EVs and rentals

For those who rent and don’t have access to an outside outlet, how do you charge your EV? Go to a charger facility or string an electrical cord to your car? Does anyone have a owner or landlord who is assisting in helping tenants charge their vehicles?

In California, the landlord is obligated to let you install a charger, under certain conditions. I believe some other states have similar laws. Where do you live?

Since this is looking more for personal experience than factual answers, let’s move this to IMHO (from FQ).

Not for nothing, I’ve seen elictrical cords strung from apartment windows not on the ground floor to cars parked in the parking lot of apartment buildings. However, the devices were not the vehicles themselves, but engine warmers (Central Illinois can get a bit nippy in the winter).

For most EV’s and given usual driving patterns, a 110 charge isn’t going to work out long term.

If you don’t drive much, you could get by charging off site. Thinking back to the apartments I have rented over the years, in most of those time periods I drove very little. I know one woman who lives on a boat and charges her Leaf at the somewhat nearby city lot once or twice a week.

The general advice is not to use an extension cord to recharge EVs. If the charging cable that came with the EV is long enough, good. But EVs require lots of current to recharge, even at level 1 (120 V household current), so using a typical extension cord may cause it to overheat. If you really, absolutely have to use an extension, get a really thick one, the thicker the better. However, even that may overheat.

@HeyHomie’s post reminds me of a problem with level 1 recharging in cold weather. It’s going to be really, really slow, even moreso than normal level 1 recharging. The reason is that batteries have to be fairly warm to recharge. EVs have internal battery warmers to maintain a suitable temperature, but that means that in cold weather, most of the incoming power is used to keep the battery warm and little goes into actually recharging it.

My car notices the extension cord (drop in wattage or something) and won’t charge that way.

Level 1 charging is going to try to pull 12-15 amps, which is at the very far end of what a regular home receptacle can deliver with or without an extension cord plugged into it. That many amps through a cheap or long extension cord will result in a voltage (and power) loss. You might be OK with a 25-foot 10 gage cord.

Unless you’re already blessed with a dedicated (nothing else on the circuit) 15 or 20 amp receptacle where you park your car and want to have one installed, you may as well go up to a 240 volt circuit for Level 2 charging.

I keep misinterpreting the title of this thread as asking about EVs as rental cars. Yes, you actually can rent an EV from Hertz at at least some locations. I always wondered how one would deal with charging a rented EV, since if I’m renting a car that usually means I’m away from home. I guess you’d just have to make sure the hotel where you’re staying has EV chargers.

I believe Hertz rents Teslas. So, there are supercharges available in a lot of locations.

I’d say for about d75% of my car rentals, I end up driving less than 250 miles total, so I wouldn’t have to charge at all.

Look for shopping centers near the freeway.

I am kinda/sorta in this situation, in that I live in a condo with no off-street parking, so the only way I can charge at home is by running an extension cord out of the window. Since as others have noted, this is not an efficient way to charge, I do so very rarely. 99% of my charging is at work, where there are Level 2 chargers installed and a discounted rate. Doing it this way, I spend an insanely low amount of money on “fuel.”

But if so, $400 for the charger and $hundreds more for the electrician to install it (Tesla). In an apartment will someone leave your parking spot open? Will the landlord reimburse the cost when you move out? Unless I was renting a house and the owner let me install an appropriate NEMA X-50 plug and split the cost, I would not buy an EV while renting.

You can read the details here:

All the apartments I’ve been in have had reserved parking. The law does say this:

(e) If the electric vehicle charging station has the effect of providing the lessee with a reserved parking space, the lessor may charge a monthly rental amount for that parking space.

So, there may be an extra charge if you did not already have reserved parking.

The lessee owns the equipment, so they can take the charger part with them when they leave.

In practice, non-shitty landlords will come to a reasonable agreement with lessees. Perhaps they will share the costs with some understanding that the landlord owns the equipment once installed.

Extension cords don’t have to be terrible and slow. I use a beefy 50-foot NEMA 6-50 cord, which, combined with the standard charger cord gives around 75 feet. You can get longer ones, too. They’ll happy charge at 240 v, 30+A with negligible voltage drop. You need access to a high-amperage outlet, of course.

…which I don’t have. But I am perfectly content charging at work, anyway, since as I mentioned the rate is crazy low. It’s definitely cheaper and faster for me to charge at work, so why bother with the extension cord rigamarole, I say. I mean, it’s good to have the option to grab a few miles at home if needed, but not being able to charge at home does not need to be a dealbreaker for condo/apt dwellers, depending on their work situation.

Whereas the garage (owned by neither employer nor client) near my primary work location charges 55¢/kWh, which is on par with gasoline if my arithmetic holds up. When it works. Apparently it was broken for most of 2022.

I know a guy who rented a parking space down the street so he could charge is Tesla.

For situations where a landlord is willing (or required) to allow installation, it can be wildly impractical if there isn’t a sufficient power already available nearby. My last two apartments had garages in a tower and dug into a hillside.

Many at my condo are interested in chargers but we’re stumped as to how to install them and who should pay for what.

Understood. Just throwing it out there as an option. Agreed that workplace charging can be a reasonable substitute for home charging.

I would challenge this. Such a charger is about 6 miles/hour IIRC. So 12 hours overnight would be 72 miles. I would say that is enough for many people. And that’s not 72 miles per day limit, but that’s what you can add to it per night, up to the total capacity. It really depends on lifestyle, but for people with a short commute and only go long distances on the weekend a standard outlet may be fine.

Here in Minnesota, many better rental apartments already have 120volt outlets available at parking spaces. They were installed years ago for engine tank heaters.

Not optimal charging, but certainly acceptable for many situations.