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5 tips for owning a Tesla without a home charger
Posted on January 02, 2020 by Matt Pressman
Most Tesla owners have a home charger (or NEMA 14-50 outlet) installed in their garage before taking delivery of their Model S, 3, or X. But not everyone lives in a house with a garage. Some new Tesla owners live in an apartment building or condo that might not (yet) have any EV charging. Should this prevent you from buying a Tesla?
Above: Some apartment buildings and condos aren't equipped with EV charging (Source: Aniseh Sharifi)
Absolutely not. Many soon-to-be Tesla owners have the ability to work with the management of these apartment or condo properties to get EV charging installed. But this doesn't always work out. With over 10+ years in the auto biz, Aniseh Shairifi came across this particular challenge when she took delivery of her new EV, a Tesla Model 3.
Even though the Model 3 changed her life (in a good way), she had to figure out solutions for her charging situation pronto. Her condo wasn't ready to install an EV charger. So what did she do? Aniseh recently shared 5 tips for owning an EV without a home charger. In her own words, here's what she recommends.
1. Plan ahead
Most people know what their typical week will consist of and how their days will be spent; at the office, at home, or on the road. Planning ahead means visualizing your commute and knowing approximately how much you’ll be driving. Planning ahead will help you figure out if you’ll be charging at work, on your way home at the end of the day, or on your way to the gym in the morning. Reviewing your day will not only help you be aware of your range, but it will naturally encourage you to be organized ahead of time.
2. Charge first thing in the morning or last thing at night
This is a big one! If you are using a third-party charger or Supercharger to charge your EV, then you will learn to either leave the house earlier in the morning to charge for the day OR charge at the end of the day on your way home. The frequency of your charges depends on how much you drive daily and the maximum range capacity of your EV. There are weeks when I will only charge once and other weeks when I will charge 2 or 3 times.
Above: Aniseh at a local Tesla Supercharger (Source: Aniseh Sharifi)
Regardless, I’ve learned to leave the house a little earlier in the mornings on days when I have a lot of driving to do. I prefer to have a fully charged car so that I can conquer the day no matter what comes my way. I usually take this time to get some work done in the car while I’m charging like answering emails, replying to messages, and getting organized for the day.
3. Pick a home base charging station
This could be your nearest Supercharger, your work, or your parent’s house, if they have a charger. It’s the one location that you’ll probably be using the most. It will be comforting to know that you can always refer to this location for a quick charge without having to think about your route. It will be your base in the mornings or at night. For me, it was helpful to have my work charger as a base when I first got the car. My office is at home now, so the Supercharger near me is my home base. It’s 5kms away and I know that I can always quickly pop by for a quick top-up if I need to.
4. Know where the charging stations are located
In addition to the car features which tell you where charging stations are located, you can also download charging apps. These apps can help you quickly look up where your nearest charging station is when even when you are not in your car. Check out my blog post on the top 5 best EV charging apps to download. These apps will help you be aware of charging stations so that you can charge on your way to your next meeting, or on your way home from Timbuktu.
5. Feed two birds with one scone
The trick is to be productive while you’re charging. If you’re going grocery shopping, can you charge while you’re there? Can you plug in your car while you’re at the mall or the library, or meeting a friend for coffee? You can Google places and see if they offer charging (sometimes free). On the weekend, I know that I can go to the Supercharger close to me and run all my errands at the mall and shopping plaza nearby.
Above: While your Tesla is charging, it can also be a great time to catch up on some good books (Source: Aniseh Sharifi)
I’ve noticed this one Tesla owner at a specific Supercharger who must be a professor or a field advisor of some sort. He asks his students to meet him at the Supercharger to drop off assignments while he’s charging. He’s made the charging location a meeting place where he can collect assignments while he’s charging his car. It’s brilliant. Meanwhile, I’m doing my nails and talking to my mom (or listening to my mom) in my car next to him.
If you find Aniseh's advice helpful, be sure to check out more of her electric vehicle tips on her informative blog. You can also follow her EV adventures on Instagram and Twitter. And if you want some helpful cold weather tips for your Model 3, be sure to check out her advice on how to winterize your Tesla.
Source: Aniseh Sharifi