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Decaying Level 2 public charging infrastructure

Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
7,310
9,006
Boise, ID
I don't know why companies want to put Brand name chargers on their lots. Put up a pole in the middle of 4 spots with four 14-50's on it, and paint the spaces green. Hang a green tow away sign and call it good. That'd be much cheaper and less likely to decay over time.
...and basically unusable for most people. The charging ports on everyone's EV is J1772. That's what needs to be there. Most people do not carry high power level 2 EVSEs that have 14-50 plugs in their cars everywhere they go.
 
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augkuo

Active Member
Supporting Member
Apr 24, 2011
1,027
3,006
Berkeley
I think at least Tesla keeps their L2 chargers current and up and running. We had to use this charger in New Mexico - we were so glad it was there!

chiricahua.JPG
 

DblOSmith

Member
Jun 29, 2021
249
178
Missouri
Unfortunately, compared to the hardwired option, that solution also comes with a massive increase in liability to the hosting business that makes it totally unworkable as a general/widespread approach. There's a reason why hardwired EVSE are the standard for public use, and it's not because they are cheaper.
I'm am no one's electrician. Why is there more liability? Why is it a standard? Is it simply so they can point the finger at Chargepoint if things go wrong?
 

DblOSmith

Member
Jun 29, 2021
249
178
Missouri
...and basically unusable for most people. The charging ports on everyone's EV is J1772. That's what needs to be there. Most people do not carry high power level 2 EVSEs that have 14-50 plugs in their cars everywhere they go.
The charge port on my Tesla isn't a J1772. Is yours? ...and I carry a 14-50 everywhere I go. It takes up about half the size of a lunch box and weighs a pound. carrying it around for free juice at a grocery pays for itself the first charge.
 
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KJD

OD 7/27 MYLR Red/Black 19's/ No FSD/ Del 11/20
Supporting Member
Dec 14, 2013
1,423
1,193
SLC, UT
Just over the last few months, I've noticed a couple of trends.
  1. Many free Level 2 chargers that have been around for a while are breaking and not getting fixed. I suppose there's not a lot of impetus to fix something that's not creating a profit or even covering its cost. However, if the charger was put up for "marketing" or to create good will to begin with, it seems like the owner would fix it, or at least remove it, so it doesn't look like a "broken window".
Make sure that you log the non working locations on PlugShare.com so that others can avoid being stranded at this location.
 

brkaus

Well-Known Member
Jul 8, 2014
8,283
6,837
Austin, TX
I think at least Tesla keeps their L2 chargers current and up and running. We had to use this charger in New Mexico - we were so glad it was there!

View attachment 730821
That’s a Tesla destination charger. I don’t think they maintain them - up to the property owner.

Maybe they are just more reliable EVSE?

The broken j1772s near me either have a broken latch on the VJ be tie are a busted display (or both).
 

vanjwilson

Member
May 12, 2021
105
182
Charlotte, NC
Make sure that you log the non working locations on PlugShare.com so that others can avoid being stranded at this location.
I have been logging them on PlugShare. I even drive by some of the local ones periodically, just to check if they have been fixed. Logged one that was fixed, after I actually was able to charge at it again.
 
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srs5694

Active Member
Jan 15, 2019
1,276
1,597
Woonsocket, RI
I don't know why companies want to put Brand name chargers on their lots. Put up a pole in the middle of 4 spots with four 14-50's on it, and paint the spaces green. Hang a green tow away sign and call it good. That'd be much cheaper and less likely to decay over time.

...and basically unusable for most people. The charging ports on everyone's EV is J1772. That's what needs to be there. Most people do not carry high power level 2 EVSEs that have 14-50 plugs in their cars everywhere they go.
Even if EV manufacturers started universally providing Level 2 EVSEs with NEMA 14-50 plugs on them, requiring users to pull out those EVSEs to charge creates an extra hassle, especially when the weather is bad. Do you really want to be fumbling with a Mobile Connector and plugging it in at two places (the wall/pedestal and the car) when it's raining? For that matter, would it be safe? The Tesla Mobile Connector's manual carries this warning:
Mobile Connector manual said:
Warning: Do not use the Mobile Connector when either you, the vehicle or the Mobile
Connector is exposed to severe rain, snow, electrical storm or other inclement weather
Public EVSEs always carry heavy-duty weather-proofing, and so are almost certainly safe to use in inclement weather. There's also a greater risk of theft when using your own EVSE, unless the installation were to be made more complex with some sort of locker in which the EVSE body could be stored.
The charge port on my Tesla isn't a J1772. Is yours? ...and I carry a 14-50 everywhere I go. It takes up about half the size of a lunch box and weighs a pound. carrying it around for free juice at a grocery pays for itself the first charge.
Every Tesla sold today comes with a J1772-to-Tesla adapter, which is much less bulky and much easier to use than the Tesla Mobile Connector. So, yes, technically @Rocky_H is wrong in saying that every EV comes with a J1772 charge port; but as a practical matter, he's right; even Teslas can use J1772 EVSEs with minimal extra fuss compared to non-Teslas at the same J1772 EVSE.
 

DblOSmith

Member
Jun 29, 2021
249
178
Missouri
Even if EV manufacturers started universally providing Level 2 EVSEs with NEMA 14-50 plugs on them, requiring users to pull out those EVSEs to charge creates an extra hassle, especially when the weather is bad. Do you really want to be fumbling with a Mobile Connector and plugging it in at two places (the wall/pedestal and the car) when it's raining? For that matter, would it be safe? The Tesla Mobile Connector's manual carries this warning:

Public EVSEs always carry heavy-duty weather-proofing, and so are almost certainly safe to use in inclement weather. There's also a greater risk of theft when using your own EVSE, unless the installation were to be made more complex with some sort of locker in which the EVSE body could be stored.
Fair points. Thank you.
 

acarney

Active Member
Jul 9, 2019
2,899
1,887
Richland, WA
I've got a few issues with L2s around me. A few that were originally listed as public seem to have disappeared from apps and such and now are either private or just not listed. I've also seen a few break and no one ever fix them, to your point, these are places that have at least at some point advertised how they're reducing their footprint and supporting green tech.

I've also had horrible luck with payments and now more often just insane payments. I'm not going to pay $3 to connect + $0.20/kWh or something for a short two hour visit on a 6.6kW charger. These either need to get completely absorbed by a big network that rolls out a single level pricing plan with no connection fees or something, but some of the prices are crazy if you think about 6 to 12 kWh being used...
 
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mociaf9

Active Member
Oct 18, 2018
3,049
6,365
CA
You should come to the Tesla Rally in Custer, SD next year :)
I mean, I know people do it. And RV parks or campgrounds routinely have 240V/50A receptacles available outdoors/uncovered. But that approach is still significantly less safe than a hardwired EVSE one. They have them because there isn't an EVSE equivalent for RVs and serving/catering to RVs is a major part of their entire business case. There's also someone on-site to deal with problems if something comes up. None of those same factors are in play for just general parking lots.
 

srs5694

Active Member
Jan 15, 2019
1,276
1,597
Woonsocket, RI
I've got a few issues with L2s around me. A few that were originally listed as public seem to have disappeared from apps and such and now are either private or just not listed. I've also seen a few break and no one ever fix them, to your point, these are places that have at least at some point advertised how they're reducing their footprint and supporting green tech.
Are you talking about the PlugShare listing? That's crowd-sourced data, so an initial "public" listing that changes to a "private" one might simply reflect an error in the initial entry creation. The site owner might not have clearly marked the EVSE as being private, or the person who created the entry might have overlooked the relevant signage. None of this has anything to do with the carbon footprint, except indirectly or in conjunction with other factors. If an EVSE is reserved for, say, employees of a business, then other people won't be able to use it; but they'll still charge elsewhere, so it's a wash. That said, a private EVSE might do less to encourage EV adoption than a public one; and if a driver is forced to charge on an EVSE that uses the grid mix rather than one powered by 100% renewable sources, there'd be an impact. EV owners who want to minimize their own carbon footprint can often pay for a 100% renewable energy plan, even without putting solar panels on their roofs. For instance, in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, people can sign up with Green Energy Consumers Alliance for electricity to get 100% wind power. (That's on paper, of course; it doesn't change the physics of how electricity is delivered -- but it does change the economics of it.)
I've also had horrible luck with payments and now more often just insane payments. I'm not going to pay $3 to connect + $0.20/kWh or something for a short two hour visit on a 6.6kW charger. These either need to get completely absorbed by a big network that rolls out a single level pricing plan with no connection fees or something, but some of the prices are crazy if you think about 6 to 12 kWh being used...
If a business wants to cover costs, much less earn a profit, on public charging, then the prices charged will likely be greater than those you'd pay to charge at home, simply because the costs of installing and maintaining the EVSE will have to be covered. Lucky people will already have a 240v outlet at home and be able to charge with the EVSE that comes with the car for no extra hardware costs; and even people who need to install an EVSE at home will likely do so, regardless of local Level 2 EVSE availability, so factoring in the home EVSE's cost is inappropriate. At the moment, public EVSEs are sometimes (but not always) subsidized, either by businesses that hope to attract customers or by governments that hope to spur EV adoption. If the most convenient local EVSEs for you charge more than you'd pay for electricity at home, then the solution is obvious: Don't use them. If you're driving a Tesla, which is likely given this forum, then you have enough range that a short Level 2 charge locally won't make a difference to you.

Things get trickier for people who can't charge at home, of course, such as most apartment-dwellers. For them, the best Level 2 solutions are to have EVSEs installed at their apartments or at their workplaces. These might well be the private EVSEs you complained about earlier, and making them private is sensible because they'd be needed by the residents or employees who use them. Local DC fast charging at supermarkets, restaurants, or malls could also help people who can't charge at home, but the higher costs of DC fast charging make this solution worse than Level 2 charging at apartments and workplaces, IMHO. In any of these cases, if the site host doesn't subsidize the cost at least a little (say, by charging local electricity rates and swallowing the cost of EVSE installation), then the apartment-dwelling EV driver is likely to pay more to drive an EV than would somebody who lives in a house. (Factoring in the cost of installing an EVSE for the homeowner is fair for this comparison, though, which complicates the comparison.)
 
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