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Charging etiquette

Discussion in 'Charging Standards and Infrastructure' started by speedy99, Sep 18, 2011.

  1. speedy99

    speedy99 2.5 Roadster

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    Interesting real life scenario. We have two level2 chargers at work, and a bigger handful of EV cars. The volt takes about 8 hours to charge (from 110v), the leaf maybe in 4 hours using level2, and the tesla could also be a full workday if run down.

    So who should get priority on the chargers, and for how long?

    I politely suggested the volt plug into a spare 110 outlet around our building, and not use a l2 charger. Arguably the leaf has such limited range, it probably needs the charger more than a tesla. The Prius plug-ins are coming soon as well.

    Part of me thinks the Prius and Volt are not 'real' EV in the sense that if not charged, they just burn some gas and give priority to the leaf/tesla. Part of me thinks we should encourage any electric tech, Prius (old and new), volt, etc., so in that respect we are all equals.

    I should add this is an incredibly good problem to have. Frankly I did not forsee the day when EV chargers at work would be available, much less be a scarce resource! Has anyone else had this situation, and how have you handled it? With the Leaf selling like mad in California (partially due to the HOV lane perk), and the Prius plug-in also eligible, I suspect this situation will be much more common.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    How much current is available at this Level 2? I'm guessing around 30 Amps.

    Yeah, I would suggest 120V outlets for PHEVs that are going to be parked all day. Their chargers are slow and their battery capacity is small.
     
  3. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    You might also consider plugging the Tesla in to the 120V outlet. Unless the commute is over 40 miles, you'll probably still top off (depending on length of your work day, obviously). Using the 120V sends a subtle message of how easy it is to share, that we don't absolutely need the best plugs, etc.

    Those at the higher amp chargers should be willing to move cars over lunch or when fully charged.
     
  4. ChargeIt!

    ChargeIt! Member

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    #4 ChargeIt!, Sep 18, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2011
    Unfortunately it's not as simple as deciding which car should get priority, but which driving pattern, or IOW, who has the longest commute in percentage terms of their battery capacity. Then add to that (when the EVSEs/plugs are really oversubscribed and there aren't enough hours in the (work)-day) the priority getting lowered for hybrid (plug-ins), because they do have a backup "generator".

    Notice I said "capacity". This is to make sure someone is not taking advantage of "free" workplace charging just because it's available, while pre-empting someone else. IOW, every EV driver should be fully charged at home (Tesla in Standard Mode, LEAF (for battery longevity) at 80%) before coming to work.

    So ... unless the Tesla driver has a round-trip commute (plus possibly needed side trips for that day) exceeding 180 miles ( I hope not ! ) the Tesla driver should get ZERO time at the plug; he/she should charge at home. Ordinarily the LEAF would be the prioritized EV due to its lower capacity, but the LEAF, if his/her RT commute is less than 70 miles (not 50, I don't support speeding; not 100, because it's impractical), should also get ZERO time at the plug (unless it's unoccupied). Now that leaves more time at the plug for the PHEV ... allowing them to reduce their gasoline-miles, while the BEVs are still able to comfortably complete their RT commute.

    Generally the PHEV (and the current model LEAF) should be on 120V due to their slower charger (3.3kW), except where the long-commuting LEAF really can't catch up, or if the Level II plug is available. ( I know one LEAF driver that charges to 100% TWICE each day, due to his 64 mile ONE-WAY commute, plus 1,500 feet rise to get back home at the end of the day. )

    Extenuating circumstances for those (for example) LEAF drivers who are using (for example) a Blink ... that went "on the blink" and did not completely charge their LEAF that night (look at MyNissanLEAF.com for all the trouble reports).

    Sorry this does not really help solve the specific work-place charging problem ... just some additional thoughts I wanted to add, because, IMHO, they need to be added into the "plug-sharing-design".

    My 2 cents :smile:

    (Edit: to clarify the LEAF's 70 miles)
    (Edit 2: And Bonnie makes some good points; I was still writing this when she squeezed in ahead of me.)
     
  5. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Any full BEV should get priority over any car that has a gasoline option.

    For BEVs it should be first-come-first-serve since no one can say who needs juice more since it's based on how far a car is traveling in regard to that cars's range.

    Answer is to have more plugs than cars that need them.
     
  6. W.Petefish

    W.Petefish Active Member

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    I know someone who has a commute of more than 180 miles round trip.

    The BEVs should be plugged into the LV2. But you also have to ask whom has the longest commute?
     
  7. Ardie

    Ardie Member

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    (This could get ugly)

    If I ran the parking garage, I'd probably go with a first-come, first-served policy. It may cause some ruffled feathers, but it would be easy to administer and easier still to resolve disputes.

    Otherwise I'd have to implement a point system to decide who is more important, and *that* will have several scenarios that will not end well.
    Type of Car: [+2] BEV, [+1] Plug-in hybrid, [+0] Range-extended hybrid, [+1] other
    Total range of car: [+2] 0-50 miles, [+1] 50-100 miles, [+0] > 100 miles
    Charging time requested by customer: [+2] 1 hr, [+1] 1-2 hrs, [+0] > 2 hrs
    Car owner is my boss: [+0] no, [+10] yes


    And the rules can change if enough silver crosses one's palm ...

    -- Ardie
     
  8. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    I'd hope everyone could work it out. I thought about first-come, first-serve - but there are always people who work slightly different hours. If someone always has to drop their kids off in the morning, they might not ever be able to be the first one in.

    As part of everyone 'working it out', I'd ask all those who could use the charging stations to not only identify their need, but also to identify when they don't need it. People need to have thought about that, or they'll come in ready to defend why they should get one of the coveted spots. I'm guessing the group can work it out without formal policies.
     
  9. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Yeah, I don't think etiquette and rules are ultimately going to solve the problem. It's far too complex to manage once you have more than a few vehicles.

    Economics to the rescue! If there are too few chargers and too many cars, then the only sensible solution is to charge money for time spent in the slot. That will clear out the people who don't really need it, move along the people who don't need a lot of time, and if you really need the charge then you will be willing to spend the money.
     
  10. W.Petefish

    W.Petefish Active Member

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    Better yet, install more EVSE that way everyone wins.:cool:
     
  11. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    What distinction are you making?
     
  12. Norbert

    Norbert TSLA will win

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    You haven't yet made the case that there can't be more chargers or at least some 120V outlets. How many would be needed to solve the problem?
     
  13. chronopublish

    chronopublish 2008 Roadster #VP27

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    I agree that "first come, first serve" should be the default behavior, though leaving a note with an emergency contact number is a nice thing to do when possible.
     
  14. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Preferably, yes! Realistically the demand will be ahead of the supply, I suspect.
     
  15. speedy99

    speedy99 2.5 Roadster

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    This seems the best solution. Interestingly enough, we are adding chargers to a second work site, and they will not be free. We'll see if that is enough to motivate some use of spare 110v in the garage if it exists. This reminds me of trying to find a plug for your laptop in an airport. Some, like San Jose, finally added enough capacity to make it a non issue. Until then, lots of good ideas here - thanks!
     
  16. VolkerP

    VolkerP EU Model S P-37

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    At my work site, PARKING inside the building is the scarce resource and parking space outside is very limited. Free slots are occupied first-come, first-serve. Anybody not happy with this, can reserve a slot for a monthly fee. Funny mails arise from "reserved" slots being occupied by the "wrong" vehicle.

    If plug-in vehicles start to show up and want/need a charge, I will suggest they rent a slot and get a "free" L1 socket (3kW here). Management should announce that cost of installation and electricity is covered by the monthly fee, this should turn enviousness away as well as avoid people demanding a socket but not willing to pay for that benefit.
     
  17. Lloyd

    Lloyd Active Member

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    #18 Lloyd, Oct 21, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2012
    Ran into my first issue today. I went on a distance trip with my rav. My fallback was charging at the Rabobank in Atascadero. I was down to the wire to make it home and wanted to charge for 10 - 15 minutes for a buffer returning home. When I got to Atascadero, there was a Volt charging. I waited 20 minutes, but no owner. I continued home and arrived with 4 miles! There is a big hill In between, and as a new car I was not sure how the range would suffer.

    Would it have been inappropriate to unplug the Volt for 10 minutes?

    002 small.jpg
     
  18. jerry33

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

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    My understanding is that the Volt will sound an alarm if you unplug it.
     
  19. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    They should have left a note with contact info, so you could have called them. I think if you unplug a Volt, it makes all sorts of unhappy noises. But if it didn't, I'd prob unplug for 10 minutes and then stay there with the car, explaining if the owners came back.

    (For those new to EVs, many of us keep preprinted notes in the car, saying 'happy to share, please call my cell at xxx'. I leave the note near the plug, so anyone looking to charge will be sure to see it before unplugging me.)

    Was there another charger between Atascadero and your house?
     

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