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Charging Station in Apartment Complex

Charging Station in Apartment Complex

Apologies if this topic has been posted before. I couldn't find anything on here on it, but could be wrong.

I was wondering, who here will be living in an apartment complex when they finally get their M3? Or who here already owns a Tesla and lives in an apartment complex?

Do any of you plan on getting a charging station in your complex, or know how long the process takes to get it all set up? I know there's a series of inspections and city codes your building has to pass.

In CA (where I live), there are laws where apartment complexes have to accommodate (cost goes to tenant) for charging stations for tenants who have electric cars.

I know the topic of Supercharging stations is a hot topic these days. I for one don't want to depend on them and would rather charge at home. I'm just not 100% clear on the process from start to finish and how apartment buildings like to deal with it.

Red Sage ca us | April 11, 2016

Probably best to make your voice heard among property management companies and owners of rental properties. Explain that they are more likely to get your business if their facility supports easy, convenient charging of electric vehicles. Once there are enough inquiries, the more progressive of them will certainly make a move in your direction.

Sweetride | April 11, 2016

Recently I inquired about installing an outlet in a condo I was thinking of buying. The building is nearly new and the builder had installed traces from eac unit's power panel down to a termination block in the garage, and a conduit then could be installed to a particular parking spot. This seemed like a great solution but still not cheap. I can only imagine what an older building would need to do to provide individual charging stations.

Roamer@AZ USA | April 11, 2016

As an apartment building owner I can tell you this will be a difficult problem for many years.

We are planning it in all new construction. Older communities may never be able to add much capacity.

Everyone should ask at every opportunity. Word will filter up that solutions need to be found. To many factors to list or discuss them all here.

Deltaflaze | April 11, 2016

I live in an apartment with Model S in Madison, WI. It's a 3 building-complex with maybe 50 units per building (4 floors, underground parking in each one). I approached the landlord and asked if I could install an outlet. They said yes. Cost me $300 through a private electrician. Landlord agreed to pay the electricity since it would be minimal (drive 20 miles a day-ish) and because I paid for the outlet installation. We agreed that if they noticed it was costing them more than $50/month, I would be contacted. I've been charging for over a year and haven't heard from them about it costing too much.

Red Sage ca us | April 11, 2016

Deltaflaze: +1! Excellent.

Morlandoemtp061383 | April 12, 2016

I am purchasing a house being built I asked the builder if they can put in a 14-50 Nema in the garage, they told me they don't want to change anything in the plans, that I can do it once I own the house. =( Time to go bribe the electrician when he is there.

Haggy | April 12, 2016

The builder needs to understand what's coming in the future, and that having garages with the outlets in place, or at least with the wiring in place, will help them sell more homes. When I bought my house, it had an empty box on the wall for breakers, as well as internal wiring for the AC. It also included tubing. For a 14-50 it's even easier. They just need to make sure that the main breaker box has enough room for the breakers, and they need to have a conduit running to an empty outlet box.

Tell the builder that if they want to be so uncooperative, you will be consulting with a lawyer to find any possible grounds for canceling the sale, and it would be cheaper and easier for them to simply oblige.

PhillyGal | April 12, 2016

@Morlandoemtp - No bribe needed! This is a very simple thing they ought be doing when you ask since they're surely making plenty of profit. You can even go and buy the outlet (I think ours was $9) and drop it off to them to make it easier.

PTP | April 12, 2016

@morlandoemtp: if you are going to do it, make sure you do it before they have the walls/floors finished. You don't want to have to try to run the conduit if the panel you are attaching it to is far away from the garage after it is finished. It is lame the builder said no, sounds like a weird builder since they usually recognize they would get paid more for having the elctrician do it since they usually take a percentage

alias4me | April 12, 2016

@Morlandoemtp061383: Having been in construction it is ridiculous that the builder refused. Every project has changes, and what you requested is minor.

rich | April 12, 2016

For larger condo/apartment buildings, it is cost-prohibitive to provide a circuit for every spot because the cost of the panel(s) with sufficient amperage gets pricey. Worse still, the utility sometimes can't provide the aggregate power to the building.

The best way to approach this is to share a few circuits with a larger number of parking stalls. People don't typically charge at the same time, or have to charge for more than a couple hours. The way to share circuits is to use a WiFi-enabled EVSE like EMotorwerks or get their Kickstarter product that lets you Wi-Fi enable any EVSE. This is the solution we went with in our Portland, OR Condo. It's designed to allow 30 parking spots share 6 40A circuits. Condo owners are required to get a supported Wi-Fi enabled EVSE and pay for conduit to their spot.