Can You Live in an Apartment and Own a Tesla?

Yes, you can, provided you can charge your Tesla. Otherwise, there is no use getting one in the first place. 

This is a common query for apartment dwellers. Whether you live in an apartment or are planning to move into one, you may think twice about getting an electric car such as a Tesla.

Most apartments and condos don’t have charging stations. But with our guide, you can enjoy your new ride without running out of juice, even if you live in an apartment. 

Top Ways for Apartment Dwellers to Own a Tesla 

Here are some strategies you can use if you live in an apartment and wish to own a Tesla without worry:

Ask Your Landlord for Tesla Chargers 

Ask your building manager or landlord to install Tesla charging stations in the building that tenants with a Tesla can share. These should be installed in the garage or parking lot.

If you make a good case, you may get a positive response. Tesla can also help you get approval for charger installation so you will have support.

Download this template for the letter and change it as per your needs. It will help to start the conversation with your building manager or landlord. 

Gather as many signatures from other tenants who have a Tesla or want to get one, to increase your chances of success. Or ask them to send their letters separately. 

Contact Tesla HQ

Besides using the letter template on their website, you can contact Tesla’s Installation Managers directly. They can discuss custom options with your landlord. 

This is important since each apartment building is unique. Yours may or may not be able to accommodate a charging station.

But as a group, you can discuss custom solutions with your landlord with help from Tesla’s executives. 

Search for Local Benefits 

Inform them about how the charging stations can increase property value and rent rates. That is what most landlords care about, and for several valid reasons. 

In other words, discuss the financial benefits of their decision. Many states offer grants and tax benefits that will make these charging stations financially worthwhile. 

This includes rebates from electric companies. Research all cost-saving opportunities that can convince your landlord to cover the installation costs. 

What You Can Do If Your Landlord Refuses To Install Tesla Charging Stations 

If the landlord refuses your request or cannot install Tesla charging stations for some reason, all is not lost. Here are some ways you can keep and drive a Tesla as an apartment dweller: 

Charge at Work 

This is the easiest and cheapest solution. Charge your car at your office if they have an EV charging station for employees. Charge up for the next day before leaving work. 

If your office doesn’t offer these stations, ask if they are open to it. Many companies get incentives for providing these charging stations.

They may install some if you are persistent. Get other employees with a Tesla involved as well. 

‍Find Public Charging Stations Nearby 

If neither option is a go, you may have little choice but to use public charging stations. These are easily accessible but can get crowded. 

You can find these in retail parking lots, hotels, new car dealerships, and by the curb, where Tesla owners are high in number. 

Research the EV stations you want to use. Most public ones deliver Level 2 service, but others provide Level 3 charging. 

This is also known as DC Fast Charging, and it can charge your battery up to 80% in less than half an hour. But you will need to pay for Level 3 charging, unlike Level 2, which is free of cost. 

Plus, in some states, Tesla owners can pay for electricity on a kW/hr basis while others charge per minute. 

Join charging networks such as EVgo to make your life easier. You can get a card after signing up online.

You will be charged via your credit card, or a pre-pay account per your network. Once on it, you can locate charging stations via an app. 

The app will also tell you the charging support you will get and whether it is working or out of order. 

 Charge from A Wall Outlet

If you live on the ground floor, and your Tesla is parked in front, use a heavy-duty extension cord to charge it from a wall outlet. 

This is called Level 1 charging which is standard for all 120-volt outlets. You can easily get a couple of miles per charge and about an hour’s charge if you charge for 10 hours. 

So if you commute to work, plug your Tesla in before you sleep, and you will have a full charge in the morning. This is ideal for you if you travel less than 50 miles daily. 

 Frequently Asked Questions about Tesla for Apartment Dwellers

If your landlord cannot install charging stations, you can still own a Tesla without worrying about it. Here are some common queries that you may have going forward:

How long can a Tesla sit without being driven?

Tesla recommends you charge your vehicle to 100% and drive it as soon as possible if it has been parked for more than a week. The car consumes a charge per day when it is parked.

Deactivate features (such as Sentry Mode and pre-conditioning) to reduce consumption. 

Extreme cold temperatures will also impact your Tesla’s range. This is the approximate distance you can drive this car without running out of charge.

The high-voltage batteries are regulated to maintain optimal temperatures, which is why the compressor keeps running even when your car is parked. 

How can I plug my Tesla inside my home?

If you can connect your Tesla to a wall outlet inside your apartment easily, you can charge it. But if you have a 120-volt outlet, use a NEMA 5-15 adapter to plug it in.

This will give you about two to four miles of range per hour of charge. Ask your landlord if you are allowed to do this first. 

Do I need a garage for my Tesla?

You don’t need a garage to charge your Tesla overnight. You need the appropriate power outlet. A carport, driveway, or a dedicated parking spot with a charging station should be sufficient. 

How much will my electricity bill increase with a Tesla?

You can expect a $50 increase in your monthly electricity bill if you charge your Tesla daily. The charging cost per mile for all Tesla products is 4.56 cents per mile. 

Can I use my dryer outlet to charge my Tesla?

You can use a standard 240V dryer outlet to charge a Tesla, and you can get a full charge in about 10 hours. You can get a 30% to 80% charge if you have less than six hours.

Can I leave my Tesla plugged in for a week? 

If you forget that you left your Tesla on charge and a week goes by, you should be fine. But you will still have to recharge within 40 to 50 miles.

If the charge goes down to 20%, battery-draining features such as sentry mode will be turned off. 

Can I charge my Tesla in an apartment garage?

As per EV charging laws, yes, you can charge your Tesla in an apartment garage as a tenant whether you have a designated parking space or not.

But your landlord may impose a fee for a designated spot for your Tesla. 

Can I keep my Tesla at 50% charge?

Tesla recommends that owners keep their vehicles charged to 100% and recharge them when it drops below that range. 

Does a Tesla lose resale value over time?

If you want to sell your Tesla because your apartment doesn’t have a charging station and the landlord cannot install one, you can get a reasonable price.

Unlike other vehicles, a Tesla retains its value even a few years after it is purchased due to its mileage range.

Most cars give optimal performance till they hit 13,500/year compared to a Tesla, which can go up to 500,000 miles over eight years.

But you need to maintain good driving habits and maintenance upkeep to hit this milestone. 

Can I write off a Tesla from my taxes?

That depends on how long you use your Tesla for business purposes, how much you need it for work, and its gross weight. Your specific state will also have rules regarding this. The benefit is available till March 31st, 2025, for all businesses that purchase vehicles with low emission rates. You can claim a 100% deduction for the first year for the vehicle’s cost. 

Wrapping Up

Coming back to the initial question, you can own a Tesla if you live in an apartment, whether it has a charging station or not.

If not, you can charge it from an outlet, at your office if it has a charging station, or on your way to work from a public outlet. Owning a Tesla should not be an uncomfortable experience. 

If you have more questions, check out Tesla’s official web page or contact their customer representatives for specific issues. 

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