How negotiate charging in NYC garage

How negotiate charging in NYC garage

I have been trying to charge my MS at home in the Garage in Manhattan UES. I had a nice relationship with the guys when I parked my ICE.

Have had MS for 6 weeks now. After a LOT of tipping (hundreds of $) they plugged it in every night for a week, but then said that the manager at the main office had called and ordered them to stop and they claimed that they read on the Tesla website that each charge costed $17, which is obviously BS.

Since I drive about 30 miles a day I know the actual charging cost is around $1. But even if I offer them their claimed $17 I am not allowed to plug in.

Head office doesn't return phone calls for a month. I brought up the benefits of the MS with the local manager in the garage. I mentioned that there is no exhaust fumes so their employees all stay healthier and that the car generates less heat so that the garage could save on A/C. A lot of the ICE cars sit idling at the garage to keep them cool for their owners, creating a tremendous amount of heat and exhaust fumes in the garage. They seemed really low brow and couldn't connect the dots about any benefits with an EV.

So now I charge during the day at work instead which feels really backwards since there is more surplus power at night. Daytime charging obviously defeats some of the car's purpose of the of saving the environment and puts strain on the NYC grid which is already on the brink of collapse on hot days.

There are 3 Charge Point stations around my block where you can charge overnight, if you can find an open spot (often occupied), but then you need to move the car when done in order to let other EVs charge. So that actually creates more work than going to a gas station and so defeats the purpose of the car.

I have essentially given up on my garage at my building (apart from refusing to plug it in, they also damaged it by driving crazy fast in the garage and bumping in to things) and am now shopping around for a garage where I can plug in at 110V right at my spot without moving around (110V is sufficient because I drive fairly little). There are plenty of garages with 110V outlets, problem is how do you get the garage to agree with your usage? They don't seem to care about the exhaust and heat arguments.

Anybody who has managed to secure a deal with a garage with charging in NYC I'd love to hear about it and what arguments you used to negotiate it!

SamO | August 26, 2013


Not sure where in the City you live but here's a link:

They specialize in EV charging in Manhattan

NYC Realtor | August 26, 2013

Thanks for the link SamoSam

I am on Park Ave /E 87th. Where are you?

I have tried some of the Beam chargers. As I wrote in the post I am looking for a spot with a permanent plug, so that I don't need to go and move the car in order to charge or move when done charging.

The outlets are already there in all garages, question is if anybody had any experience negotiating access to one of those regular outlets.

Tiebreaker | August 26, 2013

@NYC Realtor - I have no experience, but this comes to mind: offer to use a portable electric power meter and pay based on actual usage.

wcalvin | August 26, 2013

Suppose there is a valet service that ferries your car to an overnight charger and returns it by morning?

SamO | August 26, 2013


I would just walk into the dozen or so garages within two blocks of your house and talk to anyone working there. I've seen garages where the front few spots are connected to 110 (which would be perfect for you). But the ones I've seen are closer to midtown.

It's like finding any great bit of service in NYC. Nobody's talking, since they don't want to give up being "in the know."

I live in Santa Monica currently where the metered parking is free for the Model S.

I also live 10 miles from the Hawthorne Supercharger and I have free charging at work in Downtown LA.

And I have 110 and 220 in my garage.

My cup runneth over.

NYC Realtor | August 26, 2013

@wcalvin: that could be a business idea but still a complicated solution to a simple problem, namely how plug in to existing outlets overnight.

@Tiebreaker: I'll try the portable power meter.

I wonder why the local government doesn't encourage garages to let people plug in EVs. It would be a win-win, cleaner air, more convenience and mostly night charging instead of day charging.
I am sure city hall is proud that we Beam chargers and charge points. Those are great for travelers coming to NYC but not practical if you live here.

A friend of mine here in the city has a cable from his window across the sidewalk to his MS, but I'm not adventurous enough to to that.

NYC Realtor | August 26, 2013

I am jealous, you have a great situation. I'll follow your advice and just walk/shop around the block

rkang | August 26, 2013

The garage on 44th between 5th and 6th is the best. Kind of far for you, though.
Free charging. They have some Chargepoint stations. You don't even need your own Chargepoint card, as they have one you can use. Mon-Thurs after 5:30pm it's $12 for 12 hours. Sunday it's $12 for 12 hours, too.
Fri and Sat it's $17 off peak. Still not bad.
I have a grey MS. Usually charge there on Sunday. Sometimes during the week at night.

Mathew98 | August 26, 2013

@NYC Realtor - Contact CentralPark and inquire about some of their lots with Chargepoint L2 chargers. Each of these lot manager will actively plug in the handful of EV's that go to garage on a daily basis. I've seen one of them charging a 2 Leaf's, a Volt, and 2 MS in the same lot all for free.

TheAustin | August 26, 2013

NYC Realtor, there is a great parking garage with a ChargePoint Charging station right near by you, on 90th Street between Park & Madison...The charger is four spots in from the entrance, so it's perfect for easy in and out. I've charged there maybe 6-8 times, and so the guys know all about the Model S and are generally very friendly and accommodating.

I understand that you are looking for a 110 option, and I understand why...You could ask them about it, who knows, perhaps they would be receptive? But assuming that the are not, I still think it's a great garage to park at. And, since you don't drive that many miles a day, instead of a trickle charge every night, you could just have the park it regularly most nights, and then do a ChargePoint overnight charge there one or twice a week.

Good luck, let us know how you make out. I think we're getting to a pivotal point where there are enough electric cars looking for parking in NYC that garages have to look at us as a legitimate and significant subset of customers, and not just some fringe hippie club.

tesla.mahedy | August 26, 2013

NYC Realtor,

I am also on the Upper East Side. Where are you located? Where's your current garage? Feel free to send me an email


I think I have found a solution, but it depends on where you are.

Look forward to hearing from you

hhumes | August 26, 2013

Nyc realtor: That's a real bummer. My garage manager worked at one of the garages tesla did beta testing in. As soon as he saw me drive up in my model S he gave me a spot next to an outlet and lets me drive my car in and out of the garage myself. Unfortunately, I live in Brooklyn. I do think if you walk around your neighborhood, you'll find a garage with a manager who is as accomodating as mine.

NYC Realtor | September 3, 2013

Thanks everybody for all the great tips.
I have tried most of the beams and chargepoints mentioned and will let you know if I can get a spot at a regular 110 and forget about the whole thing.

Sanjuro88 | September 3, 2013

If you have a 85kw battery, you probably don't have to plug in every night, but maybe 2-3 times per week?

Also, it may help to show them the cost breakdown, ie your car use 10kw per charge = $1-2 per charge in your area etc...

soma | September 3, 2013

This is a huge problem. Something I'm struggling with myself. People who live in garages in cities are a prime market for EVs, but it is almost unworkable without this end of the charging somehow worked out.

It is not really convenient to park your car in a garage other than your own, and have to move it periodically, or to double pay for parking basically.

In California, there's regulation that requires buildings not to put up artificially burdensome barriers to charging outlet installation. But you still have to pay for it yourself and get over all the paperwork and headache involved.

Brian H | September 3, 2013

If all you have is 110V, size of battery don't make no nevermind. 14 hrs @ 3mph = 42 miles.

NYC Realtor | September 3, 2013

A regulation giving EVs priority to the already existing 110 V outlets to leave them plugged in at their regular garage spots would solve it for me and probably 95% of NYC EV residents.

Earl and Nagin ... | September 3, 2013

Unfortunately, most 110 v outlets share a common 20 amp breaker. If more than one EV try to plug in, they tend to blow breakers.
Its expensive to upgrade things in the city.

NYC Realtor | September 5, 2013

Yes I know there are several outlets on every breaker. I thought however that the MS adjusted charging current downward as to not trip the breaker, no?

On a different note, we met a new MS owner from the building across the street yesterday and we have two MS already in my building. Two people in the building next door are about to order now. So on my little block alone we have three MS delivered and two more on the way. If this is a statistical indication of the coming MS population in NYC, it will not only be one of the most common cars, but the Beam chargers will be completely overwhelmed, unless we can come up with an easier charging solution.

shop | September 5, 2013

No, the MS has no idea what else is connected to a circuit. The only time it adjusts current downwards is when it senses an undersized conductor, ie too large a voltage drop. If you plug two MS into one 120v circuit, the breaker will trip.

You really want dedicated circuits for MS charging, which means electrical upgrades. And while you are doing that work, you might as well get a 240v installed.

A friend of mine went through the process of getting a parking garage dedicated plug for his MS here in San Diego, but his condo only had 14 people in it, so the red tape was a lot less. It still was pulling teeth getting the city and the power company to agree on the work.

Olof | September 9, 2013

Alright, two options emerged after a week of shopping around.

My garage across the street offered a nice private spot for $700/mo including charging, but they will charge me an unknown upfront cost for installing the outlet at my spot once I sign up. They are not sure what the electrician will charge to run new conduits and wires to the spot and possibly upgrade the panel. A bit wary about what this one time cost may be, I skipped this option for now.

Another garage down the street at $550/mo lets me plug in to their 110 V outlets. The spots are not private but still alright because I tip them to put me in the back row so they never need to move my car. There are only two rows so only one car to move when I want out. This is what I signed up for.

polyphase | September 10, 2013

What kind of tipping are we talking about? We bought a townhouse in GV that we will move into next year and there are two garages on my block that I will have to try and work with.

During our shopping process we looked at a couple places that had garages. Now I wish I had given that feature more weight in the process.

Brian H | September 11, 2013

Talk to your realtor. I'm sure he'd be happy to "upgrade" you!

S Driver in Man... | September 11, 2013

New York EV drivers should know that the state subsidizes the installation of charging stations but there is no requirement that they be made available to the public. It seems that the grants, which run in the range of $10,000 per plug, are made through NYSERDA and are accompanied by a press release from the governor. It seems to me if public money is spent on these facilities, public access should be demanded. Write the governor and NYSERDA.

Also, it seems that parking garages get some tax benefit by installing charging stations. Everyone benefits except the consumer.

The New York city mayor's office has a division which supposedly encourages the adoption of EV's in New York. It is of little help but the more people contact them, the more pressure will be applied.

In spite of the above problems, I find driving an EV in New York to be practical. As an early adopter you expect problems but I would hope that charging will become easier. I recently heard those old to repurpose outdoor phone booths to EV charging.

DFibRL8R | September 11, 2013

As a recent Model S visitor to NYC on a road trip from Virginia to Amagansett, I had luck using a 1772 charger in the garage at W 71st St (Beam). I used my Chargepoint account and was not charged at all (expected an hourly fee based on what I had read about Beam). I was disappointed when I called Tesla Manhattan and was told I could not use their outlets at their store. Having more EVs and a better charging infrastructure would do amazing things for the air in NYC!

NYC Realtor | September 11, 2013

@S Driver in Manhattan: thanks for the info, that's unbelievable, $10000 in grants per plug! I will definitely write to the Mayor's office to demand better accessibility if this is how our tax dollars are spent. We should all.

@polyphase. I gave the garage manager $60 when I signed up last week. Will give another $150 around the holidays if we haven't gotten busted (=told by the garage senior management to stop charging) by then.

NYC Realtor | September 16, 2013

The garage manager just got busted by the superintendent of the building. No EV charging allowed in the building!

Back to square one, shopping for garage

SamO | September 16, 2013


Sorry for the cat and mouse. Surprised there's nobody that wants to take your $.

NYC Realtor | September 17, 2013

SamoSam: They take the money and arrange for charging but after a week there was a superintendent behind the scenes explaining that charging is not allowed.

My original garage where I had my ICE for years also allowed just one week of charging after I got the Tesla.

It is ironic since the garages supposedly get $10,000 from the City per charging outlet. There is a disconnect and misunderstanding somewhere.

NYC Realtor | September 18, 2013

I just wrote to the Mayor's office to encourage garages to allow for EV charging. We who live in NYC and want charging should all write and eventually something will happen.

Beam and Public chargers are great for tourists driving EV to the city but they haven't thought about us residents. That will be the biggest part of EV adoption.

Galve2000 | September 20, 2013

NYC Realtor:

I stumbled across this thread accidentally and read it with great interest b/c I happen to own an apartment at Carnegie Towers on 87th Street between Park & Lex. I no longer live there, but I go to the gym 4 times a week at the NYSC on 86th and Lex so I am in the neighborhood often.

If I don't find parking on the street near the gym, I will usually park at the Icon Claridge 87 garage (on 87th and 3rd) which has an EVSE managed by Beam charging. I drive a Chevy Volt so paying $2.95/hr for 3.3 kWh of electricity is painful.. but the Volt drives better in EV mode and I like to keep my Volt-Stats up.

You may want to look into it. I will say that at Claridge 87 they are not nearly as nice about putting my car into the spot with the EVSE as my “home” garage on the west side. But I have found no other garages in NYC to be as enthusiastic about EV charging as my “home” garage. Most have been downright nasty to be honest.
if you find that your electricity needs expand, it may be worth it to pay the $89/month (and you get the 1st month free so it would work to be a bit less) and not have to worry about how much you are spending on charging.

I also wonder, do they make you pay the exotic car rate for your mMdel S at the garage where you are currently charging?

@Olof: same question for you...

thanks in advacne for taking the time to reply guys.


Brian H | September 20, 2013

Offer to donate a HPWC, and prepay power to it for a year? Or a 14-50, if that's too rich?

NYC Realtor | September 23, 2013

@ Galve2000:
I have tried both your building and Claridge 87. Still haven't been able to use anything else than the Beam Charger for any meaningful time. Yes I have to pay a little extra for the MS over regular car.

Galve2000 | September 23, 2013

I'm actually thinking of splurging on a more convenient (but more expensive) parking space than my current “home” garage and none of the options I'm looking into offer EV Charging so I am considering pitching to them that I will pay the cost of installation of a basic NEMA 14-50 outlet (it drives me nuts that the public EVSEs in the city only provide 24 amps, instead of 40!).

I have already had a Tesla UMC modified to J1772 connector for use with my Chevy Volt, and I think anything more than 40 amps continuous power is overkill for the current crop of BEVs, so I think a NEMA 14-50 is the most “generic” and economical way forward. (Bravo Tesla for making a portable cable that can support 40 amps continuous power!)

Has anyone pitched a similar idea to their local garage? At this point I would accept a regular 120 Volt outlet, but I feel like if something needs to be installed from scratch, it should be 208/240 Volts.

From what I have seen I am charged roughly $0.18/kWh consumed at my apartment (thanks to the magic of sub-metering) and paying $0.49/kWh at the public charging stations is quite the markup.. I have heard stories that commercial spaces may pay as little as $0.10/kWh for the electricity they consume, so they are making near 4 times profit selling kWh to unsuspecting BEV enthusiasts!

@NYC Realtor:

Regarding the luxury car rate: It’s interesting to me that you pay just “a little extra” than the basic monthly rate on a standard car. I make it a point to look at the posted rates in the garages I visit and most of them mention a luxury car supplement of $422++ in addition to the basic monthly rate.

There are obviously exceptions.

JZ13 | September 23, 2013

I have a condo in a downtown San Diego high-rise. The estimate to install a 14-50 was $5k. Since this is a second home that is 80 miles away from my main home I passed. A neighbor who lives in the building full-time paid $10k for his NEMA 14-50 because his parking spot is on a lower floor. They had to drill through the concrete to get to his spot. Ironically they had to run the conduit through my storage unit to get to his spot below me. The building is requiring him to have his own meter so they wouldn't allow me to tap into his line.

Brian H | September 23, 2013

Can you make a deal with him?

NYC Realtor | September 25, 2013

As stated above I wrote to the Mayor's office. They called back and were really helpful and are talking to the garages to solve this. I'm impressed! Let's hope it stays this way after Bloomberg as well

Galve2000 | September 26, 2013

I wonder which electrician Solar City / Tesla recommends install the HPWC or NEMA 14-50 outlet for residents of Manhattan.

My parents live in a townhouse with a private garage (that is unfortunately too small to fit the Model S, but fits my Chevy Volt just right) and if I wanted to have an EVSE installed there, who does Telsa recommend I call?

JZ13 | September 26, 2013

Brian - Good idea but its not practical for me now as the condo is up for sale. Guess where the proceeds from the condo are going?

BetterThanEdison | September 26, 2013

NYC Realtor:

What exactly did you write to the Mayor's office? I'm in a similar situation as you but in a different city and I'm thinking of writing to the mayor too. Did you just send them an email?


NYC Realtor | September 26, 2013

I went on the Mayor's website where it says "write to the Mayor" and wrote something like:

Dear Mr. Bloomberg,
With respect to your EV initiative I would like to bring your attention to this: I park my Tesla in an garage by my house in Carnegie Hill because there is a Beam charger (resulting from government initiatives) in the garage. While Beam chargers are great for visitors to the city, they have proven impractical for residents like myself because:

1. A Tesla is supposed to be always plugged in when not driven and
2. On occasions when I need a max range charge for a road trip, my car might get unplugged if the garage attendants need to move the car behind it. This has happened and a road trip could have gotten cancelled.

Based on this, here is my question:
Would it be possible to encourage garages in the City to let EVs plug in to one of the many 120 V outlets in the garages?
This way resident cars would be able to sit in the back corner and avoid being moved and charge interrupted and your visitors to the City could have access to the beam charger. I am willing to pay for the power used.

griffd | March 18, 2014

Very interested to hear the outcome of your quest to find good monthly parking options in the Upper East Side with 120V or EV outlets.

plusplusjames | March 18, 2014

Which garage chain is this? I have a contact at GMC Garage who could make things happen...

dave2004 | March 23, 2014

Hi @plusplusjames. Are you referring to GMC garage at Continental Towers with the Beam chargers? I ordered my MS 10 days ago, and am considering cancelling because I'm worried sick about the parking situation in NYC. Half the year, I live here on the UES, and am worried about finding a monthly parking spot that will allow me to charge, won't constantly be moving my car around and dinging the doors and bumpers, and of course the costs. If you have any advice I would greatly appreciate it. I'm also worried about all these pot holes.

To all the MS owners in NYC, would you say the air suspension is a must-have if driving here in Manhattan? I have coil on order, but might upgrade to Air for this reason alone. I just drove in from Upstate tonight and my rental car sure took a beating.

Thank you all!!!

Mathew98 | March 24, 2014

@dave2004 - For NYC, air suspension on 19" tires are the only sensible combo for the MS. Potholes central will eat up the 21" tires for desert on a monthly basis.

Alex pays a yearly $99 EV charging membership on the UES.

plusplusjames | March 24, 2014

Yes, that's the one I am talking about. Feel free to e-mail me privately at olcott (dot) j at gmail.

Olof | March 24, 2014

Hi Dave, I have a monthly deal and no problem with charging on UES, $50 for unlimited. Please email me and I'll explain: username at

In regards to air suspension I think you are fine without it. I have a very steep ramp and air helps, but my loaner with standard suspension just about made it without scratching the curb.

Minocqua | April 8, 2014

Does anyone have a recommendation for where to park in a monthly lot on the UWS in Manhattan (NYC)?