Enough about HUD- Condo Charging Options?

Enough about HUD- Condo Charging Options?

I'm a long time lurker and Tesla enthusiast. I've been waiting for this car since 2010. I don't care about a HUD (yes it would have been cool) and while waiting for AWD is unfortunate (I would have gotten it but now I won't) I'm over it. I'm high on Tesla and I will be getting the car as soon as I possibly can.

However, I live in a condo building with outdoor assigned parking and I'm trying to determine the best way to charge my future Tesla. There are no other EV's in the lot and no available outlets to modify. The condo is basically a starter house (in the city) and in 3 years I'll hopefully be moving so I want to spend as little as possible. The condo building is small (22 units) and I will be unlikely to convince them to install a charger.

I'm confident they will allow me to make modifications as long as I pay for them. Does anyone have any suggestions for the most cost effective solution? And how can I address the condo boards likely concern that I am paying for the charging costs and not the building as a whole?

FYI- The nearest supercharger is 30 miles away and not a viable option.
I drive 84 miles round trip for work (nearest supercharger to work is an additional 12 miles/20 minutes past work)


hsuru4u | March 30, 2017

wow. Maybe now is not the best time to get one? Unless you pay to get one put on your condo site and it would have to be at your [parking site as what will you do ..go out at 2am to move your car? But if you are bent on getting one then you will have to go to the charger near work every day or 2 days if possible. that would suck though. Imagine having to go to the gas station every day or every 2 days. I alwaus wonder about others in this same situation..renters in apts...or condo owners with out garages. Or anyone who has to park on the street. An ev really doesnt make sense in these situations maybe. May be more of a hassle.

Carl Thompson | March 30, 2017

So you're saying you don't own the condo you're just renting it? Then it's going to be very tough to convince the owners and the board to install anything for you. Truthfully owning and charging an EV is going to be tough if you don't own a house. I guess you could try to be one of those people that does all of their local charging at the superchargers but I think that's going to be really difficult and inconvenient when there are hundreds of thousands of other new Model 3 owners all also needing a place to charge. I believe if Tesla allows Model 3 owners to charge cheaply at local superchargers as often as they like it's just going to be a mess for everyone.


erik.chew | March 30, 2017

I am having a similar situation since I live in a condo (i own it) and installing the infrastructure to put a charger is proving to be difficult. The best advice I have read so far is to just be a part of the HOA board so that you can get your point across and have a bit less hassle with getting approval.

Let us know how it goes.

erik.chew | March 30, 2017

Keep in mind that California SB-880 legally allows you to have and install a charging station, providing that you pay for all installation costs yourself for your assigned parking spot, or get the board to install a shared charger.

hsuru4u | March 30, 2017

model 3 owners will be charged alot for supercharging is what i hear

topher | March 30, 2017

"model 3 owners will be charged alot for supercharging is what i hear"

You shouldn't believe all you hear. Look how silly it makes the President look.

Thank you kindly.

acares | March 30, 2017

I own the condo but it's small and we're thinking about expanding our family. So if all goes well, we will sell or rent out our condo in a couple years. The parking spot is assigned so I would not have to move my car at any point.

I believe that the condo board will allow me to add a way to charge as long as I pay for it. I am willing to pay money to have something installed I'm just looking at options and how much $$ it might cost. As said earlier, based on where the superchargers are located as of now that is not an option for me right now.

4fishtankz | March 30, 2017

Do you have a 240 outlet you can have access to? (or wire one?). This would be one like for major appliances. They have portable chargers that can be plugged into those. Of course this type of charger will take a little longer to charge the vehicle, so you'll have to do your homework. ClipperCreek has them

and here's a new one I just saw googling:

Double check the specs of how long it will take to charge using each model before deciding. Also when we get close, power companies may offer incentives for chargers so keep an eye for that!

acares | March 30, 2017

@4fishtankz no access to an outlet near the parking lot.

4fishtankz | March 30, 2017

How about at work? Is there a building at your condo that you could park next to and have an outlet wired to?

acares | March 30, 2017

Parking is next to the building so it's possible I can have an outlet installed there. An idea what that would cost? Building is brick.

Work is probably not an option.

Efontana | March 30, 2017

Should have a nice option for you and the condo board soon.

acares | March 30, 2017

@Efontana- that would be awesome. How soon we talking and what's the price range?

4fishtankz | March 30, 2017

Cost depends on where the electrical panel is. You could have electricians come out and give an estimate. Make sure you get one knowledgeable installing chargers. Clipper Creek can give you names in your area. Again wait till it's closer to getting your car to get one since electrical companies could have incentives (or keep an eye out). Also, check if the charger can handle a Tesla's charging needs.

hsuru4u | March 30, 2017

let it go man. The cost will be way too much. Town homes are glorified apt's. Maybe now is not the time for a ev. Hybrid...sure... full ev...maybe not

SoFlaModel3 | March 30, 2017

Condo laws are evolving. I work in property management.

What state do you live in?

You should reach out to your property manager now and inquire. Information gathering is free.

Jerrylooney | March 30, 2017

cultivate alternatives as well . Can you ask your office to consider installing a charger?

Efontana | March 31, 2017


To get a good answer to your direct questions, there is a little technical work to do and a lot more relationship building to do. Solving your problem is key to the success of EVs in improving air quality in large cities around the world.

From a technical perspective, we will be presenting this solution on Thursday next week at the SAE World Congress in Detroit:

The title is - More Efficient Inductive Electric Vehicle Charger: Using Autonomy to Improve Energy Efficiency.

On reflection, this is designed to be more appealing to your condo board than it is to you. It does not make the condo look like a filling or service station, as there are no flexible armored cords. You can spray it with bed liner and drive over it with an F-250 (design goal). It is less sexy and approaches... invisible.

We have made a million power electronics similar those used here, so the problem is not technical.
It is about relationships, which are harder.

Ideally, as our company is being sold off this year, we end up owned by a consortium of EV manufacturers focused on solving the problem of home charging at condos and apartments.

Since condo boards are made up of territorial humans, Tesla, and Tesla owners, may have too strong a brand for success. Something less sexy, and more invisible, could work well.

That is our direction, key points being:

1) You are not the only one with your problem.
2) Success, by any real measure, requires that your problem be solved.

acares | March 31, 2017

@hsuru4u I'm not a man and i'm done with ICE.

@SoFlaModel3 Chicago IL. We have a board meeting in about a month. If anyone leaves the board I will attempt to get on it, otherwise I will get their permission to start quoting options.

@Jerrylooney I will certainly look into charging at my office, however the company is basically broke and odds of them approving are slim.

NKYTA | March 31, 2017

"Town homes are glorified apt's."

Yeah, and here in NorCal they are selling for a million dollars in spots!

I take comfort in my NEMA 14-50 at the bottom of my town house.

SamO | March 31, 2017


I'd get an electrician to come out and give you a quote. Let them look at the box (your maintenance person should have access) and have your quote ready at the board meeting.

Come up with options if more people want to do the same thing. This is the biggest fear of any board. If you get the benefit, which is not available to everyone.

That mitigates for a public charging station. On the other hand, if your condo has capacity, other tenants can do something similar. I'd just make sure you have answers to the Fear Uncertainty and Doubt regarding EVs and charging.

What you want is just an "OUTLET" not an EV charger. It will freak people out less. Just keep telling them that the charger is INSIDE THE CAR.

acares | March 31, 2017

@SamO- yup, definitely just aiming for an outlet. But you're right, I should quote out options in case anyone else would like to do the same thing. Thanks for the insight.

SamO | March 31, 2017


I have a condo owner I referred, that I helped get charging at his condo. He was using the Culver City Supercharger and Santa Monica city chargers until he took matters into his own hand and had an electrician install an outlet.

The board went bananas and threatened to pull everything out. He pointed out the law (on his side) and now they are installing 10 commercial chargers. Commercial chargers suck and will make the cost of electricity reach or exceed the cost of gasoline, so try and avoid like the plague.

andy.connor.e | March 31, 2017

Same deal here. Wondering if my complex will install an on site charging station.

hsuru4u | March 31, 2017

why would a complex pay for it? If you want your own charger pay for it if i can be done without interfering with others living. If there were 10 tesla owners in 1 complex then pool together funds and ask the complex hoa people if you can install a charger or 2.

SamO | March 31, 2017

The complex doesn't pay for it. The charging company pays for the installation, and the EV owners pay the charging company to use the chargers.

Civicrick | March 31, 2017

I dont know what the layout is but even if you get an outlet on the outside of the building will there be an issue with your cord running acoss a walkway and creating liability issues? Maybe theres a utility room with a removed parking space or two you could work with. Or close to a fenced in air conditioning equipment area?

SoFlaModel3 | March 31, 2017

Good luck with the board!

acares | April 3, 2017

@civicrick My parking space is next to the building (less than 10ft) so thankfully that's not an issue.

tstolz | April 3, 2017

EV charging will quickly become a necessary feature for all apartments and condos .. unless of course they don't want tenants.

For the life of me I don't understand why these boards and owners wouldn't look at EVs as an opportunity and make money off it. How often does a Busienss get the chance to have essentially captive customers begging for a service?

hsuru4u | April 3, 2017

i think it WONT need to be a feature for apts....i mean if you had enough money to buy an s model or even a new 3 model you would likely already have a house 1st...right? Or a garage with power i expect. Anyone who buys a 50-100k car while renting is foolish.Why throw you $$ away on rent and a car?

Civicrick | April 3, 2017

There r arguments that renting isnt necessarily all THAT foolish. You dont pay for new roofs or stoves or painting- and the monthly payment is usually cheaper with rent.

KP in NPT | April 3, 2017

Hsuru4u you sound like you have never lived in a big city.

SamO | April 3, 2017


We’re putting Superchargers in cities, not just between cities. And this is obviously important in places like, you know, Beijing, Shanghai, London, San Francisco, New York, where at times people may have a challenge with having a fixed parking space. It’s more like some of those people don’t have a definitive parking space. And they might have street parking or something, you know. London is particularly tricky one; where there’s – it’s got lot of high-end neighborhoods just have street parking.

acares | April 4, 2017

@SamO still hoping for the supercharger in Chicago. But in reality you never know how helpful that will be. You could have a supercharger only 8 miles away that takes 30 minutes to get to if it's a large city.

Carl Thompson | April 4, 2017

Also I wonder with a large influx of Model 3 buyers I wonder if the superchargers will be swamped around the major metropolitan areas? Or Tesla might do more to restrict their use locally (that makes sense to me). I definitely wouldn't buy a Model 3 assuming it will be quick and easy to use the superchargers in metropolitan areas.

Civicrick | April 4, 2017

I wonder if it will ever be feasible to have battery swap stations where you just drive thru.

hsuru4u | April 4, 2017

I have lived in plenty of big cities. If i get an ev i want a garage and my own plug. If a complex can give me that then i would live there but if they do it wont be cheap so why not look at owning-at least your money isnt being tossed away every month.

acares | April 4, 2017

@hrsuru4u based on property values it's not always feasible to own a house in a city. Even if you do buy a house, in Chicago most older garages are also detached. I bet the price to run electric to a detached garage is = or > to running electric to my parking spot.

KP in NPT | April 4, 2017

That's great for you Hsuru4u - but plenty of city or apartment dwellers are working with their condo boards/landlords/city councilors/state legislators to make BEVs a viable option for them, and others. Sustainable transport means for all drivers - not just those with homes with outlets.

Carl Thompson | April 4, 2017

"I wonder if it will ever be feasible to have battery swap stations where you just drive thru."

Tesla tested that and had a battery swap station. Seems like they've decided it's not a worthwhile approach.


Carl Thompson | April 4, 2017

There just aren't a lot of really good options for people that don't own a house yet. Maybe at some point businesses like restaurants where people often spend time will have chargers. Coupled with larger batteries and people could simply charge while they take their family to dinner at the local Olive Garden. Your electricity charge would just be added to your bill. The restaurant would likely just charge what the electricity costs and not more. The real value for them is the incentive you have to come and eat a their restaurant every week.

Carl | April 4, 2017

Every condo or apartment situation is a little different. I owned a condo with indoor, assigned parking. The unit was directly over the garage. The Board gave approval to my proposed NEMA outlet because it was to be wired to my unit's breaker box. The estimate for the job was $1400. I didn't follow through because we sold the unit (It had been a rental.).

We negotiated the purchase of a pre-construction condo in a mid-rise building with indoor assigned parking. The contract is contingent on a NEMA 14-50 outlet installation at our 2 spaces.


Frank99 | April 4, 2017

acares -
When you have the electrician out to look things over, ask him where the cheapest place to get the charger installed would be. Perhaps by swapping your assigned parking with another tenant, the whole process might be simpler and cheaper. I'm not suggesting that the Board take on the job of forcing swaps (nobody will want to do that), rather that you take on the job of "relationship building" and talk to the owners of the better charging spots, and see if you can sweet-talk them into being agreeable to a change.

M3München | April 6, 2017

I just got the cost estimate for an electric line (3-phase, 16A, 11kW) from my meter to my parking spot in the underground garage -- nearly 1500€ including parts and labor. Now the difficult part... I have to get permission from all the owners in the condo association.

Carl Thompson | April 6, 2017


You don't want something bigger than 16A?

Carl Thompson | April 6, 2017

"16A, 11kW"

So you're putting in a 660V line?


M3München | April 6, 2017

I'm in Germany (Munich). Think of it as 3 x 220V lines.

I'm guessing links won't work, but here goes...

Furioso | April 6, 2017

Sorry, but M3 München relates directly to BMW for me... (Slovenia) lol

Red Sage ca us | April 6, 2017

Am I the only one that glances at how the title of this thread has 'HUD' followed by 'condo' and wonders why there is something in the Model 3 forum speaking of Housing and Urban Development of real estate?