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After some months of discussions and questions, when Stewart Chevy offered $10K off a fully loaded Shock Green LT, I pulled the trigger. Sad to see my years of top-down driving in the past, but looking forward to being more eco-friendly and lowering my car expenses.



Now the real fun begins: Figuring out the best charging strategy going forward, as I rent a condo and will be depending entirely on the public charging network.


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Congratulations on your new Bolt! I suggested that I was considering the shock color to my GF and *shockingly* didn't get a positive response from her. :) Personally, I like the color a lot!
 

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Congratulations and welcome aboard.

Look to see if there is a Level 2 EVSE near you (like a Chevy or Nissan dealership) which will "rent" you time on the plug. There are MANY L-2 EVSE which are NEVER used at night. Depending on your driving habits, you will need 1-2 times a week charging. There are many free stations for that "occasional" overnight charge. (I have done this probably 10 times in the past 22 months.) However, if it is a recurring charge cycle, offer to pay. $6-8 {San Francisco, $10-15?} for an 8 hour charge may be enough. Do not ask to pay on a "per use" basis. The effort to the EVSE owner is usually not worth it. Make a deal where you may plug in once a week (preferably the same night). Pay quarterly (13 charges for $88?). Then keep track of use and adjust as your charging habits become more predictable.

I plug in ~once a week in my garage (@ 11 cents/kWh) for about $5 worth of electricity. {This excludes the long (>600 miles RT) trips when I DCFC (which has often been free, but as much as $10 for 45 minutes [120 range miles]; less than the cost of the 4 gallons of gas it would take to go the same distance).} Our electricity bill went up $250 in the first year of use, while our gasoline bill went down $1750.

The convenience of home charging is absolutely wonderful. See if you can split the cost of EVSE installation with your condo association if you plan to be there >2 years. The EVSE will cost ~$750-1000 and the underground wires & installation (depending on distance from a suitable power source, hopefully your condo meter) ~$3000-4000. (If they run wires for a planned expansion to 2-4 stations, the cost per station goes WAY down! If they just place an extra PVC pipe with a nylon rope inside, they can buy/run the copper wire later.

Good luck. Keep us posted on your experience and progress.
 

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Congratulations! If you decide to pay for a 240V installation, be sure to get several quotes. I got 3. One was around $1600, 2nd was $1800, but the third wanted to charge $8000!

Costs will vary depending on the situation, of course. Congrats again on your purchase! Enjoy the smooth acceleration & stops and all the technology in your green car. Pun intended. :)
 

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Congrats on your new Bolt!

Now the real fun begins: Figuring out the best charging strategy going forward, as I rent a condo and will be depending entirely on the public charging network.
EV ownership is certainly easier if you can charge at home or at work. Both are probably worth exploring.

In some states, there are laws that say you tenants must be able to pay to have a charger installed, and even in ones that don't have those laws, you can still discuss the matter with the building owner.

As others have said, even a regular 120 volt outlet can be great. I did install a JuiceBox Pro 40 at home, but I've done the math and determined that actually I could have done all my charging with just a regular outlet (sometimes needing a few days to get back up to full).

Some stores (e.g., IKEA, Whole Foods) have free courtesy Level-2 charging, so that may help, but it is a bit of a hassle. That said @raitchison has charging at home, but mostly charges for free away from home. He's a little up there on the “might be mad” scale, though.
 

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Congrats on your new Bolt!



EV ownership is certainly easier if you can charge at home or at work. Both are probably worth exploring.

In some states, there are laws that say you tenants must be able to pay to have a charger installed, and even in ones that don't have those laws, you can still discuss the matter with the building owner.

As others have said, even a regular 120 volt outlet can be great. I did install a JuiceBox Pro 40 at home, but I've done the math and determined that actually I could have done all my charging with just a regular outlet (sometimes needing a few days to get back up to full).

Some stores (e.g., IKEA, Whole Foods) have free courtesy Level-2 charging, so that may help, but it is a bit of a hassle. That said @raitchison has charging at home, but mostly charges for free away from home. He's a little up there on the “might be mad” scale, though.
On the ChargePoint website yesterday after I made my account, I noticed 2 free chargers at the Whole Foods not too far from where I live. And the Chevy dealer offers free charging, including a DCFC.



There are 10 chargers in the 2 garages where I work. Unfortunately, they are 0.35/kW.



My challenge in renting is that I rent a condo. I've been in this condo for almost 6 years and in this complex for more than 8. But my parking space is in the adjacent building, and getting charging in isn't simply about laws requiring management to "allow" charging. My parking space is deeded to the condo owner, and the common space is under the control of the HOA. And I do not want to force the HOA to incur unreasonable or unneeded expenses because I know the budget is already tight. And I can't imagine that over time I won't be the only EV owner here, so I want to find an EV charging solution that will work for the long term, not be about just me.


For years, I've gotten my gas almost exclusively at Costco, which is always cheaper than surrounding stations. Paying with the Costco card also added a 4% rebate at the end of the year. I'm using the same card for ChargePoint, but because it's not "gasoline," the rebate will be only 1%. I'm trying to figure out how to influence Costco to (a) give a charging rebate similar to or larger than their gasoline rebate on their card, and (b) get EV charging stations installed at their locations.
 

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But my parking space is in the adjacent building, and getting charging in isn't simply about laws requiring management to "allow" charging. My parking space is deeded to the condo owner, and the common space is under the control of the HOA. And I do not want to force the HOA to incur unreasonable or unneeded expenses because I know the budget is already tight. And I can't imagine that over time I won't be the only EV owner here, so I want to find an EV charging solution that will work for the long term, not be about just me.
It is to your credit you don't want to be a problem for the other owners, but the 110-volt cost of overnight charging is essentially antshit. Those who've done the math can weigh in here, but consider just plugging in each night and your cost is probably no more than the neighbor who's plugging in an electric BBQ.

jack vines
 

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I don't think in SF you would ever need to have the car plugged just to help keep the battery from going too cold, which should be a relief.

If I didn't have access to 240V in my car ports I would do 3 things: keep the car on 120V at home (5 mi/hour) at all times, plug into an L2 opportunistically (work, shopping, visiting - yes, I recently discovered that high-rise apt. blocks have L2 stations in their parking garages), and when I really need to add a lot of miles quickly, I'd go to a L3 charger.
 

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Congrats on the Bolt. I love mine. I hope you figure out the charging challenge. I installed two 240 volt plugs in my garage for less than $100. One doubles as an RV plug when it's at the house.
 

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Some stores (e.g., IKEA, Whole Foods) have free courtesy Level-2 charging, so that may help, but it is a bit of a hassle. That said @raitchison has charging at home, but mostly charges for free away from home. He's a little up there on the “might be mad” scale, though.
I really got more than a little bit lucky there, for the first ~3 months I had the car I did about 75% of my charging at home with the included L1 EVSE, supplemented by a couple hours a week of free charging at a local library very close to where I sometimes eat lunch.

Then as it happens my local utility installed a brand new completely free L2 EVSE on a telephone pole less than 1000' from where I work. It's actually a bit closer than the spot I normally park at.

Now being that this is street parking 70% of the time this charger is ICEd out but if you get there early (as I do) you usually can get into the charger before someone else parks there. ~There is a Volt that charges 3x per week so 90% of the time I can't charge when I plan to it's because he's there.

It's easy to filter out the free chargers in your area on Plugshare.
 
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