Charging Tesla as a tenant at home
Being able to charge a Tesla at home is an important factor in the decision to buy an electric car. Of course, you can drive a Tesla without a home charging option, but this is a little less convenient, as charging often has to be planned externally. With a charging option at home it is comparable to a mobile phone. You don’t even think about it anymore, but simply plug it in the evening and drive off every morning with enough power in the battery. A visit at the gas station is only necessary for cleaning the windows.
In many European countries more than half of the population lives in rental homes. The demand for charging facilities in underground garages or for lantern parkers is correspondingly high. For the latter, the state or the city and municipal administrations, together with the energy companies, have a duty to improve the situation. However, for parking spaces for rented apartments, it is certainly worth doing a little persuading yourself. With the right arguments, it may be possible to persuade the property owner to support electric cars. Even if you want to pay for the private charging option one hundred percent out of your pocket, you still need the consent of the owner.
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Does the lessor have to install a power line for me?
No, he doesn’t have to. But you can achieve a lot with good arguments. A charging station in a large garage could perhaps benefit other tenants in the future, once electric vehicles become more popular. As the number of vehicles increases, it will develop in the same way as dishwashers did in the past in a rental apartment. An apartment with this equipment is simply more in demand on the market.
Of course, the chances of convincing the owner to buy a charging station are also related to the construction costs. If you only have to lay a new power line in a surface-mounted duct, it is easier than if you have to drill through several walls and lay cables over long distances.
Do tenants have leverage?
You can of course mention that if they say no, you will look for a new apartment. Depending on your life situation, this may make sense, as long as a move is not an issue. But a threat is usually not very effective and probably only worsens your situation with the apartment owner relationship.
Planning a Tesla charging solution at home.
Tesla offers different options for charging the vehicle at home. Even a simple household socket and using the UMC is better than no charging at all. The better option is a high-power socket or a Wallbox.
But to convince the property owner it is important to make a professional suggestion. It is therefore highly recommended consulting a qualified electrician in advance. He can look at the situation on site and make a professional offer for a solution, which can be presented to the property owner together with the request for a charging station or power socket. In addition, if you do this, the approximate costs are known in advance. On this Tesla website you will find contact details for electricians’ specialist shops recommended by Tesla. In theory, it could be any electrician, but the Tesla partners know the exact specifications and requirements of Tesla.
I have done the same before I bought my Model S. The electrician made me a free quote at that time. This included an exact list of the necessary components, prices and even photos of the situation in my garage. On the pictures he has drawn and commented on the planned cables and the charging station with a picture editing tool. So even a layman can see immediately what exactly it is all about. Equipped with such professional documents one has much better chances to convince and reach his goal.
What should I clarify together with the electrician?
The electrician should clarify the following before speaking to the property owner. If you are as well-prepared as possible, you have better arguments and can sell better:
- How does the electricity get to the charging station? What exactly does the cable routing look like?
- Where do you have to make wall breakthroughs for the cable and cable routing through cellar corridors?
- Who pays for the electricity? Ideally, the supply line of the charging station/socket is connected directly to a meter. If not possible, in the worst case, you could make an agreement with the owner regarding a flat rate. However, the owner is probably least interested in this. And simply charging general electricity you don’t pay for would not be acceptable to the neighborhood.
- Does it make sense to consider load management? If more vehicles are to be driven electrically later, it might make sense to orient the installation directly towards a possible load management. This can lead to additional costs, but it also shows that you are not only selfishly interested in your charging option, but that you want to find a compromise in the solution together with the house owner.
Arguments for the property owner
- Upgrading of the apartment through additional infrastructure (a future tenant might find it attractive if the parking space has an electricity connection)
- Promotion of environmental protection through electric mobility.
What else is to be considered?
It is important to record the owners’ approval in written form. If the approval is only verbal, you might have problems with a change of the owner.
My experience with charging a Tesla at home
I live in an apartment building with four flats for rent. When I decided to buy a Tesla, I asked a Tesla-recommended electrician to make me a quote for a charging option before I bought the car. We looked at the situation and I described my wish for a 3-phase charging possibility with at least 11kW for ~55Km charging of an older Model S per hour. The electrician offered a solution with the Tesla Wall Connector as charging station because this charging station is a good product with a good price-performance ratio. I could have used the UMC adapter supplied with the vehicle, but I preferred to leave it in the vehicle in case I needed it on remote places. Also, every time after charging packing the UMC and unpacking it again later was too cumbersome for me.
The plan was to connect the power cable directly to my flats power meter at the distributor panel in the basement. The cable would be laid through three walls and along the ceiling for about 20 meters to the garage. Of course everything was done professionally with cable ducts and FI protection according to Tesla’s specifications. I then discussed this proposal with the owner.
My owner did not participate in the costs for this charging solution. But they gave me the permission to do the installation this way. The neighbors had no influence because they also live in the house only for rent (the owner itself does not live in the house).
So, I could reach my goal to finally drive Tesla! 🙂
Anyone who is well-prepared and collects information in advance can be quite successful in convincing their property owner of the benefits of electric cars. Of course, sometimes it takes a little luck, but the more distributed electric cars will be, the easier it is.
You’re new to Tesla? Then you will find here a short overview of Tesla vehicles.