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Charging at work

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by BetterThanEdison, Sep 30, 2013.

  1. BetterThanEdison

    Joined:
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    Location:
    USA
    My company is thinking of installing charging stations. I was hoping people could post their experiences with charging at work.

    1. Does the company charge you? How much?
    2. How many stations are there compared to the number of EVs? Are there too many stations or too few?
    3. What type of stations?
    4. Can non-employees charge?
    5. Do you have to move your car during the day to let someone else use the spot? Do you have an EV mailing list to deal with this?
    6. Any other tips or things to consider?

    Thanks!
     
  2. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    I'll start:

    We have a charging station for our company Volt. When I got my Model S I specifically asked if I could charge at work and was given an emphatic "yes" by the President/CEO. He seemed very positive about the Model S and my charging at work.

    After a few weeks, I was getting sideways looks and hearing rumors that other employees were offput by the fact that I was getting free "fuel" for my car, but the company wasn't buying gasoline for them (yes, people are petty). I discussed it with a few of my peers and decided that the rumors I was hearing were indeed going around. I decided to back off and only charge at work if absolutely necessary. With the Model S range, that means pretty much never.

    Interestingly, we are in the process of planning one or two additional EVSE units in our employee parking lot which is also accessible to the public (the above-mentioned Volt charger is not publically accessible). Not sure if I'll try plugging in to those units if/when they go in or not.

    EDIT: No, I was not being charged for the use of the Volt EVSE.
     
  3. gg_got_a_tesla

    gg_got_a_tesla Model S: VIN P65513, Model 3 Res Holder

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    No charge.

    5 Level 2 and 13 Level 1 charging options. 33+ EVs already contending for these. Too few charging options obviously but, the facilities folks are planning on adding more; just not this fiscal year.

    5 L2 stations (ClipperCreek 30A J1772) and 13 110V outlets (of the NEMA 5-20R variety that one can draw upto 16A from)

    Yes. Many folks from businesses around here drop by from time to time. They rarely take up the stations for long intervals though. The L2 stations are open to the public while the L1 outlets are in an enclosed garage that does need card key access.

    Many of us voluntarily do move the car and send a note to a mailing list. There's a spreadsheet of all known EVs (with license plate numbers, car make/model, their owner contact phone nums/email addresses) that helps identify cars, particularly when breakers are tripped and such.

    Try to get high amperage Level 2 charging stations if possible, such as these:

    Charging Station / CS-100, High Power

    Charging Station / TS70 (90) (on sale!)

    If the company does have to charge for charging, it may be good to aim for a price-per-hour model that escalates after a few hours. And, the price should probably be such that one still has a better deal when compared to burning gas for the same range recovered.

    Also, numerous 110V outlets (the combo 5-20R/5-15 variety rather than the vanilla 5-15) would be great for trickle-charging. Many folks may be able to recover their entire commute range from trickle-charging for the 8 or 9 hours that they are at work and wouldn't need the higher power charging stations.

    Identify a good moderator/owner for the mailing list to guide folks regarding charging options/etiquette and also to coordinate with Facilities in case of equipment failure and such.
     
  4. liuping

    liuping Active Member

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    This is a pretty common issue at many companies. I think it is because they are looking at it thinking "he's getting free 'gas' and I pay $500 a month for gas, so he's getting $500 free from the company". They do not realize how cheap it is to "fill" an EV.

    The best way around this it to have an official company policy that says "EV charging is available to all employee, for cost of the electricity". That way no one get something "extra", but it's still very cheap to charge for those who need or want to.
     
  5. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    In an earlier thread, it was suggested that I bring in coffee and donuts a couple of times a month or make a charitable donation. Our company is pretty big on the United Way, so I'm thinking some sort of per-use or per-month donation to UW might be the way to go.
     
  6. liuping

    liuping Active Member

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    A donation to Unite Way is a great idea. Unfortunately, it might not stop the rumors unless every one know you are doing it and why.

    An official company policy can be emailed to everyone or posted on the charger, and should completely remove any animosity.
     
  7. fluxemag

    fluxemag Member

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    #7 fluxemag, Sep 30, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2013
    1. Does the company charge you? How much? No charge, it's free.

    2. How many stations are there compared to the number of EVs? Are there too many stations or too few? We have 2 stations, there are 3 EV's at our site.

    3. What type of stations? Public style charging station, 30A J1772. Requires an activation card to keep the public from using it.

    4. Can non-employees charge? No.

    5. Do you have to move your car during the day to let someone else use the spot? Do you have an EV mailing list to deal with this? We are supposed to charge for 3 hours or less, and then move to the carpool spots. We have a mailing list for the users at our two sites.

    6. Any other tips or things to consider? For the first two months since it was installed, I was the only person with a Tesla. Basically every person in the hallway said "Nice of them to install that just for you" or something similar. The spot is right up front (not what I wanted). I haven't gotten any negative feedback from people, but they certainly think it's just-for-me free power. However, being a semiconductor fab, we use the power it takes to fully charge my car every millisecond and people realize it's a drop in the bucket. We finally have a second Model S in the lot today, so it won't be "just for me". There's actually a third EV, a plug in Prius, but people have never noticed it.

    I'll also say that I shamelessly charge at work instead of at home. I pretty much never charge at home now. It's only $40 a month, but I'll take it. If more people start showing up with Volts and Prius plug ins, I'll let them have first shot at access.
     
  8. BetterThanEdison

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    Thanks for the great responses! Keep em coming

    It seems like charging users for the cost of electricity (~$1 per hour) would be a good idea for the employer... other employees won't get upset about EV drivers getting free fuel and the stations won't be overused by EV drivers trying to save money.

    Thanks for the suggestions gg_got_a_tesla... the TS70(90) for $1395 sounds like a decent deal. Any other EVSE's out there besides Clipper Creek? Any idea how much installation costs?

    Having an EV mailing list moderator is a good idea.
     
  9. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    I'm working at getting two EVSE installed in our lot. I have to trench about 200' for two 100 amp circuits and do a little civil work to re-align a sidewalk, install bollards and signage etc., then have the electrician install. That is coming to about $16,000. (plus the EVSE cost).

    Installation is by far the most expensive piece. If you can mount the EVSE right on a wall adjacent to your electrical room, it'll be cheap. If you have to run ducts and cables any kind of distance, that's going to cost...
     
  10. EdA

    EdA Model S P-2540

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    1. Does the company charge you? How much?

    Not yet (chargers installed in July)

    2. How many stations are there compared to the number of EVs? Are there too many stations or too few?

    Two Model S's in my building, 3 other buildings I think 2 chargers by them and a Volt and a Leaf. The "charger" email lists are very quiet, put it that way.

    3. What type of stations?

    Semacharge L2 (J1772)
    (The card reader isn't activated yet)

    4. Can non-employees charge?

    Technically yes, but its not advertised (or wanted by the company). Once the reader works outsiders won't be able to charge.

    5. Do you have to move your car during the day to let someone else use the spot? Do you have an EV mailing list to deal with this?

    We have a mailing list but so far it is just two of us, he has a very short commute and only needs to charge once a week!

    6. Any other tips or things to consider?

    Can't think of anything...

    /Ed
     
  11. swaltner

    swaltner Member

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    For our office in Sunnyvale:

    1 - yes, the rate is set at the average cost/kWh for the company, which during the day is less than the residential TOU rate

    2 - 35 EVSEs for approximately 90 EVs (including the plug-in hybrids), which isn't enough charging stations

    3 - ChargePoint - simply so they can do the billing on electricity usage. In my opinion, installing a ChargePoint system is purely to keep other employees from feeling cheated as was mentioned elsewhere. There's a huge premium ($2,000+ per EVSE) for the ChargePoint hardware. That can buy a LOT of electricity!

    4 - No, each CP account has to be flagged for access to the EVSEs.

    5 - Yes, vehicles need to be moved during the day. Each EVSE was mounted so it could reach two parking stalls so the next car can start charging before the first car is moved. Internal web page with contact info and e-mail lists are available for requests to move vehicles, etc...
     
  12. bradc

    bradc Member

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    Location:
    Seattle, WA

    1. Does the company charge you? How much?
    My company charges $0.50 per hour to utilize the charging station, regardless of charging rate, or even whether electricity is flowing at all.

    2. How many stations are there compared to the number of EVs? Are there too many stations or too few?
    There is one charging station with 2 charging cables and 2 dedicated EV charging spots, but the charger is cleverly positioned so the cables can reach the nearest 4, or perhaps 6 parking spots in a pinch. We have at least 3 Tesla's in our building, and several Leaf's. There are times when both charging spots are occupied (typically by a Leaf) and I would have liked to charge, so I would say we could use some more. Leaf's are very popular here, and Model S's are prevalent enough to not be considered unique.

    3. What type of stations?
    They are ChargePoint bollard stations, 30A max.

    4. Can non-employees charge?
    No, charging is restricted to registered employees only who have signed up and agreed to the terms of the program.

    5. Do you have to move your car during the day to let someone else use the spot? Do you have an EV mailing list to deal with this?
    Moving is not required, however, you are charged from the start of the session until you physically tap your card to end the session (even if the vehicle is no longer charging). This encourages people to move out of the EV parking spots as soon as charging is complete.

    This setup has led to some people parking in the non-EV (general purpose) parking spots adjacent to the charger and pulling the charging cable to charge from the non-EV parking space. Presumably this saves them some time when they come down at lunch to unplug; since they are in a non-EV parking spot they do not have to move their car. As long as they unplug when they're done charging, this seems like an efficient solution.


    6. Any other tips or things to consider?
    We do have an unofficial mailing list for EV owners but it's opt-in so not every EV driver is on it. $0.50 an hour to occupy the charging spot seems to strike a good balance of covering the costs of charging as well as encouraging owners to vacate the spots when not in use, without overly burdening those who want/need to charge at work. People do irrational things when the price is 'free'; even a nominal charge helps keep behavior in check.

    I would recommend putting in as powerful a charger as you can afford. 30A is a bare minimum to consider, and barely meets today's needs. 240V @ 100A would be a reasonable capacity for the EV's of today as well as tomorrow.
     
  13. Kipernicus

    Kipernicus Model S Res#P1440

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    Belmont, CA
    GG had a nice writeup, and at my work in Foster City things are similar.
    1. free
    2. for a while it was 4 L2 and a handful of 110s for about 30 EVs, but then our new President got a Tesla and most conveniently now there's funding available for 6 new L2 in each of the 4 buildings. Now we have over 40 plug-ins and growing.
    3. The latest chargepoints
    4. All are behind badge access gates, so not open to public, and the units are not visible on the CP map. If a Visitor came in to the garage they could use the stations if they have a chargepoint card.
    5. Yes we have an email list to encourage/coordinate sharing of spots. Some people really can't make it home without plugging in a few hours, and the rest of us try to be considerate.
    6. I agree with GG that it may be just as good to provide a ton of 110v outlets as 8 hours is enough for most people's commutes and you don't have to waste any employee time with shuffling cars and monitoring email lists. I suspect when demand exceeds supply by a large margin again then it makes sense to charge a nominal fee per hour which escalates when charging is stopped.
     
  14. gimmee2

    gimmee2 Member

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    1. Does the company charge you? How much?
    My company charges $0.50 per hour of charging, regardless of how much electricity is flowing. There is no charge if plugged in but not charging. My understanding is that this time-based method of charging is based on AZ state regulations. I actually prefer the idea of charging based on plug in time (rather than charging time) as it encourages people to move their cars faster.

    2. How many stations are there compared to the number of EVs? Are there too many stations or too few?
    The chargers were just turned on recently so it’s too early to tell whether there are too many/few. Our senior management made the decision to not allow others to unplug/plug in others so there is only one designated parking spot per cord. They did run extra power to the charging area so expansion shouldn’t be too hard if needed.

    3. What type of stations?
    GE Wattstation

    4. Can non-employees charge?
    Technically non-employees are not supposed to be able to charge but right now that hasn’t been enabled.

    5. Do you have to move your car during the day to let someone else use the spot? Do you have an EV mailing list to deal with this?
    The limit is 4 hours to remain at a charger. We have a contact list that includes license plates and mobile numbers but adding contact info to that list is voluntary. The use of contact cards displayed on the charging vehicle has been strongly encouraged.
     
  15. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    Probably true. Here in Ontario, Canada only licensed electricity distributors can sell electricity and it has to be through a Measurement Canada approved and sealed meter.
     
  16. omarsultan

    omarsultan Active Member

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    1. Does the company charge you? How much?
    Charging is free. We have a number of Blink stations--you register for a blink card, then register the card number with the company and charing on-campus is free. The company has said the reserver the right to charge in the future.

    2. How many stations are there compared to the number of EVs? Are there too many stations or too few?
    We have about 80 chargers on the SJ campus--more would always be better, but that contention does not seem to be too bad right now.

    3. What type of stations?
    Blink L2 charger - looking at DC Fast Charger (not sure which standard).

    4. Can non-employees charge?
    Kinda of - visitors can borrow a temp Blink card from the lobby ambassador if they are visiting a building that has chargers, but you cannot just pull off the street and charge

    5. Do you have to move your car during the day to let someone else use the spot? Do you have an EV mailing list to deal with this?
    This is the biggest "problem" right now. The company policy is that you cannot unplug a car (for company liability reasons since they are picking up the bill) and the chargers are spread across multiple buildings on campus. Some buildings have created building-level mailing lists to communicate with other EV owners. Other buildings ignore the "don't unplug" mandate and use the open-charging-door protocol. So far, most folks seem pretty good about not camping out in a charging space.

    6. Any other tips or things to consider?
    Consider how a program will scale - what happens if you have 2X the number of EVs (or 10X). The company tracks how long folks stay connected after they are charged up, and folks that regularly camp out run the risk of having charging privileges suspended.
     
  17. BetterThanEdison

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    Any other data points for how much it costs to install the stations?
    Any opinions on Chargepoint vs Blink vs other companies?

    Thanks!
     
  18. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    I was quoting the infrastructure costs which are independent of the actual brand of EVSE. Connected chargers like Blink and ChargePoint have ongoing costs for the communications capability and for being part of their network - - as I understand it, and I think are expensive to buy. I am proposing the CS-100 shown on this page.
     
  19. BetterThanEdison

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    It seems like the infrastructure costs are a big chunk of the total cost. I'm trying to get a better sense of the price for the whole project. Seems like EVSEs are ~2k each and infrastructure can cost 10-20k... does that sound reasonable?
     
  20. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    The EVSE cost itself is pretty much fixed. Just depends on which brand and capacity you select. The installation costs are wildly variable. I am looking at about $16,000 to run two or three hundred feet of dual 100 amp circuits back to our electrical room, do a little sidewalk re-alignment and so forth.

    If you can mount on a wall right next to your electrical room, it'll be a lot less. If you have to run cable further (especially as a retrofit) it'll be a lot more expensive. Do you have to do any sidewalk, curb or bollards? Add money for that too. If your building's electrical system does not have the capacity, add LOTS of money for that. There really is no good answer to the infrastructure cost question.
     

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