No home charging; opinions please

No home charging; opinions please

Like to get some opinions. So I got my email to finalize last week. Had planned on going for test drive to compare the P85 and S85 then ordering. However I'm finding out the apartment I live in won't install any outlets in the garage. I just moved into the building a few months ago...will probably have to break the lease.

My question for everyone is would it be feasible (though not practical) to survive on public chargers in the interim period while I look to move? My commute to and from work is about 13 miles only. I live in Orlando and it appears public chargers are pretty abundant as well. Even after I find a place to rent with a garage I'd still need an electrician to see if it can support a 240 outlet and the required amps which is another headache.

And yes I know Orlando houses are pretty cheap, why not buy? Mostly bc I'm not sure I want to stay in Florida.

Thanks for any feedback.

jat | January 23, 2013

With the 85kWh battery,you could easily go all week without charging, so I think it would be perfectly doable. If you had charging at work, I would say you wouldn't even have to worry about moving (someone has a LEAF and no charger at home, relying only on charging at work and public chargers and hasn't had a problem).

Robert22 | January 23, 2013

Go for it. I've had no problems charging at work with a similar commute. The recommendation to leave the car plugged in all night is much less necessary if your keeping it 75+ % charged.

ALSET | January 23, 2013

Thanks. So we set whether we want the car to charge to 100% or to stop at 75%?

jat | January 23, 2013

The standard charge, which is recommended for daily charging, goes to about 90%. The max-range charge fills the battery up completely, but degrades the battery slightly quicker so they only recommend doing that if you actually need the full range.

Superliner | January 23, 2013

My $.02 JUST GET THE CAR!! worry about the rest later! cheers and happy "gas free" motoring!

Robert22 | January 23, 2013

Keep in mind that most of the comments on this board come from people that would gladly pedal a stationary bike if necessary to generate electricity for their car ;)

Schlermie | January 23, 2013

I wasn't able to get a 240V outlet installed for weeks after I received my car. My commute is 20 miles each way, and I was able to manage some side trips during the day and still recharge using my 110V plug in the garage. I had to top off the remaining charge with some extended charging on Saturday.

ALSET | January 23, 2013

Schlemie, that's not even an option for me. My building has a multi-level garage for residents without an outlet of any kind including 110V. Even the thought of parking it in a shared garage rubs me the wrong way but want the car enough to overlook it.

gregv64 | January 23, 2013

It sounds like you may not have a charger near work either? If you have a way to charge while at work (even 110) I would say that you're fine. Even at 3 miles/hr you would recharge your commute during the work day. Otherwise it could be a problem. Public chargers often only charge about 15 miles per hour, so even though you could only charge once a week, you would need 5 hours at a public charger each week, which might not be convenient.

ALSET | January 23, 2013

There are quite a few charge points at work. Not sure if they are in the J1772 variety but I think relying on public parking will work...not comfortably but it'll work.

MandL | January 24, 2013

I agree, if there are chargers available at work you shouldn't have any problem. I wouldn't rely solely on 110v though. You will almost certainly be driving a lot more miles than you do now (it's just so much fun! and everyone wants a ride), especially in the first few weeks.

David Trushin | January 24, 2013

Sounds to me like there is a viable business model in here somewhere, sometime. City dwellers could be a large market for evs, but they often park on the street, or rent a space, or pay a fee for a garage. So how about building a charge garage and rent space? Or concierge charging (pick up the car, charge it, bring it back), or have truck will charge? Just sayin'.

Brad Holt | January 24, 2013

I'm in the EXACT same situation! I'm moving in August and this is exactly the thread I needed. I commute about 45mi each way, but we have charging station at my work. I intend to plug in during my work day and survive off of other public stations on weekends.

I was wondering: If you hook into a Blink charger and you're battery is ready within a couple hours, does Blink continue to charger the hourly rate if you leave it plugged in? I work 10hr days, and I'd love to just leave it out there on the charger while I'm at work so it can stay plugged in as much as possible. But on the other hand, $10/day adds up a lot faster than $2/day.

Anybody already had this experience?

prash.saka | January 24, 2013

We, too, are in pretty much the same situation. Our apartment's property management isn't too keen on getting one installed, even after we told them that we will foot the bill. Thankfully, there is a public charger close-by, less than 10 minute walk, and we plan on using it once a week, overnight. We don't have our car yet so, can't say how the experience will be.

Of course, we will keep asking the management every now-and-then whether they changed their minds.

~ Prash.

Epley | January 24, 2013

If ou have a charging station near work, you are good to go. Might create some delays with long road trips (having to stop a bit sooner), but I wouldn't sweat it.

jbunn | January 24, 2013


Parking 10 hours at a charging station is like parking at a gas pump and getting on a bus to go to work. We as EV owners get outraged when ev chargers get iced. We as EV owners have an obligation to our fellows to move our cars after we have sufficient charge. We are coming up on a very severe shortage of ev charging spots very soon once these catch on.

Charge it, then move it.

ModelS3P | January 24, 2013

jbunn: That is my worry at airports as well... because folks will not be able to move their cars once they are charged.

Brad Holt | January 24, 2013

I totally understand that. Right now they all pretty much go unused. I've only seen a car plugged into one one time since they were installed. I'm really just curious about how the charging ($) works. Even if my car finished charging and I was in a meeting or something, would I get charged for an extra hour if it took me that long to get back out and unplug it?

rdravenelle | January 24, 2013

ALSET, I am in the same boat as you. Fortunately I have free access to ChargePoint level 2 chargers at work, and take full advantage of them. But on the weekends, I've tracked down a few level 2 charging options that I can leave my Model S plugged in to overnight. One other interesting thing that come about is I now find myself going out more during the weekends to places that have charging options close by. And it has been fun to discover/rediscover places to go. I am still pushing the apt. complex owners to install a 14-50 socket, as it could become an amenity and selling point for the property. And if you are getting the 85kWh battery, you'll have more flexibility.

reitmanr | January 24, 2013

In CA I seem to recall that at least for condos, they can not restrict installation of charging stations, though how many is not clear, as well as who pays. Any one else know more about this?

As has been pointed out, having charge stations is a selling point for any place people must park- hotels, restaurants, parks, stores, etc.
The draw to stations will only grow over time as more evs and plug-ins are out there.
We need to continue to ask for them and be clear we will patronize facilities that have them and pass on those that don't.

Captain_Zap | January 24, 2013

Having a car without a charger at home may be "doable" but, I would definitely inquire about whether leaving the car unplugged and outside overnight routinely could take a greater toll on the longevity or long term performance of the battery. If the answer were affirmative, then I would want to know to what degree the batteries would be impacted. I would definitely ask Tesla about your specific situation. I wouldn’t be quite as concerned if I were in a very mild climate. I would definitely be asking lots of questions if I lived in a climate that had occasional high and low temperature extremes. It seems as if the batteries may be more heavily taxed if they are maintaining themselves all the time instead of being plugged in routinely.

I could be wrong though, and this may have already been taken into consideration when estimating the life and performance of the battery. Still, I try to keep my car plugged in whenever there is an opportunity presented.

DouglasR | January 24, 2013

If you haven't done so already, check out whether someone in the neighborhood has a garage they are willing to rent out. Even if it had only a 110 outlet, it might meet your needs.

ALSET | January 24, 2013

How much is it to install a Level 2 charge port? If it's the same cost as breaking my lease maybe I can just offer to install the charging station for them. When I move it's just another amenity they'll have to offer...and even if I don't move it would be a public charge point which would still benefit them.

HansJ | January 24, 2013

@ALSET - every situation is different but putting in a NEMA 14-50 plug in a garage is likely in the range of $1000-$2000. Depends on cost of permits, the distance from the sub-panel, and any upgrade to the electrical service if insufficient to handle the greater load.

jat | January 24, 2013

@Brad - the Model S disconnects the J1772 pilot signal when charging is complete, so Blink thinks it has been unplugged. Of course, someone else may come along and be unable to use the charger (even though the cable can be disconnected from the J1772 adapter, there may not be a parking space and they may not want to unhook your car).

@ALSET - if you had a garage and the distance to the breaker panel wasn't too far, it wouldn't be much. However, if this is curb-side, they would probably have to run conduit and install a pedestal, so my guess would be $2k on the low side.

@Captain_Zap - this past weekend I was out of town and I charged at the hotel charger the night I got there and the night before I drove back. Other than that, I left it unplugged and it was pretty cold (~20F). It only lost a few miles of range each night (I have 4.1 with sleep mode enabled), and the center console seemed to take longer to boot up but maybe that is just impatience to turn the heat on :). Other than that, I didn't notice anything.

Earl and Nagin ... | January 25, 2013

I would recommend as a possible alternative to your apartment that you find a nearby business (with a safe parking lot) that might want to attract EV driving customers. You could offer to install an EV charger with the agreement that you'd use it at night and their customers could use it during the day.
Most businesses won't be interested but you only need one to succeed.
If it comes for free or nearly so, and will attract customers, a smart business will be open to it.
I essentially did this with the Harris Ranch charging station where I wanted charging halfway between LA and SJ. I donated the charging station and Harris Ranch installed it at their place.
You might look into saving money by donating your contribution (money or a charger) to a charity (possibly or the electric automobile association at to install the charging station so you might actually get a tax deduction. I believe that if you do the legwork on the site and donate the money, either organization will help with installing the charging station. These folks will want to install a J-1772 so all EVs can use it but the Model S can use J-1772 just fine.

Brian H | January 25, 2013

Put in the max power version!

Smart! Very smart! And congratulations on your success at Harris Ranch. Do you have any inside info on expansion of the SC unit count there?

JoeBadge | January 25, 2013

Same situation here in Chicago. I walk to work - so when I need a charge, will head a block away to Whole Foods - most have 240V chargers. And yes, I ride my bike a lot - don't own a ICE auto.... Just hit the finalize button so let's make this happen!

JThompson | January 25, 2013

Check to see if someone has a plug you can share (and share the cost).

dahtye | January 25, 2013

@Brian H, I was at the Tejon Ranch SC station on Tuesday and the electrician was out there fixing and enabling additional chargers. I spoke to him about the situation at Harris Ranch (there being only one SC at that location). He said he "personally" will be starting the Harris Ranch installation in a few weeks. There will be 10 bays at that location once they are completed. Estimate time to complete is early May.

@ALSET, I don't normally charge at home. I do most of my charging at work on either NEMA 14-50 or Blink chargers. I drive 40 miles round trip home/work every day. This has not been a problem for me. In the 3 months that I've owned my Model S, I've probably charged at home only about 10 times - even though I have 110V in the garage and NEMA 14-50 in the driveway.

I also just posted my experience driving from Northern California to Southern California last weekend. I drove many miles around Southern California without charging (over a 2 day period). The range of the 85KWHr battery is a definite must have though.

Captain_Zap | January 25, 2013

@ jat

I was wondering if it would reduce the life or capacity of the battery over the long term. (i.e. 5-10 years down the road)