This is the first in a series of posts about owning and operating an electric only vehicle in an urban environment. I, myself, live in an apartment and commute approximately 80 miles each day (40 miles each direction), of which about 35 miles are on the highway and the other 5 miles on city streets. Up until recently, I only had access to street parking and the uncertainty of charging was an insurmountable hurdle to buying an EV. However, on Friday I was able to rent a parking spot with a dedicated electric charging station!
I found the spot by watching Craigslist over the past month or so and emailing promising postings about the possibility of charging an electric vehicle. I had some notions about how I might make it work, even with 120V “level 1” access, by mainly using DC fast charging to fill up and using the outlet to add a little charge each night so I didn’t have to go to the fast charger as often. I was lucky enough to find a spot with a level 2 charger already installed, which can deliver up to 7kW. The charging station is run by greenlots and costs between $0.21-0.43 per kWh depending on the time of day and energy costs. At night, when I expect to be charging, it tends to be at a low end, costing $0.21 per kWh. For reference, for a 64 kWh battery it would cost about $13.50 to fully charge.
The downside is that the spot is a little far from my apartment (~.6 miles), so I am hoping I will only have to go there every 2-3 days. I also have the possibility of charging at work, but there are limited chargers and to use them you have to sign up for a program that currently has a wait list.
Anyway! I am very excited about the ability to have guaranteed charging. It was the last thing preventing me from buying an electric car. As many of you in urban environments know, there are chargers around like ChargePoint but they are often in parking structures that cost a lot to park in and sometimes you can’t leave your car overnight which is kind of a deal breaker. That, along with the uncertainty of my work charging and reports of often broken fast charging, were enough to dissuade me until now.
I know finding a magical parking spot with a charger isn’t an option for everyone (and if mine disappears may not be for me either), so once I own a car I will explore other ways to charge. But for the moment, I will take advantage of the opportunity and use it as a springboard for getting my electric car dream off the ground!