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Charging Addiction

Do you have charging addiction?

Even when I don't need to charge, and I see a charger, I just feel an urge to plug in. Today, I'm at a work location that is 90 miles from home. I have plenty of juice to make a round trip. We also happen to have 4 Clipper Creek chargers here, but I don't need to charge so I am doing the courteous thing by leaving it open for other coworkers. Someone with a Volt plugged into the first station. Still, I can't resist the urge to plug it in ... I'm having fantasies of maybe plugging in during the lunch break, you know, just for "half a day" so I feel less bad about taking up a space and getting free electricity.

- K
 

tga

Active Member
Supporting Member
Apr 8, 2014
4,127
3,207
New Hampshire
If there's little chance of all 4 stations being used by cars with shorter range (thus needing a charge more than you) then what's the harm? The way I see it, letting the infrastructure that's out there so far go unused doesn't do much to encourage further buildout of L2 charging.
Range isn't necessarily a good proxy for "needing to charge." A Tesla at the midpoint of a 300 mile trip deserves the charger more than a Leaf in the middle of a 10 mile trip. It's all about having enough range to get to the next charging opportunity. It's hard to decide who needs the charger more without knowing current SOC and travel plans.

But I agree with the "use it or loose it" approach in general.
 
There's a shopping district I drive to regularly that has 7 J1772 chargers and I use them even though I don't necessarily need the charge. It's convenient, and the warm and fuzzy thought of getting some free electricity probably makes me go there more often than I otherwise would, which I imagine is the whole reason they installed them in the first place.

I'm cognizant of the fact that other people might need the spot to get home. Even with that many chargers, sometimes they're all occupied. I printed out a quick sheet of paper that I put on my dashboard in cases like this, telling people that if they need the charger they can call or text me and I'll move. Hasn't happened yet.

I routinely see Volts, Prius plug-ins, Ford Energi plug-ins, and even the occasional Porsche plug-in using these chargers, so I don't feel bad about taking advantage. At least I'm charging a pure EV! I do also routinely see LEAFs charging. No idea if they need it or if they're just doing the same sort of thing I am.
 
Sorry, OT, but in Fairfax? Where?

They're at Mosaic in Merrifield. There are three chargers in a group in the garage under the Target, and four installed in two pairs in the garage next to MOM's. Right now it's effectively 5 or 6 chargers, because there's one been broken forever and one that works only sporadically, but it's still a nice installation. They're not very powerful, typically around 195V and 30A, so good for about 18MPH charging, but it's hard to argue with free. They're on PlugShare and do live status, so you can check to see how many are in use and how many are offline at any given moment.
 
We've booked a hotel in Niagara Falls for an upcoming trip specifically because they have a J1772 charging station. I even phoned the hotel directly after booking to ensure they were aware and put details on my booking. The person answering at the hotel front desk was quick to respond in the affirmative and that they would make sure the charger was available for us.

We are using our purchasing power and feedback to continue to support destination charging, even though in this case, we had no worries about the round trip from Toronto, it is the "principle of thing". Plus, it prepares us for the winter time when a -20C weekend might absolutely require charging at a destination 150km+ outside of Toronto when the round trip range of the 85 is only 300km from full charge.

- - - Updated - - -

They're not very powerful, typically around 195V and 30A, so good for about 18MPH charging, but it's hard to argue with free. They're on PlugShare and do live status, so you can check to see how many are in use and how many are offline at any given moment.

This is the sweet spot for destination charging in my opinion, namely, the destination (Target in this case) is intending the EV owner to stay for at least an hour (or more) to ensure you spend time in their store. The same works for restaurants and hotels. Hotels, due to overnight stays could get by with 20A charging, as that is likely to completely replenish most EV's (including my S85) in a 12 hour overnight stay.

I know we all like fast charging, but I see that needed on (1) highway routes, and (2) for inner city charging for apartment dwellers.

I personally have phoned hotels at destinations I am interested in (like Cambridge Ontario) to encourage them to install charging. I even go so far as to propose reasonable priced 20A L2 chargers that are likely to get used overnight. I'm imagining it's an easier sell than a 100A L2 like the Tesla HPWC or Sun Country Highway which may require higher levels of infrastructure investment (breakers, panels, wire thickness) vs 20A which is similar to the circuits for the hotel room based HVAC equipment for example.
 

Max*

Charging
Apr 8, 2015
6,672
3,835
NoVa
They're at Mosaic in Merrifield. There are three chargers in a group in the garage under the Target, and four installed in two pairs in the garage next to MOM's. Right now it's effectively 5 or 6 chargers, because there's one been broken forever and one that works only sporadically, but it's still a nice installation. They're not very powerful, typically around 195V and 30A, so good for about 18MPH charging, but it's hard to argue with free. They're on PlugShare and do live status, so you can check to see how many are in use and how many are offline at any given moment.

I used the 3 at Target, they're usually packed. I've driven by the ones next to MOMs, but didn't realize there are 4 there! Thanks!

By any chance are you the white Model S with custom plates that I occasionaly see there?
 
I used the 3 at Target, they're usually packed. I've driven by the ones next to MOMs, but didn't realize there are 4 there! Thanks!

By any chance are you the white Model S with custom plates that I occasionaly see there?

Two of the MOMs chargers are a bit hidden. One pair is in the northwest corner, right across from MOMs. The other pair is in the opposite corner next to the entrance from Strawberry Ln. But they're right next to a stairwell which blocks you from seeing them as you come in, and you're not allowed to go in that direction, so they're easy to miss.

And of course, because of that, this is the place that's most likely to have a spot available....

My Model S is indeed white, but no custom plates, so that must be somebody else. If you've seen a regular boring plate that starts with WTC, that's me!
 

Max*

Charging
Apr 8, 2015
6,672
3,835
NoVa
Two of the MOMs chargers are a bit hidden. One pair is in the northwest corner, right across from MOMs. The other pair is in the opposite corner next to the entrance from Strawberry Ln. But they're right next to a stairwell which blocks you from seeing them as you come in, and you're not allowed to go in that direction, so they're easy to miss.

And of course, because of that, this is the place that's most likely to have a spot available....

My Model S is indeed white, but no custom plates, so that must be somebody else. If you've seen a regular boring plate that starts with WTC, that's me!

Cool, good to know!

I'm the new blue charging by Target everytime I can get a spot when we shop there. I have regular plates, but have been contemplating custom plates...


Sorry OP for the threadjack.
 

ThosEM

Space Weatherman
Dec 13, 2013
870
324
Annapolis, MD
Range isn't necessarily a good proxy for "needing to charge." A Tesla at the midpoint of a 300 mile trip deserves the charger more than a Leaf in the middle of a 10 mile trip. It's all about having enough range to get to the next charging opportunity. It's hard to decide who needs the charger more without knowing current SOC and travel plans.

But I agree with the "use it or lose it" approach in general.

I really don't get this "need" calculation. Does someone standing in line at Subway get to go to the head of the line if they are *hungrier* than others in line? I really think that the practice of offering free charging is distorting this situation badly. The only way we are going to get better infrastructure is if people can make income from the sale of electricity. Setting up and operating the charger is a value added function that deserves compensation far more than any potential user *deserves* a charge. I worry that Tesla's free supercharging is also distorting the energy market. Energy will not be conserved if it is free, and making it free sends the wrong message to users. </rant>

My 2¢ worth...
 

MrClown

Autosteer Beta Tester
Oct 3, 2014
225
51
Denver
I appreciate "free" electricity as much as anyone but I feel that going out of may way to be plugged in in public gives others a sense of range anxiety for EVs. Someone that doesn't know anything about a Tesla or other EVs may be led to believe that we *have* to be looking for a charge everywhere we go. That makes it seem inconvenient to own an EV. I prefer to make the Tesla look like it's just as convenient as any other car out there - we can park anywhere and not have to worry about charging every time we get access to a few minutes of juice. That's one of the advantages of the Model S: we can start every day with a full charge and never have to worry about filling up the tank. ICE drivers are the ones that have to worry about that kind of thing!

- - - Updated - - -

Overnight at a hotel is different - that doesn't come across as inconvenient since you're sleeping anyway, just like charging at home.
 

Max*

Charging
Apr 8, 2015
6,672
3,835
NoVa
I appreciate "free" electricity as much as anyone but I feel that going out of may way to be plugged in in public gives others a sense of range anxiety for EVs. Someone that doesn't know anything about a Tesla or other EVs may be led to believe that we *have* to be looking for a charge everywhere we go. That makes it seem inconvenient to own an EV. I prefer to make the Tesla look like it's just as convenient as any other car out there - we can park anywhere and not have to worry about charging every time we get access to a few minutes of juice. That's one of the advantages of the Model S: we can start every day with a full charge and never have to worry about filling up the tank. ICE drivers are the ones that have to worry about that kind of thing!

I don't think people here go out of their way to get free charging, but if I'm going somewhere and I know there's free charging, I will use it even if I have enough juice to get home.

A. It's free
2. I feel that EV drivers would be less likely to ding up my car
III. It's usually away from the crowded areas
 

MrClown

Autosteer Beta Tester
Oct 3, 2014
225
51
Denver
I don't think people here go out of their way to get free charging, but if I'm going somewhere and I know there's free charging, I will use it even if I have enough juice to get home.

I guess my point was more that charging in public, regardless of how far out of the way it is or isn't, still gives people the idea that EVs are inconvenient because they have to worry about charging all the time.
 

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