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Bed and breakfast- what to install to attract people

Discussion in 'Charging Standards and Infrastructure' started by nursebee, Aug 8, 2013.

  1. nursebee

    nursebee Member

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    My wife and I open our home up to guests using AirBnB. I would like to offer electric car charging to those that stay with us. I want to attract electric car owners. I want to install something better than what we have without paying too much money. I am thinking Nema 14-50 outlet but am open to other ideas. Some things I've thought about:
    the 2-3 thousand for a bill at point of use unit is too expensive for us.
    in garage has more value but gives us inconvenience
    outside access available to all with an honor system pay as you go for those that want to stop for just a short top up (could be used if we were not home)
    spend a little more money to run a line to an open ended shed- could even run a new meter for this if idea was popular.

    Owners- please offer advice on what to install, how to market or best let you know, how to make it easy for you. Should I think of other things.

    And if you have ideas or links to help my redneck electrician do this right... please share.

    And if you are travelling through eastern north carolina let me know and I will send you link for where we are.
     
  2. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

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    I agree that the cost of doing a pay for your charge is too much for a small operation, both in initial install and ongoing fees.

    The simplest, cheapest install is probably a weatherproof 14-50. Another alternative to consider that would provide 50% more power with at least a little more safety interlock protection is the EMW JuiceBox. This unit has a J1772 interface and supports a 15 kW, 60 Amp charge rate, 50% more than a 14-50. Of course this will require a 75 or 80 Amp breaker and larger wire.

    For collecting money, I think that a simple honor system will work well. Let's look at electric costs. If we assume that local electric rates are $0.12/kW-hr, then the cost for a 14-50 (10 kW) is $1.20 per hour, and a 60 Amp (15 kW) J1772 is $1.80 per hour. A simple, approximate doubling of cost is probably appropriate to cover install costs and other overhead. That means $2.50 per hour for a 14-50, and $4.00 per hour for the 60-Amp J1772 are probably a good start for a recommended donation. A nice note with a cash lock box should work most of the time. Also, consider setting up a paypal account so that folks can use their smartphone to pay. Put a QR code in the directions that goes directly to a PayPal page paying your account. My wild guess is that over 90% of EV users would pay you with this honor system. If you want to keep track of electric usage, there are plenty of simple meters. Here are a few examples, Electrical Power Meters | eBay, or perhaps a TED, The Energy Detective (TED).

    I own a Model S and live in remote SW Colorado. This is an area that will be poorly supported by the Supercharger network even at buildout. I hope to find a simple setup like the above to get a few local businesses to install.

    Good luck, and thanks for making the effort.
     
  3. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    The B&B that I use in Nebraska charges $10 per day for a 14-50. I don't think they have thought about temporary charging.

    As far as installation goes:

    1. Use a waterproof enclosure.

    2. Use #6 wire.

    3. Put the round hole at the top.
     
  4. GSP

    GSP Member

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    #4 GSP, Aug 8, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2013
    A 14-50 outlet is great for Teslas. I suggest a normal 120 V outlet as well, for other EVs to trickle charge, they can't use a 14-50 with the equipment (EVSE) that comes with their cars.

    Another option would be to buy a Cllipper Creek LCS-25 charging station for $495 plus installation. All EVs could use it, and it would be much more convienent and attractive to EV drivers than a 120 V outlet. It can provide 20 A, which is fast enough to charge about 140 miles during an overnight stay of 10-11 hours. The lower amperage could save on installation costs as well.

    Clipper Creek

    GSP
     
  5. PhilBa

    PhilBa Active Member

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    I may be a bit biased, but I think Tesla is currently the only car for EV touring. As such, I think you would be best served focusing on that for now. But, the good news is Tesla owners are in a very very desirable segment as they can afford an expensive car and are likely to have the means (and interest) for B&Bs. That means a simple NEMA 14-50 outlet. Right now, I have several areas where I would like to spend a weekend. If any of the B&B or hotels have a charger or outlet, I will not hesitate to book a room there. I use plugshare and recargo (and the regional TM club forum) to look for places so you would definitely want to have your info there.
     
  6. thelastdeadmouse

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    I'd highly recommend the Clipper Creek EVSE linked above. Its $495 and the installation cost should be the same or less than a 14-50 outlet, so the total might be something like $200-$300 more, but since all EV's can use it, you triple (or better) the number of people that will go out of their way to stay there for it. I drive a Volt, and I'll go out of my way to get a free charge because I love keeping my average MPG as high as possible and there are many others like me.

    As for cost, I'd make it free. Charging too much for it will turn off Volt / Plug in Prius / Ford Plug in Hybrid drivers, and the electricity cost for anything besides a Tesla is $2 or less depending on your local electricity rate. If you're worried about non-guests using it, you could always leave the circuit breaker for it off (it'll require a dedicated breaker anyway) and only turn it on when a guest needs it.
     
  7. GlennAlanBerry

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    I agree that a simple NEMA 14-50, on its own circuit breaker, possibly free for B&B guests would be a good competitive advantage, at least for Tesla owners. Just a few room/nights of occupancy would pay for the installation and the electricity usage.

    Something like a Clipper Creek would let you handle any type of EV. Once you do it, you should update your web site, publicize it here, and get yourself on PlugShare, Recargo, etc., so people know about it.
     
  8. Ven Rala

    Ven Rala Member

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    First, thanks for considering EV customers, we need more B&B owners and hotels like you. Whatever you end up installing, definitely put it on plugshare, that is my and many other EV owners' resource for looking up EV friendly places.
     
  9. RDoc

    RDoc S85D

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    Speaking for myself, I'd actively seek out a B&B, Inn or hotel with charging, however I'd also have no problem paying a reasonable fee to use it. If we're going to get more charging stations installed at low usage places like B&B's I feel we should be willing to pay something for the convenience, not to mention the cost of the power.
     
  10. roblab

    roblab Active Member

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    Reading the plans to increase the Sun Country Charging Network to cover holes in the Super Charging System, I tend to agree with them. The Clipper Creek 80 amp chargers would be donated by interested parties. The cost of electricity is negligible.

    I tend to think the same is true of Bed and Breakfasts. If I had a favorite place to stay, as a Tesla Owner, I would discuss with the owner putting in a J1772 charger (Clipper Creek is one of the best) with decent amperage (at least 40 amps, what you can get from a 14-50). This way, anyone could use it, and it should be free to customers of the B&B. They should advertise this benefit in all their advertising and on the charging web sites.

    I have decided to stop using a certain hotel because they did not even want to talk about me charging my EV. I will go where I am appreciated. And I will be glad to pay extra for certain amenities, just as I would for breakfast, wifi, or any other advantage.
     
  11. GSP

    GSP Member

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    I also would like to thank nursebee for considering EV customers. There are not a lot of us yet, but having B and B's listed on PlugShare.com will definately attract us, and more EVs (and PHEVs) are being sold everyday.

    I certainly would be happy to pay a reasonable price to charge. Either $1/hour plugged in, or $10 per overnight stay, would be attractive rates for an EV driver that is spoiled by low electric rates like myself. Hopefully this would be enough to cover your investment, but it would be wise to keep your investment as low as possible until more EVs are on the road.

    GSP
     
  12. Lloyd

    Lloyd Active Member

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    Be aware of the price of electricity at the area that you are charging. Some have reasonable rates at 5 to 10 cents per KWH, in which case if you are charging at 19 KW/hour, then $2 per hour would pay for their electricity. Some areas of PGE have higher rates at peak times .56 cents per Kwh. Charging at this time would cost $11 per hour. I don't think $1 per hour would cover the owners costs, unless you expect him to subsidize your stay.
     
  13. Only Trons

    Only Trons Member

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    @nursebee: that is a great idea. When my wife and I travel, we like to seek out B&Bs when possible. We would prioritize those locations that offered guests the opportunity to charge. I think a reasonable fee to cover your cost of electricity is fair.
     
  14. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

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    In that a few weeks ago I started a similar post: Marekting Query: Would YOU preferentially patronize a free-charging inn/hotel/bb?,

    and the good responses both I and Nursebee have been receiving,

    I am wondering if the time hasn't come for some kind of marketing sub-forum that would permit vendors (hosts) to show off their wares, and enable travelers to learn what is out where? How would we go about doing this?????
     
  15. RDoc

    RDoc S85D

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    It seems to me that most EV's have very small battery packs and can reasonably charge from 120V overnight with the exception of Teslas. However, Teslas can charge from 240V 50A circuits, they don't need J1772 plugs to fully recharge overnight. Given that, perhaps the cheapest setup for a B&B to install would be 2 standard outdoor sockets, an ordinary 120V outlet plus a 50A 240V 14-50 outlet. If a Volt or Leaf stayed overnight, the 120V circuit would do fine, and if a Tesla came by, it could plug into the 14-50 circuit.

    This would be a lot cheaper and simpler than getting involved in a Chargepoint or similar J1772 system I'd think.

    I also continue to believe that a reasonable fee for the charging amenity would be perfectly OK.
     
  16. PhilBa

    PhilBa Active Member

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    What is the typical distance that people travel to stay at hotels and B&B? I am assuming that it's likely to be more than the typical range of the compliance EVs (i.e. almost all of them). I believe this skews EV touring vehicles to Teslas. For the short term, I think a 14-50 is the way to go. As the market develops, some sort of SAE J1772 will eventually make sense. Plug-In hybrids potentially change this, though I suspect the availability of a charging hookup won't be as significant to those owners.
     
  17. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    600-700 miles for me.
     
  18. PhilBa

    PhilBa Active Member

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    I don't know the avg but I bet it's like 150-200. Kind of hard to see LEAFs and such doing that trip. At least without more fast chargers like chademo in place.
     
  19. DEinspanjer

    DEinspanjer Member

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    I think a simple post with NEMA 6-15 and 14-50 outlets would be fine for a simple solution. For a bit more of an initial investment, you could also look at installing a ClipperCreek CS-90 or CS-100. These high power chargers use the J-1772 adapter which is nearly universal for all EVs, but they also can put out 72 or 80 amps respectively which will top off even a Tesla in a very reasonable amount of time. Those chargers would definitely be future proofing the installation for the widest variety of potential customers in the coming years.

    Also, keep in mind that as long as you run proper heavy gauge wiring and an appropriate circuit breaker, there is nothing preventing you from starting with the simple outlets and then upgrading later if you see a need.


    As for payment, I would personally be comfortable with paying an extra $10 a night for a reserved charging spot.

    Thinking about the honor system, I'd love to look into the possibility of setting up a small system that could display the cost of installation, maintenance, and electricity consumption and provide users (and owner) with accurate feedback on what it costs the owner to provide the service. Maybe I'll put that in my list of hobby projects to explore in my copious spare time. :)
     
  20. neroden

    neroden Happy Model S Owner

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    If you're planning to offer this mainly as a "perk" for people staying at your B&B, don't charge your customers (just advertise the heck out of it and raise your B&B rates, because you have more perks now). Charge other users some small amount which is an even number of dollars and is enough to pay for your electricity, on an honor system as others have suggested.

    Your biggest question is what plugs to install. You definitely want to put in an "ordinary" NEMA 6-20 plug for people who only need a little trickle charging. The cheapest thing to do is to install a weatherproof NEMA 14-50 as well; that's sufficient for overnight charging for a Tesla. But that will only support Teslas. If you want to support other plug-in cars, you'll have to install something with a J1772 outlet, and the ones which have as much amperage as a NEMA 14-50 are surprisingly expensive. :-( I would not waste my money on any expensive charging station which charges slower than 40 amps continuous (which is what a NEMA 14-50 can do).

    Put the outlets where you want the guests to park! Outdoor-rated versions of the plugs are all readily available; if you can put them on an outside wall it won't cost any more than putting them in the garage (unless it's a longer wire run).

    I'd estimate $600 or less to install a NEMA 14-50 and a "standard" NEMA 6-20, unless you have a particularly long wire run from your breaker box. Or if you don't have enough electrical service to add the required 50 amp breaker for 40 amps continuous, in which case you probably don't want to try to provide charging at all. Check that you have enough space in your breaker box, and (more importantly) enough capacity on your electrical service.
     

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