How I Charged My EV For The Last 10 Months Without A Garage


There are a number of ways to charge your EV without a garage, in fact over 80% of EV owners live in areas where there is only street parking. People who live in apartments don’t always have the ability to add an EV charger because of their allotted parking space, most of them will use facilities in parking lots, shopping malls and even restaurants that offer free charging to their customers. I have been charging my EV for the last ten months without a garage or off-street parking and this is how I did it.

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Electric Car Charging In An Apartment Blocks

Should you own an EV if you live in an apartment or you don’t own a home garage charger? Ever since I started my blog, as well as being involved with EV owner groups online I’ve been getting a lot of feedback from people saying “you shouldn’t own an EV before you can own a home”. They also said, “you can’t charge at home so why don’t you install a charger at your place?”.

The reason being I live in Los Angeles and I live in a condo community. So, first of all, I do own my home and the price of the condo that we have I’ve been told by my friends from out of states that we could buy a three-bedroom or four-bedroom house elsewhere, but not here in California.

So people often don’t realize how expensive the housing market is in California LA and also in the Bay Area. It is not that I can’t afford a home, I can, but because of the urban populated area and the way that my parking spot is deeded it does not make sense for us to install a charger.

People have also said, “well why don’t you move”? The thing is if we move we will be paying more for our mortgage because everything else has gotten expensive only just so that I could install the five hundred dollar charger, that just does not make any financial sense.

I wanted to write this article because I know some people live in apartments and condo in bigger metropolitan areas and cities like New York, LA San, Francisco and I found out that 85% of those people don’t have offroad parking, they only have street parking.

Electric Car Charging With No Driveway

Charging without a garage is challenging and I don’t want people to feel discouraged that just because they live in an apartment or a condo unit that they can’t own an EV. I want to write this article to address this issue and show you how I’ve been surviving without a garage and home charger for the last 10 months.

My neighbor also has an EV and he was the first person in our entire community to own an EV, I think he got his back in 2016 or 2017 and even he has been surviving all these years without a charger installed at his parking spot.

When I looked into getting a charger for my EV the parking space I am allocated in my block it is so far away from my condo’s meter that an electrician would have to dig up to road to lay a line, and that would cost between $10 to $15,000 so I had to look for alternatives for a home charging point.

Both of us have EV and we are the only two out of five hundred and thirty unit community that have EV’s and we are surviving without chargers at our deeded parking space, so it is doable.

I am just not able to install a charger at my car parking spot so I have to rely on supercharging as well as public level 2 charging around town, thankfully the city that I work in they have a program to push green transportation a block away from my work.

Charging At Supermarkets

They install three charge point stations last fall where you can park there for two hours for free as long as you’re plugged in Monday through Friday. I and my other co-worker who also has an EV would use that public charging spot to go charge our cars that way just charging for two hours each day.

It will give my car 16 to 17 percent of battery which would last me for my commute for that day. I built this up Monday through Friday and often on Friday I may have anywhere between 70 to 90 percent of charge and then that will last me through the weekend, I deplete it over the weekend and then go back on Monday and start all over again.

I have not been paying for charging for several months so that’s a really big saving. Considering that gas price is now over $4 per gallon in the LA area. The cities are starting to build more charging infrastructure because this EV movement is not slowing down and all the car manufacturers are now producing more EVs and electrification is on the rise.

Use Charging Networks

I don’t know about other areas but I do know that in Southern California there are different charging networks, aside from charge point they are starting to put in EV chargers at malls at parking garages.

So people can park there EV, go eat, go watch a movie or even go to an amusement park while their car is charging. There is a Trader Joe’s in my city and in the parking garage they have the EV-GO charging stations but they’re mostly that DC fast chargers that I don’t have an adapter for, but they do have one level two charger so whenever I go to Trader Joe’s grocery shopping I would plug in my car.

Another app that I use frequently is plug-share. It will tell you where some of the available EV stations are around you on the main EV networks as well as owners who are opening up their parking spaces may be right outside their garage.

Destination EV Chargers

There is a group of people who will let you charge your car from their home charger if you are desperate. If you’re running that low you can search for some of the paid charging networks as well.

I use the plug-share app, Charge-point and then the third one I found is Volta. Volta has partnered with Whole Foods, I guess because they have installed level 2 chargers outside of WholeFoods in Orange County as well in Southern California.

Tesla Superchagers

One of the primary reasons I went for a Tesla when I was switching over to the EV is because of the Tesla supercharging network. And especially for urban dwellers like me, the superchargers are like gas stations for us Tesla owners.

In the future, I think that gas stations will start to build out some chargers alongside the gas pumps while we go through this transition from ICE cars to pure EV’s.

When you go on a road trip you would also notice that a lot of times the Tesla superchargers are situated right along the perimeter of a gas station, I believe that in the future, that all the gas stations will be converted to charging stations for all the EV’S on the road.

There you go, this is how I’ve been surviving without a garage home charger with my EV living in a condo for the last 10 months.

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