Most electric vehicles are charged at home within the secure confines of a garage. But what can you do if you park in a carport or on a driveway, instead? What if you live in a condominium or an apartment building and at best have an assigned parking space?
While either of these situations can be challenging to EV ownership, as you’ll find out they don’t necessarily have to be a deterrent.
Not having a garage on your property doesn’t mean you can’t home-charge an EV, as long as you have electric service and a dedicated area in which to park. Unfortunately, charging an electric car outdoors requires more than just an external electric outlet. You’ll want to have an electrician install a hardwired charging station, which is also called electric vehicle service equipment (EVSE). You’ll need to have it attached to either an external wall or a freestanding pole. Outdoor-rated units are safe to use in all weather conditions, but their installation is likely pursuant to your area’s building codes, which means you or your electrician will have to secure a permit before work proceeds.
An outdoor-rated EVSE can cost between $500 and around $1,200 depending on features and how it’s configured. Make sure any charger you choose comes with enough cord to reach your car’s charging port easily. Expect to pay several hundred dollars to have a hardwired EVSE installed, based on how and where it will be placed, local labor rates, and permit costs. On the plus side, you may be able to take advantage of state and/or local power company-provided incentives for having a charger installed. MYEV.com is offering a choice of outdoor-rated hardwired charging units from supplier ClipperCreek that start at $379. You can find them via a link embedded in any of our used EV listings under the “Home Charging Options” section.
While you’re at it, have the electrician install 240-volt service for the charger so you can take advantage of what’s called Level 2 charging. Depending on the model, it can take between eight and perhaps as long as 24 hours to replenish a fully drained EV battery via standard 110-volt house current (that’s Level 1 charging). Level 2 charging can fully replenish an EV’s power cells in as little as four hours.
City dwellers stand to benefit the most from driving an EV – they tend to take shorter trips at slower speeds and live where the environment is already subjected to tailpipe emissions from cars and trucks with internal combustion engines. However, those living in apartment and condominium buildings rarely have access to onsite charging stations.
One solution here would be to petition your landlord or condo board to have an EVSE installed in the building’s parking lot or garage, either at your assigned space or in a common area for residents’ use. For its part, the ChargePoint company says it will work with your building’s property manager or condo board to have this accomplished. Since this can be a long shot at best, you can have one installed yourself, but you’ll wind up leaving it and however much money you’ve invested for the unit and installation behind if you move. And unless you have an assigned parking space, there’s a chance someone else’s car might be parked in front of the charger at any given time.
You may be able to take advantage of charging an EV at your workplace. Some companies have installed electric car chargers in their garages and parking lots for their employees’ use. Workplace charging is still not particularly common, however, though some states now offer an incentive for having onsite stations installed.
Beyond the above options, you would have to rely exclusively on public charging stations. You’ll most often find them installed in parking garages, retail parking lots, at hotels, new-car dealerships, and even curbside in areas having a higher concentration of EV ownership. Tesla has established an extensive “Supercharger” network of stations at its dealerships and other locations that’s exclusively for its own EV owners.
If public charging is your only viable option, it’s wise to determine where public chargers are installed near where you live, work, and shop before buying one. Websites like PlugShare.com and PlugInAmerica.org feature interactive maps that show the locations of public charging stations.
While most public units deliver Level 2 service, some provide what’s called Level 3 charging. Also known as DC Fast Charging, it can bring a given EV’s battery up to 80 percent of its capacity in around 30 minutes. But while many Level 2 chargers remain free to use, you’ll have to pay for DC Fast Charging. Some states allow pricing based on the kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity used, while others only allow providers to charge on a per-minute basis. We recently paid $0.29 a minute for Level 3 Charging via a unit located just outside Chicago, IL.
You’ll also want to join a charging network like Blink, ChargePoint, or EVgo. You can usually sign up online and will be issued a card to initiate charging. Depending on the network, charging can either be pre-paid or linked to a credit-card account. You can usually use a mobile phone app to locate the nearest public charging stations, determine what type of charging they support, and even whether or not they’re currently in use or are out of order.
ABOUT THIS ARTICLE:
2015 Nissan LEAF Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) have a battery instead of a gasoline tank, and an electric motor instead of an internal combustion engine (ICE).
For sale this beautiful well maintained 2015 Nissan Leaf! One Owner, Drives and handles like new!Price: $12,794 Mileage: 23,138 Location: Phoenix, AZ Above average: $501 Total Range: 84 Mi Trim: S Range 84 Mi Mileage 23,138 Location Phoenix, AZ Trim S Price $12,794 Above average $501
2016 Tesla Model S Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) have a battery instead of a gasoline tank, and an electric motor instead of an internal combustion engine (ICE).
CARVANA CERTIFIED INCLUDES: 150-POINT INSPECTION -- We put each vehicle through a 150-point inspection so that you can be 100% confident in the quality and safety of your vehicle. This inspection includes everything from tread depth of tires to thickness of brake pads to exterior paint quality to Bl...Price: $48,900 Mileage: 36,462 Location: Nationwide Above average: $6 Total Range: 230 Mi Trim: 70 Range 230 Mi Mileage 36,462 Location Nationwide shipping Trim 70 Price $48,900 Above average $6
2019 Volkswagen e-Golf Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) have a battery instead of a gasoline tank, and an electric motor instead of an internal combustion engine (ICE).
CARVANA CERTIFIED INCLUDES: 150-POINT INSPECTION -- We put each vehicle through a 150-point inspection so that you can be 100% confident in the quality and safety of your vehicle. This inspection includes everything from tread depth of tires to thickness of brake pads to exterior paint quality to Bl...Price: $24,990 Mileage: 1,682 Location: Nationwide Above average: $2,740 Total Range: 125 Mi Trim: SE Range 125 Mi Mileage 1,682 Location Nationwide shipping Trim SE Price $24,990 Above average $2,740
2015 Audi A3 Sportback Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) have a battery and an electric motor. However, like gasoline vehicles, PHEVs also have a gasoline tank and an internal combustion engine (ICE).
Turbocharged, Front Wheel Drive, Power Steering, ABS, 4-Wheel Disc Brakes, Brake Assist, Aluminum Wheels, Tires - Front Performance, Tires - Rear Performance, Temporary Spare Tire, Sun/Moonroof, Generic Sun/Moonroof, Power Mirror(s), Integrated Turn Signal Mirrors, Rear Defrost, Intermittent Wipers,...Price: $15,977 Mileage: 83,268 Location: Below average: $796 Total Range: 400 Mi Trim: PHEV Premium Range 16 Mi Mileage 83,268 Location Trim PHEV Premium Price $15,977 Below average $796
Change Your Location
FREE ONLINE APPRAISAL