that the condo allocates to your bill.

olanmills | March 11, 2013

That price sounds crazy. Is the rental of a parking space included? Is that where the price comes from? My electricity costs for my Model S are maybe $25-35 a month.

Peter7 | March 11, 2013

Hey David,

Your average mileage is so low that I have to ask what your usage pattern is and where in the country you are (how cold does it get). It really sounds like you might do fine with just plugging into a 120V outlet (your averages show that you would need to plug in for 10-12 hours or so every day... While this would never work for me (I'm at 8.5k in 2.5 months) it might work fine for you. Any chance there are 120 outlets already in the garage already? Perhaps that and an occasional EV charging station in the area for high use days?


jkirkebo | March 12, 2013

Or he could check out prices for a 20A breaker, which one can draw 16A from. The demand charges should be lower.

I doubt Tesla has a 20A adapter available, but a 16A J1772 charging station is easy to aquire.

Brian H | March 12, 2013

8-10K is what he plans to drive. Taking the longer road less travelled will push that up to 20K.