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Charging Capabilities along the Maine coast?

Discussion in 'North America' started by bhuwan, Jul 15, 2013.

  1. bhuwan

    bhuwan Active Member

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    I'm thinking of going as far North as Bar Harbor (maybe even Baxter State Park), and looking at charging opportunities. I'll be coming from Boston, and could probably make it to Bar harbor without charging - but I probably won't do that :),. Ideally, I'd like to stop to charge every 100 miles, or overnight at my destination.

    I've checked Plugshare and the charging situation looks dire, at best.

    I'm seriously considering winging it, stopping at every campground after Portland, and inputting the info into Plugshare. (Surely, someone will allow me to charge) - At least this info would readily be available for future travelers..

    Thought I'd gather input from the folks here before being too hasty.
     
  2. Mike_Schlechter

    Mike_Schlechter Model S - P457

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    You may want to look for RV parks and also automotive body shops that would have a NEMA 14-50 for their equipment. See if they would let you plug in for a small fee or test drive. I lived in Main for four years. People are always happy to help out.

    I truly believe Mainers are the nicest people out there.
     
  3. bhuwan

    bhuwan Active Member

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    Thanks Mike. The plan, if you call it that, is to just drive up, and stop along the way at all RV camps. My goal is to input as much data into plugshare, as possible.

    Thanks for the tip on autobody shops - did not realize they had NEMA14-50 cables!
     
  4. cinergi

    cinergi Active Member

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    If it weren't for my sister not wanting to wait for a charge, I almost took my Model S from Boston to Bar Harbor recently. I would stop in Portland and then charge at your destination. There's a 1772 at the BH welcome center (I didn't check it out) and you can probably get 120 just about anywhere -- which, if you're staying a week, will be enough to fill you up and cover local activity (unless you drive a lot, or drive up the mountain in BH -- in which case do some math to double-check that). If you rent a home (like I did) and it has a dryer or range then you can use that, provided you have cables and/or adapters. Or just stop at the welcome center (call and check first!) when you need to and find something to do while it's drinking.
     
  5. hcsharp

    hcsharp Active Member

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    I like your style - winging it. Everybody talks about EVs and planning, planning, planning... Sometimes it's more of an adventure just to set off and charge where you can find it! It's amazing how many 240v outlets are out there. It helps to have a heavy (8 awg) extension cord and other equipment so you can use almost any 240v outlet. I've found that boat yards virtually always have outlets for welders (but watch out for 3 phase) and there's a lot of boat places on your route. I've also had success with airbnb. I offer the host an extra $20 for the hassle of unplugging their dryer overnight and before booking I ensure that my extension cord will reach.

    It has always surprised me how little EV charging shows up on PlugShare for Maine.

    Good luck!

     
  6. tmac

    tmac Member

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    I live in Portland
    there is 240 volt at Solar installer revision Energy that is public. It is near Baxter boulevard which is a biking jogging trail around back cove
    bring a bike and cycle into Portland for lunch?? Sillys is a great sand which shop bar 10 minute bike ride from there

    There are 2 240 volts at Mt Abrams ski area which is not real close to the cocoast you can check plug share as well


    A few Nissan dealers but who wants to sit in a car dealership?


    Fueling Charging Stations: Maine Office of the Public Advocate

    good luck !
     
  7. bhuwan

    bhuwan Active Member

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    Thanks. I did not make it as far as I wanted - only to portland. The weather was awful. Hoping to do another trip soon
     
  8. Gwgan

    Gwgan Almost a wagon

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    Bumping this thread with a thought about Superchargers.

    This is my own myopic and unvalidated personal impression here about Maine visitor traffic: In the summer, Canadians come down from Québec towards the southern beaches and tourists drive up from New England to stop along the coast with many going on to Bar Harbor. Most visitor traffic headed to Bar Harbor by car does not go through Bangor but moves along Route 1 on the coast. Bangor, Maine's third largest city, is a shopping destination for Canadians, is close to the University of Maine Orono campus, and is a branch point for north woods vacations and the Maritime provinces of Canada. In the winter, people go skiing in the western mountains; if they are headed to Bethel from Boston they will take the shorter route through New Hampshire but if headed to Sugarloaf or Saddleback they will pass through Portland and then leave the highway.


    IMHO Portland (100 miles from Boston) and Bangor (130 miles from Portland) are not the best places for the first Superchargers to promote Tesla use along these travel corridors. Freeport (125 miles from Boston), Ellsworth (another 120 miles up the coast with another 20 miles to Bar Harbor), and Skowhegan (180 miles from Québec and 75 miles north of Freeport) would allow for travel from Boston and Québec to these common destinations. Orono, not Bangor, could foster round trips from Boston and be a last stop on the way to Presque Isle, another 150 miles north.


    For most traffic, Portland is too close to the more southern population centers and Bangor is out of the way. Note I say First Supercharges. Eventually there could be stations at rest stops along the major 95 corridor and inside commercial districts in all the major cities.


    A couple of Superchargers in Maine cities may foster local purchases and could certainly help with some business travel but a few strategically placed pitstops may go a long way to supporting tourists vacationing with their Teslas.
     
  9. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    Looking at the official map of SC locations and keeping a broad perspective, the Portland area really does make sense for SC. My working hypothesis is that they'll actually go even further south, to the Kennebunk visitors' center, following the pattern we've seen at the five other Northeast SC locations.

    Why is it sensible? It's part of a bigger network:
    • From the east-bound Chardon rest area on I-90 (presumably the site for the mid-MA SC), it's 130 miles to Kennebunk. Check.
    • From the Providence RI-area SC, it's about 130 miles to Kennebunk. Check.
    • From Bangor (I-95) to Kennebunk, it's about 150 miles. A trifle long, but doable.

    Your point about moving the SC down from Bangor to the Bucksport area is well taken, though. Along the coastal route, it's 140 miles from Kennebunk to Bucksport, and at lower average speeds so it's easily doable. I think that would get more use than the I-95 corridor, given where high-end drivers are more likely to be traveling.

    By the by, I'm always happy to have visitors to my place in South Bristol (shown on Plugshare). The problem is it's about 12 miles off US-1, so you're "burning" nearly an hour's charge just to get to and fro.
     
  10. Gwgan

    Gwgan Almost a wagon

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    Kennebunk does make sense from a network standpoint for folks coming from further away. I was thinking more about people heading up into Maine from home, but I suppose Teslas from New Jersey should have a way to get here, too.

    The one advantage Bucksport has over Elsworth, other than being a little closer to Kennebunk, is that it is a branch point to either Bangor/ Orono or Downeast/Castine/Bar Harbor. I don't know how much route one traffic heads up to Bangor but my impression is not very much (I rarely see out-of-state plates on that stretch) . Elsworth offers more to the passing traveler.
     
  11. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    Someone in Damariscotta recently installed a 14-50 plug; he's much closer to US-1 if anyone is looking for charging in mid-Coast. He's a TSLA investor who finally decided to pull the trigger and reserve a Model S. I guess his profits are paying for a good portion of his new ride!
     
  12. Gwgan

    Gwgan Almost a wagon

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    My electrician just upgraded a garage outlet to a 50A circuit with a NEMA-14-50 socket and it is on PlugShare - Electric Car (EV) Charging Station - PlugShare
    Couple minutes off Rt 1 but 4/all-wheel drive or studs often needed to get up the drive in the winter.
    One can dream (and not watch the stock price) can’t one?
     
  13. 3mp_kwh

    3mp_kwh Member

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    ..hmm, just north of Booth Bay. I, too, wonder the theme of this thread, especially considering how much Mom&Pop business is up in Maine. Inns, stores, towns, etc. A level 3 charger, on such a major coastal route makes so much sense. Nissan's CHadeMo incentives bring their units down to around 15k, I thought I read on InsideEVs. While lower in watts, even paying for a Tesla / CHadeMo adapter could put some shop owner at <20k all-in, to end up being a L3 beacon on PlugShare and other maps. Plugshare recently got two L3's on Boston's northern 128 loop. Nissan dealers, I think.

    Maine isn't in the recent 8 state MOU, for ZEVs, which makes it more likely a few private L3 units could bring in more business. High paying business. FWIW, not sure the states in the MOU, accept VT, are going to make a move on L3 highway infrastructure, anyway.
     
  14. EdA

    EdA Model S P-2540

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    This past weekend Telsa had a test drive event at the Nonantum Resort in Kennebunkport. They installed 2 HPWC's at the hotel. I arrived on Friday night the day after the charger was installed.
    Tesla showed up today for the test drive event. The stayed in Ogunquit the night before. I'll try to post the list of all of the places they installed HPWC's.

    Post A Picture Of Your Car Charging - Page 52

    Somewhere I posted a link of the details of the test drive event and I've lost it...
     
  15. bhuwan

    bhuwan Active Member

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    Add them alll to plugshare
     
  16. EdA

    EdA Model S P-2540

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    I went to add the one I used and it was there!
    I checked-in and added a photo.

    Distracted by "real life" and still haven't found the full list of locations for the test drive event.
     
  17. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Active Member

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    The US-1 traffic is why Robert has suggested Bucksport to Tesla. I think Belfast or Bucksport would be good.

    Skowhegan's good for the Quebecois, and, with a slight diversion, would be useful for traveling to Sugarloaf/Carrabassett Valley. But I think that Skowhegan's otherwise not very helpful and given that the Quebecois would be traveling in summer (assuming you're trying to serve Eastern Quebec/Quebec City to Old Orchard Beach), then without any personal bias (honest), I think you'd be better off having one in Waterville. If they could put a Supercharger in St Georges, QC, then St-Georges, QC to Waterville, ME is 133 miles and shouldn't be a problem. For Waterville, just off the Interstate there are multiple hotels, multiple fast food chains and a supermarket/mall area, or they could do a 2-mile diversion to downtown where there's plenty of parking and a number of good dining choices. From Waterville it's 56 miles to the Carrabassett Valley, 123 miles from Kittery, 101 miles from Bar Harbor, so would provide alternative stopping strategies for the direct route.

    For a Southern-money bias then Augusta would be an OK location, but then it'd need another Supercharger on the US-201 route to Quebec, more middle-of-nowhere, north of Skowhegan. Augusta's around 78 miles to Carrabassett valley. , Exit 109 Whitten Road mall has a Texas Roadhouse or the mall at exit 112 has some restaurants. Exit 113 is the exit for Route 3 to Belfast so is a relatively good compromise route to Bar Harbor. It's about 100 miles from Kittery, allowing Portland to be skipped easily, and 110 miles from Bar Harbor, good for an 85, and then an MS 60 return via the Bangor Mall.

    I think that rather than Freeport, you might as well do Topsham or Brunswick and get 10 miles closer to Bar Harbor for US-1. If they could somehow get spots in public parking in downtown Brunswick it'd give people an excellent set of choices for dining; spaces near the Topsham Mall should also easily be available.
     
  18. tga

    tga Active Member

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    Was this it - Fully Charged Northeast Tour | Events | Tesla Motors

    4 of the 9 locations which have hosted events so far are listed on plugshare w/ 2 HPWC's: Montauk, NY; Groton, CT; Ogunquit and Kennebunkport, ME. Montauk is at a yacht club and may not be publicly accessible.
     
  19. EdA

    EdA Model S P-2540

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    Yes, that's it - thanks.

    Buried in emails work and personal from 10 days of travelling.

    PS: I'm pretty sure the MV location has chargers too based on my conversations with the TM staff.
     
  20. Gwgan

    Gwgan Almost a wagon

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    #20 Gwgan, Jul 28, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2014
    The prospect of a supercharger between Quebec and Montreal does create some other opportunities for travel between western Maine and Canada. Brunswick has more commercial and gastronomic diversity then Freeport and I'd much rather eat in Belfast than Bucksport myself but the interesting commercial districts in both of those preferred towns are farther from the highway. You should share your ideas directly with TM. At this point any one or two superchargers in this area could have a significant impact.
     

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