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Interested in buying an electric Vehicle - but nowhere to charge

3139 Views 15 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  remy_martian
I live in NJ... in a large townhouse complex. The complex has no electric vehicle chargers and, in fact, there are no public chargers within a few miles of me.

I'd love to buy an electric vehicle but they do not allow charging in this complex - no one has driveways or garages... so the cord would have to run across the common area front lawn and into the parking lot - which they don't allow.

I've been trying to find if there is some service where someone would come to my parking lot and recharge my car on an adhoc basis.... I saw there was something like this avail in CA... but nothing near NJ...

Anybody have any ideas?
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I think that no home charging would be sub optimal.

The first thing would be to talk to your HOA about getting a few electric charging parking spots put in.

Nearby garage rentals?

Next look for other places to juice up. What about your employer, or near your employer? More people to talk to about upgrades.

How much driving do you expect to do?

If you find a newer vehicle with rapid DC charging, and a charger capable of high power DC charging. Then you may be able to simply use the DC charger to top off when needed. Especially if you had a 300 mile range and only needed to charge once a week or so. Don't do deep discharges.
A better solution is to bury a power conduit. Solves the cord across the lawn issue.

You can call it a pilot program for EV adoption, something they'll have to face in much higher amounts in the future.

Using fast chargers is more expensive than gas. So, looks like an EV isn't the right solution for you.
"They do not allow".

They need to get a clue of state laws that COMPEL them ("shall") to approve an EV charger in your parking spot. The way these laws work where I am is you need a dedicated parking spot for your unit - I've spent enough time on your issue to where you and your lawyer need to read the details of the laws, not me.

I live in a state where they HAVE to let you install it - most people (like @CliffordK doesn't appear to) don't know these laws exist....I looked it up and NJ has that law as well, which clearly you, nor possibly the controlling, power-drunk, a-holes (it takes a special kind of person to enjoy the position in my experience) on the Association Board; know of:

3(a) if your eyes glaze over at the legalspeak and it's on you to pay for the install (you own it, however, and your condo is a lot more marketable, imo).

This is something I would work through a lawyer so the HOA snakes don't come up with BS, illegal, post facto bylaws amendments to block it. You'll get one chance at it, imo. They may try to shut the door behind you which then becomes a lawsuit for the next guy. Hence the lawyer approaching them with all this in mind, not you.

I also recommend keeping your mouth shut with other owners in the complex about your intentions as the guy with the truck nutz on his lifted F250 diesel pickup paying $6/gallon to move those big tires will go out of his way with all the EV fiction & lore that's out there ("they catch fire") to shut you down.

You'll also get excuses like "not enough power", but know that you can easily get by with something like a Bolt EV if you commute less than 75 miles a day and you only need a 120VAC 15 amp circuit and use the EVSE that comes with the car - you don't HAVE to have a 240VAC "charger".
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Are there any street lights in the parking area--that would give you a power feed drop right there, just add an outdoor outlet.

With the passage of the funding bill there is bound to be some money in it for charging infrastructure, plus there is tax credits for buying new or used EVs that you can use/give those funds towards putting in a stupid 15A 120vac outlet, or even adding a metering (smart) outlet if they want to charge you for the electricity usage.
Only issue with street lights is you don't know what the line voltage is. We had everything from 48 DC to 408v AC @Job Corps
It's possible to own an EV without home charging if your employer allows you to charge at work. Depending on your commute and hours, even a 120V outlet could be enough. For example, from 120V I get about 40 miles of range in 8 hours. Let's say you only had a 20 mile commute, if you charged every day you would always be within 20 miles of a full charge, more than enough for your weekend/weekday errands/etc. If your commute is less than 30 miles and you work a consistent schedule, this is a viable option. And if your work happens to offer level 2 charging, it's a no brainer.
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I would say if you can't charge the car you probably shouldn't buy it.

I've read stories of people thinking they could get away with it only to be forced to get up at 3am to go to a public charger so they could make it into work the next day.

Then winter time comes around and you only get 50% the range what then?
Owning an electric car, just like an ICE car, means not running on empty. Having to get up at 3am due to being an idiot for driving home empty, whether EV or ICE, does not disqualify electric car ownership, though it does make nice Internet laments.

Winter driving is a good point - that does need to be factored.

I've been blocked from accessing my own 240VAC wall "charger" for the past month or two. I use 120VAC on an extension cord, charging at 12A. And, OMG, I find myself at cheap (0.13/kWh) public chargers (Bolt EV charges at 50kW to 30kW) for an hour to top the car off if I think I can't catch up off the cord. Meh.
Yes I know it well. Owning an EV is sometimes like living your entire life on a Top Gear fuel efficiency challenge. It gets old fast.
It's very different now than even two years ago...some say better 😂
Depending on the miles you are driving you could consider options away from home. Work is the best but passing by a fast charger once or twice a week is another option.
I spent a year having to charge away from home and it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought with a higher-range EV but the public charger was a short walk away.
Depending on the miles you are driving you could consider options away from home. Work is the best but passing by a fast charger once or twice a week is another option.
I spent a year having to charge away from home and it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought with a higher-range EV but the public charger was a short walk away.
If you have a late-model EV this is certainly possible... I worked with a guy once who lived at a hotel for a few months and had a loaner model 3. He just went to the local coffee-shop (with convenient super-charger access) once a week.
Old thread but NJ has a law since 2020 for this, if the OP can afford the installation cost they can get a charger in state of NJ:
You normally don't need infrastructure - if you can build an EV conversion, you have a place to plug in.
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