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EV Charging Without A Garage

Ben Sullins

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Published on Oct 24, 2017
Charging your car if you can’t install a charger at home can be tricky, but it doesn’t have to be. // Sign up for these updates at

Ideally, you’d have a setup at your house. For example, at my home, I have a NEMA 14-50 outlet. But what if you can’t install a charger at your home like this? Maybe you don’t have a garage or live in an apartment complex that won’t install a charger? That’s when you’ll have to go public

At home, depending on your equipment, you’ll likely get Level 2 charging rates. This will get you between 20mi of charge per hour which is around 31kph.

If you don’t want to wait that long, you’ll want to find a DC Fast Charger. Some even call these Level 3 chargers. The most common connector for a DC Fast Charger is the CHAdeMO plug and is popular in both the US and Europe.  The last option regarding charging connectors is for Tesla. The Tesla Supercharger could be called a Level 4 charger with the fastest rates available.


With over 1,000 locations across the US EVgo is relatively small but does seem to have decent availability in more urban areas. As far as costs go EVgo offers several plans depending on your needs. When looking at the plan choices, it seemed confusing, especially since they charge based on the amount of time versus the amount of energy.

Next, we have the most extensive charging network provider, ChargePoint. At the station by my house, the rate was $0.35 per kWh which may sound high, but when you consider our peak rates in San Diego are over 0.40, it’s a good deal. In addition to the per kWh rate, they will limit the amount of time you can charge at a station. T

Another popular network here in southern California is Blink. Blink reports over 4K chargers and they do offer fast charging.

A new startup from San Francisco, Volta, is looking to disrupt this market with free charging. The model is based on showing ads on their massive display stations located next to where you plug in to charge. 

Tesla owners get some additional options with the supercharger and destination charger networks.  The supercharger network is currently the fastest way to charge of any EV. In about 30min you can get upwards of 170 miles, just under 275km of charge.

The supercharger network has over 7K chargers and is prevalent in the US, Europe, and Asia.

For Model S and X owners who purchased before May of 2017 Supercharging is Free. New Model S and X owners that used a referral code, such as ours which you can get at also get free supercharging.!/vizhome/TeslaSuperchargerNetworkCosts/US

In addition to the superchargers, Tesla partnered with many hotels and malls to offer destination chargers similar to what you can install at your home. These chargers are free for all Tesla’s but often are reserved for patrons of the store or hotel hosting them.

When it comes to finding public chargers, there are lots of options. In my experience the best one is plugshare.


EV Match is another startup in this space is working to help pair drivers and people with chargers. The idea here is that people can share their home chargers with others in an Airbnb fashion where the host receives a small fee for providing you with a charge port and juice for your journey.

So with all these options hopefully you can rest easy when it comes to finding a place to charge.

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