Buying a Tesla M3 if I don't have a home charger

Buying a Tesla M3 if I don't have a home charger

I am interested in buying either the Model 3 RWD Mid Range, or the AWD Long Range. The issue is that I live in a townhome/condo that I rent, and there isn't a garage or a carport. So I don't have a means to charge the car at home, nor does my work have chargers either. Living in the Northern Virginia area, I see two superchargers, but they are about 20 minutes away, if not more. The only other way to charge my car is through EVgo or PlugShare apps, not that ideal.

Without a home or work charging ability, is it even worth it to buy a Tesla?

cbmilehigh | 2019年3月5日

it would a big hassle for you to charge. So, no, do not get a Tesla

slingshot18 | 2019年3月5日

It certainly makes ownership more complicated. I charge at home and can't imagine the hassle of not doing it at home.

gmkellogg | 2019年3月5日

I would say no, unless you can convince the homeowner to petition the association to add chargers, I don't think it's going to make much sense to get a EV at this point. If your lease is expiring soon you could hold off until then and try to find a new place with a EV charger or outlet.

Effopec | 2019年3月5日

Without home or work charging and so far from a SC I would say no. Your options are to request permission from your condo complex to install a charger, or request your company to do the same.

My closest SC is about 20 minutes and there is no way I would have bought the car if I had to go there once a week.

j.nichol | 2019年3月5日

I lived in an apartment for a while, and I faced the same dilemma. I ended up buying a house just to have a Tesla.

(Just kidding about the reason, but seriously I don't think it would be worth it while renting with no access to a charger in your 'home' space.)

coleAK | 2019年3月5日

+1 ^^^ I agree don’t get one if you can’t charge at home/work. We’ve had a Tesla for almost 5 years and charge 99% of the time at home and work. Wait until you have housing where you can install or destination charging is everywhere.

Tuning In | 2019年3月5日

If you have enough range so that you only have to charge once a week, I can see how you can make the SuperCharger work. Otherwise, the situation is going to get old really fast.

Carl Thompson | 2019年3月5日

Before I bought my house I lived in an apartment and charged my EV at public chargers. While I managed it's not something I would choose to do again.

Hokies84 | 2019年3月5日

Gotcha. Thanks all for the prompt answers. I am still going to go test drive these this weekend just to see which trim I like, but until I have a house with charger, no purchasing for me

thanks again!

Effopec | 2019年3月5日

Careful with that test drive. You may try to convince yourself that you can make it work, and at least partially regret that later.

rsingh05 | 2019年3月5日

I charge at work (mostly) or supercharger when I am not able to charge at work (occasionally). The supercharger is 2 miles from me, but even if it was 15 miles away I'd still do it. I have no plans to add a 220v charger at home and am completely happy with the setup.

As long as you can find out a way to charge once a week (assuming that's sufficient for you) without major inconvenience, I'd do it. It could be supercharging or another form of public charging near your house or work, I'd go for it.

markr7 | 2019年3月5日

Think about if the nearest gas station was 20 minutes away & had very slow pumps that took an hour to fill your tank.
Like someone stated above, that would get old real fast.

rsingh05 | 2019年3月5日

Again maybe I'm the only one on this thread by I see people driving 20 minutes or more each way to Costco, and wait there at least 20 minutes to fill up. I also see so many people fill up at superchargers regularly - lots of those Model S/Xs with free supercharging. They drive up to the SC, either read a book or watch a movie or go shop nearby. If you don't mind the cost (still better than gas), it's not bad at all.

Many libraries at least here in CA have Chargepoint stations. If there's one close enough to your house, you could use those.

At worst, it would be an inconvenience once a week, so it would come down to how much you love your car.

I'm pretty sure nobody here filled gas at home, and charging at home is certainly not a requirement to own a Tesla.

Pierogi | 2019年3月5日

Have you checked for nearby Chargepoint charging stations? Sometimes those are even free of cost. Maybe there is one by your home, office, or supermarket you can use? Worth considering.

Also worth considering using an extension chord at home and work to charge, although not efficient I realize.

OCModel3 | 2019年3月5日

Are there no nearby shopping centers/restaurant areas that have the J-1772 plug in options? Those will charge about 20-25 miles an hour. Before I got my home wall charger installed, I used those typically for an hour or two at a time to keep close to a full charge. Check the PlugShare app for a map around your residence that will show you all of the locations and rates for chargers (most of which are pretty reasonable rates to charge).

While I love having the home charger, we survived three months just using the local J-1772 plugs and it really was not that big of a hassle...go to dinner, go to a movie, go shopping, etc.

Goofy Runner | 2019年3月5日

check out to see where there are chargers near you. maybe you can find a new complex to move to which will have a charging location. even being able to charge with a 120V outlet overnight (4-5 miles/hour) is a solution provided that you do not have too far of a commute.

dmastro | 2019年3月5日

OP is totally buying a Tesla

Teslanene | 2019年3月5日

I drive once a week 20 miles to super charge because it’s free and the rest of the week I top off with 120v. I’m just too lazy to buy an adapter to use my 10-30 dryer plug.

Hokies84 | 2019年3月5日

lol at all these replies. You have one diehard, and everyone else is reasonable. I am not an emotional buyer, and I already own a supercharged nissan 350z. The issue is that, in its 12 year of service, shes not as reliable as she used to be.I wish she could live forever though

rsingh05 | 2019年3月5日

@hokies84 - where do you live btw? At least here in CA, many many people use superchargers for regular charging and not all of them live 5 minutes from one. Supercharging is definitely the norm here (for better or for worse), can't speak for other places with lower supercharger density.

I personally know a family who bought two Teslas 6 and 3 years ago, respectively (real early adopters). They used to travel 50 miles every week to supercharge (and not because they can't afford their home or add a charger at home).

Blacklamb | 2019年3月5日

I have a few co-workers and I plan to once I get my SR+ that don't charge at work. The city my office is in has subsidized chargers in the park next to my office and it's cheaper to charge there than home. If you can find good chargers in reasonable distance from where you spend time or use super chargers. It's easy to not have one at home. This was a big worry of mine too before pulling the trigger but after talking to the other owners at work I decided it was possible.

surfpearl | 2019年3月5日

Go for it, where there is a will, there is a way!
In addition to your condo people, ask your employer if they plan to install EV chargers and why not. Tell them that the future is closer than it seems and don't take No for an answer easily. Maybe there is a sympathetic business near your work that already has EV charging and would let you use it if you ask nicely. Then walk or skate or bike to/from your office for a while until a permanent solution, i.e., the 21st century, at your home or work comes to fruition.
If the two nearby SCs have a restaurant or a gym, etc. nearby you can alternate and plan your time accordingly. Mix it up a little, Model 3 is worth it!

Hal Fisher | 2019年3月5日

If you do find a closer charger, findout its charging rate. Some are slow and can take hours.

bradbomb | 2019年3月5日

I'm in Southern California and I own my Model 3 without having home or work charging. I have taken advantage of charging (Level 2) available at Whole Foods around here. Also, I do charge at a Supercharger once a week on the weekends to fill up. Its not ideal, I know, but I still love my Model 3 and the situation works because I do not have long commutes during the week.

Rt002k | 2019年3月5日

I am in temporary housing (AirBnB) while listing my house for sale. Not being able to charge at home has been quite an inconvenience, and my one customer that has EV chargers has them full most of the time. It being cold out has doesn't help. I would certainly not recommend it if you don't have a reliable charging solution at home or work.

Lonestar10_1999 | 2019年3月5日

One of your goals while renting a townhouse is to become a homeowner. Another goal would be to own an EV once you are settled in your own home. Don’t put the cart before the horse with EV ownership.

jcd82 | 2019年3月5日

Have you considered just trickle charging on a normal 115V outlet as an option? I do that at home and work and works just fine for my very short commute. You may find outlets in your work garage or home garage if you haven’t considered it.

kenduong03 | 2019年3月5日

don't let the "cool factor" of driving a Tesla bring so much inconvenient to your life.

if you think driving an EV could save you money in the long run, then just buy a Prius, its more cost effective. just do the math (not talking about quick math in your head, like math on an excel sheet were you list out everything).

but if money isn't the problem, well then i think you wouldn't be renting if this is the case.

douger1la | 2019年3月5日

I would suggest no. Home charging is easy and convenient. Super charging is ok, but in reality they have become Super crowded! You'll often wait in line for 10-20 minutes. Also, a lot of the chargers don't seem to be charging at 200-400 miles/hour, i often see rates closer to 125 miles/hour, so that's now a pain.

Also, be aware that the daily charging rate is typically 90% of the total battery's capacity. Also be aware that the rated Miles on the battery is at optimal driving, so it can go down about 10-20% based on temperature and speed (if you're driving over 60mph (and who doesnt?!))

eplaskett | 2019年3月5日


Like most others, I would suggest waiting a bit. If you're renting this place, maybe you could find another that does offer charging when your lease is up?

Your Z is a great car and I hope you can keep it going as long as you need and/or want to. Love the Japanese GTs and coupes... I grew up riding in and then driving my parents' 280Z and Supra. The Model 3 reminds me of them, to an extent... So much fun!

Great game between my Noles and your Hokies tonight, by the way. Coming down to the wire!

sheldon.mike1010 | 2019年3月5日

It all comes down to your daily/weekly commute mileage. If it could be managed with 2 or less stops a week, this car if definitely worth getting. There's a reason for all the rabid Tesla lovers like me. It is a fantastic car in many ways and will continue to be improved with OTA firmware updates. If you like computers and cars, I would recommend trying a stretch to do it.

ndwolfwood09 | 2019年3月5日

I have a SC station literally 3 miles east and west of where I live. Takes so much faster charging at a SC 1-1:20 mins and I play my switch or browse on my phone. I normally do it every 4 days after work between 8-10PM depending on the traffic. This is kinda convenient, out of the way a bit, but super fast! I'd be watching Netflix, browse, or playing games anyways at home.

I charge at home sometimes, with a regular charger, I get about 20-30 mi over night (9PM-8AM, cheaper electric rates) and top off over the weekend. This is convenient, but it takes a long time!

Hokies84 | 2019年3月6日


I have a 2007 350z and the engine had about 58K mileage on it a few months ago. The timing chain, which is supposed to last 120K failed at half that. It took the entire engine out with it, requiring me to source another used one. This engine (same mileage), labor install, super charger install, cost about $8K.

I'm kinda over nissan, their reliability isn't as great as people claim

mr.mark.tarver | 2019年3月6日

I recently purchased a Model 3 performance fully loaded. I live in a town home in Park Slope Brooklyn with no Chargers. The transition of going from a Gas to Electric has been very challenging. I have a super charger 3 miles away from my house but every where in NYC that has a super charger also charges you to park there, so I wont be seeing any fuel savings, most likely I'll be paying more to charge the vehicle and here is why. the 310 mile range advertised for the model 3 isn't attainable in cold climates, nor is it attainable if you are driving in sport mode or even if you drive the car like a normal combustion engine vehicle. You have to relearn how to drive with regenerative breaking and consciously try to get back electricity when you can, on hills in traffic, etc. i.e. I drove very mild this morning, kept the car at 50 mph and below, Lots of regenerative breaking down hills and in heavier traffic. The Commute to work was 33.3 miles. Left the house with 290 Miles left on the battery- got to work with 245 This poor mileage is due to the fact that it is 21 degrees or below 30. I commute 54 miles total per day and I have been having to charge every 3rd day driving at Highway speeds between 50-80 mph in sports mode. There are slow chargers two and three miles from my Job and I can park the car and take and uber to work and then back. There is an EV charger 3 blocks from my house, But there is always a Combustion Engine vehicle parked in that spot. I am told once the weather warms up I should see better mileage. So Charging in lieu of gassing up is definitely a lifestyle transition, no doubt, especially if you don't have a garage with a plug. But that said, I made the decision to go Electric for the environment. I made the decision to go with the Model 3 performance for performance. When I purchased the vehicle I thought I would only have to charge once a week not 3 times a week and that was a real bummer but the car is so fun to drive and the red with the white interior looks so spot on, I just kind of don't care anymore about the charging thing. Its something I am getting more and more used to.

hokiegir1 | 2019年3月6日

I agree with most of the others -- you didn't give info about your daily commute, but if you can't charge at home *or* work, I'd definitely give it some pause. If you can find an exterior 110 (standard) outlet at work or home and your commute is less than 50 miles round trip (give or take what you can add in 8-10 hours with that plug), you can absolutely make it work with maybe only an occasion stop at a supercharger. Any more than that, unless those superchargers are also somewhere you go regularly (like a grocery store, where you could shop for a few days while charging), I'd probably not go with it.

Hal Fisher | 2019年3月6日

A timing chain broke? They usually never need replacement let alone break. And you only had 57k on a ‘07? Lot of weird stuff going on in that last remark.

Hokies84 | 2019年3月6日

@Hall Fisher

The bad timing chain was apparently a class action lawsuit issue, several 2007 range Nissan models were included but my Z wasn't. It probably should have though

"Nissan Agrees to Settle Timing Chain Defect Class Action Lawsuit "

MrSexyTime | 2019年3月6日

Do not test drive before it is practical. I was under the referral plan with six months free supercharging with a supercharger less than 10 miles from me, and still bought a home charger in less than a month (though I had a 110 outlet available and used it). If you do not have at least a 110 outlet available to you, and can't get by on a charging speed of four miles per hour, do not test drive (unless you need additional incentive to change your living situation).

Tuning In | 2019年3月6日

Don’t expect to use public level 2 charging stations. They shouldn’t be part of your plan for routine charging. They are either ICE or in use. After 5 years with EV’s (back when range was short) I came to the conclusion that I shouldn’t expect to be able to use one. I’m surprised when one is available.

Carl Thompson | 2019年3月6日

"This engine (same mileage), labor install, super charger install, cost about $8K."

That's actually not a bad price. Should your Model 3s battery fail out of warranty it might cost you more than that to replace it all told.

Halbach | 2019年3月6日

After the 8 year battery warranty expires, I assure you the battery will not cost $8k.

Tuning In | 2019年3月6日

The battery PACK is made up of many tiny batteries. When your water pump and injectors go out, do you go out and get a whole new engine? Or do you replace what is broken?

Carl Thompson | 2019年3月6日

"After the 8 year battery warranty expires, I assure you the battery will not cost $8k."

Perhaps. Perhaps not. But we are talking about the _installed_ price including labor and materials. The labor won't be cheap as supposedly it's nowhere as easy to replace the pack in the 3 as it is in the S or X. Apparently the interior of the car has to be removed to access the bolts and that can't be cheap.

calpilot7 | 2019年3月6日

No garage or dedicated charger then you’re a moron if you buy an electric car.

lordcn1 | 2019年3月6日

I live in Arlington in a Condo near Pentagon City. I use a ChargePoint charger at the adjacent apartment complex and its free except I pay the parking fee of $5. Worth it. Suggest you try the ChargePoint App. A local Giant near Potomac yards, the local Cosco, the Whole Foods all have level 2 chargers for free with some parking restrictions. If you need a weekly charge drive over to Springfield Mall. Eventually they'll put more superchargers in the area. You might ask your landlord if they'd allow a 30AMP NEMA 15-50 plug install at the end of the driveway. That's what I have at our second home in Maine. Our condo will install one this year sometime. Be persistent.

bradbomb | 2019年3月6日

@calpilot7 Thanks for calling me an idiot. I don't have a way to charge at home or at work and I have been completely fine for 8 months and it hasn't affected me negatively. I use free public chargers when I go to lunch sometimes, I sometimes take an hour on a Saturday or Sunday and fully charge at a Supercharging station in Glendale or Burbank. No issues

slingshot18 | 2019年3月6日

@Halbach Why do you think the battery is going to fail after 8 years? I've seen very little evidence the failure rate is high enough to worry about at that point.

hcdavis3 | 2019年3月6日

I’m kind of in your situation, but in my case only for a few days. I ordered my model 3 yesterday and it’s available for delivery tomorrow. It’s a demo with 60 miles on the ODO. I won’t have 240 volts in my garage until next week. I told delivery people to completely charge the car, and if I have to there is a Supercharger about 20 minutes away. I feel bad for you and other condo owners because there is no practical way to own a Tesla. Sorry.

sroh | 2019年3月6日

I have one more piece of advice for the OP.

If you are going to take heed to the recommendations to not purchase a Model 3 right away (and I agree with these recommendations), DO NOT TAKE A TEST DRIVE! Once you do, you'll start coming up with reasons to make the purchase.

ModernTriDad | 2019年3月6日

We sold our home a little over 2 years ago and we're in an apartment community w/o any chargers here. I was a little concerned about it when I was deciding to buy the Model 3 Performance LR. My mind was mostly made up to buy it though, so I did it knowing it may be a challenge. There is a supercharger here and it's 15-20 minutes from our home. The problem is that I am getting horrible charge rates after using it as my primary charging source. All superchargers have been showing a consistent max charge rate of under 70 kw, usually around 50kw. I've had the car since 11/27/2018. I submitted the issue to Tesla and they recommended a service check to troubleshoot, but the nearest SC is 1.5 hrs away. For now I found a local 30A charging station that is free and right next to my local YMCA so I workout/go to Starbucks and slow charge while there. It's worked out as a great alternative until we decide where to settle and buy a home.

So - look around for options like those if you are already mentally committed to buying. There is likely a free or low cost, local option for charging. I wouldn't count on just supercharging with the questions surrounding the battery longevity. The issue with my battery supercharge rate may not be the norm though.