Tesla quick charging idea for Tesla sales growth with condo owners unable to install charging stations

Tesla quick charging idea for Tesla sales growth with condo owners unable to install charging stations

Hello Tesla management,

I am in Washington DC Area and I would like to purchase a Model S. My condo bi-laws will not allow installation of EVSE in common areas and there is no electrical access near parking. What might work for me and others is if there was a supercharger nearby. I was pleased to see a quick charger open in Hagerstown, MD and I am seriously considering purchasing a Model S and make the 45 minute trek 3 times per week. (hopefully it won't be too much of a burden) Based on my current driving habits that would suffice. With the supercharger I can allow the car to charge for 30 minutes or so while I take a jog.

I think you should consider an additional strategy to expand available supercharging especially for those who cannot install charging at home or work. The DC Metro area (DC in particular)has many high end condo and apartment dwellers. Current public charging is too slow. We require supercharger speed. There are a number of qualified individuals that can afford the Model S but cannot purchase because we are unable to charge quickly or conveniently.

The plan

Find in city hosts (not the interstate installations) who would be willing to allow installation of quick chargers for a monthly fee. I and others like me would be willing to pay a subscription for this privilege. (100 - 200 / month perhaps?) Sweeten the offer by offing to install solar at the host installations if the numbers work of course. Maybe even have installations dare I say at gas stations?.... whoa! Maybe commercial buildings such as malls that can accommodate public access and is use to having the general public on property. Maybe partner with some of the current EVSE network providers and "wire" a few superchargers in tandem with their current installations. Maybe you can do poll of current and future Model S users and see if there is interest.

Oh by the way we need a Model S 2+2 coupe NOW. Go all the way and make it a hard top convertible. We will pay Model S prices. (a fully loaded 435I convertible is 68K; a 635I convertible is 90K+) We can certainly do 86 - 92K for this car and more for the fastest Model S 2+2 coupe version. Follow up with the cheaper version you have in the pipeline for the masses.

I really want my next car to be a full EV but fast charging is a major barrier.

Bubba2000 | January 30, 2014

I think that public pay per use HPWC/100A is the solution. They can charge a 85 KW-hr MS is 5 hours or less. I would say malls, restaurants, hotels, or other places where folks can hangout for hours would make sense. The hardware costs $1,200 plus may be $500 for installation if the feed with breakers are available.

Most mid to hi end condos have dedicated parking. If you own the condo, I wonder if it is possible to get the power company to hook up a 240V/100A circuit to your parking space? Most dedicated garages, especially the ones with doors have electrical feed through conduits. It may be possible to sneak a pair of #3 and ground/neutral.

I live in a house and even then I got association rules which are not too bad. Condos are just too restrictive. They cost a fortune, taxes, condo fees... and then restrictions. Feels like boarding school.

300k | January 30, 2014

The states that support "green" need to put their laws where their mouths are espousing,and require condos to allow ev charging stations to be added. Who pays ? It is only fair that the user does.

Brian H | January 30, 2014
fulcrum | January 31, 2014

Ah didn't see that. Thanks I read a good bit of it.

ian | January 31, 2014

+1 300k. I think we'll see that as more and more electric cars are sold. It's already a law in California.


Haeze | February 2, 2014

I am very much in favor of the "Speak with your wallet" way of thinking... so if I were in this situation, I would be looking for a new condo that allows me to install a charger in the garage (or at very least will let one be installed by their maintenance crew).

StevenGClinard | February 3, 2014

Bylaws can be changed, and electricity is ubiquitous.

Although there are probably some hardcore corncobs out there, I'd like to believe that most people, including your condo neighbors, aren't fundamentally opposed to allowing EV charging infrastructure.

fulcrum | February 3, 2014

Ah contraire . They are not budging. I have made several compelling arguments including the ability to attract like minded, environmentally conscious, higher income owners . My choices are move to a detached residence (new homes in my area are 700K+) or maybe Tesla speeds the adoption of their vehicles by expanding in town fast charging. It would benefit the MS, X. and all future vehicles. Use the subscription model and it will be budget positive and self perpetuating. If done properly some home owners may even opt to use the quick chargers and not worry about the need to upgrade the amps in older homes. I think even those with home charging will opt for a subscription that allows them to charge quickly on the go.

ian | February 3, 2014

What are their arguments against the installation of an outlet for you to use?

fulcrum | February 4, 2014

The barriers I encountered with my condo board is as follows:

1. Individual use of common area
2. Bi-law change requires approval of 2/3 of owners
3. Perceived risk from shock or tampering
4. Who pays for installation, maintenance?
5. What happens if I move?
6. How am I billed for usage?
7. What happens if I don't pay for usage?
8. Will the EVSE be for my exclusive use and is the EVSE only applicable to one type of EV? What happens if someone else purchases a Tesla?
9. Will the onsite EVSE non owners to come on property to access? How will access be controlled?
10. Board requested legal review for which I would have to pay the fee.

I had a company that would install a level 2 EVSE, meter usage, handle maintenance and removal and bill me on a subscription basis. No go.

In the end there are too many barriers to home charging so I've begun looking elsewhere for a solution.

fulcrum | February 4, 2014

barriers are* yikes!

grega | February 4, 2014

Difficult to answer unspecified concerns!

If you ever can lock them down, don't try to 'rush' them, make sure they make a long list of concerns so you can then address them all. Otherwise you'll continually answer one concern but another will take it's place.

grega | February 4, 2014

Sorry, I read the goneskillians question, then saw one reply and clicked on it, and got your yikes answer.... must've clicked at precisely the wrong time. Now I understand the answer above that!

fulcrum | February 6, 2014

Just looked at the super charger coverage and lo and behold there is a fast charger now open 9 miles away. No more barriers. Model S here I come! Elon Musk work your plan sir!

Timo | February 6, 2014

:-) good to hear.

aaronw2 | February 6, 2014

At least here in California HOAs must allow EV chargers to be installed in condos.

grega | February 6, 2014

@aaronw it sounds like a big part of the "real" problem is using the common area for a specific tenant, mixed in with lots of EV fud. Plus some significant wiring difficulty in using the owner's own garage.

ian | February 6, 2014

Excellent! Glad to hear Tesla made it possible for you!


ian | February 6, 2014

Just curious, which one?

fulcrum | February 6, 2014

@ goneskiian: Recent fast charger installation: Montgomery Mall Bethesda, MD. I suspect all the mall locations will get them soon. Makes sense.

Bubba2000 | February 9, 2014

I suspect that the folks living in condos will be the last ones to be able to get garage charging. Too many rules and opposition. It will take state and local laws to force them to allow chargers. Probably start in places like CA.

I used to live in an apartment. I installed a DISH antenna in the balcony and the administration told me to take it off. Then a law passed allowing the antennas. In my area it is possible to get a ground floor apartment with parking next to the balcony or patio. Then all it takes is a simple hook-up to the washer/dryer or oven circuit to feed the Tesla. Or course, it will be just a 240V/30A-40A circuit.

Living in a house with the circuit breaker panel in the garage, and a 240V/200A feed, I plugged in 100 A breaker and it was a short run of #2 (good for 120A) and ground wires. I can draw 80A through the HPWC, but I got the Tesla set to 20A and connect my 85P every night. I did not need this heavy circuit, but the incremental cost was minimal.

StevenGClinard | February 15, 2014

Ultimately, at-home overnight charging is by far the best solution for electric vehicles day-to-day use. On-demand charging (e.g. Superchargers) is necessary for long distance road tripping, but is a pretty poor model for home-base usage.

Focusing on on-demand "fill up station" solutions for the city is misguided, as it clings to the assumptions and limitations of the gasoline infrastructure. Unlike gasoline, electricity is delivered safely and ubiquitously to your home (house, apartment, or condo), and the only significant barriers to home charging in your garage or carport are political.

IMO, Tesla would be better served developing and sharing legal and political resources to help break through these barriers than on physical in-city charging band-aids. In this instance, what's needed is model language for amending HOA and condo association bylaws to permit installation of EV chargers (at your assigned space), guidance on how to go about submitting and passing such amendments, and effective ways to solve the metering/billing issues.

Really, this would be a project for an electric vehicle trade group supported by variously interested parties: manufacturers of both the cars (Tesla) and chargers (Clipper Creek), installer/operators (Chargepoint), advocacy groups, etc.

The new American Dream: a chicken in every pot, an electric car charger in every garage.

carlgo | February 16, 2014

I visit people who live in condos and frankly it would be very difficult to accommodate chargers in some of them. Just the parking space issue alone is enough to dissuade even ardent supporters of electric cars at many condo and apartment locations.

The 5-hour trickle charge off someplace is a terrible alternative.

Free Superchargers are fine for those on certain major routes, but in the end there will have to be thousand of electric gas stations with Superchargers, free or not.

grega | February 16, 2014

Is there any merit in a trickle charge at home, with the occasional supercharger top up?

Or a 15 minute supercharge followed by a trickle charge topping up overnight

Earl and Nagin ... | February 16, 2014

I'm a little confused. Is the problem that Condo associations refuse to fund the installation and electricity for EV charging? Or is the problem that they won't let you pay to install a charging station?

2-Star | February 16, 2014

The latter.

Timo | February 16, 2014

@fulcrum, from your list I find 1, 4, 5, 6 and 7 to be most difficult to answer.

How would you answer to those questions. I'm asking this because I will probably have same trouble after I purchase GenIII car from Tesla.

It would be a lot easier if there were more than one BEV owner in the block. Getting electrics to the car is no problem, because most of the spots already have outlets for block heaters.

Brian H | February 18, 2014

The Condo Condundrum; I think it will only be solved when wannabe Model E owners take over the HOAs.

2-Star | February 18, 2014

One thing that would really help is a NEMA 14-50 usage meter -- one that simply plugs into the outlet and that has a female NEMA 14-50 socket for the Tesla UMC. That way users could measure what they owe to the condo association for their Tesla electricity consumption. Maybe Tesla could offer one as an accessory.

fulcrum | February 27, 2014


Those were the barriers I faced and they will abate as more owners universally demand at home charging in multi unit settings. It will be the "new norm". I am pleased Tesla has a very compelling argument in the Model S and future models towards this switch. I am not one for too much legislation but I think in this case it would be helpful. If you are able, try and lay the ground work for your future charging needs now and where you may have to move. Tesla will continue to do their part and soon there won't be lone wolves howling but a true "ground-swell" of EV users demanding at home charging at condos. I think I can get by with the super charger nearby for now until I move and looking at my patterns to see how it fits. Either way it's a go.

carolinagobo | September 5, 2014

I just send an email to The National Harbor Maryland about to get a SC and they will consider the idea. My association in The Condo at National Harbor is very open to let me install the charger, just asked for certified electrician and signed by electric engineer.

You can go to Tyson corner Mall and put some juice there.

Grinnin'.VA | September 5, 2014

@cberman | SEPTEMBER 5, 2014

"You can go to Tyson corner Mall and put some juice there."

I see a public HPWC charger in Tysons Corner? Do you have an address for it?

Ron :)