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DFW Airport Charging Rant!

famelec

Member
Aug 1, 2015
17
18
Tyler, TX
As a very frequent flyer who drives 130 miles or so to get to the DFW airport, I've really benefited from the well-located and "free" charging stations at terminal A. But the growth of plug-in hybrids and battery-only electric cars (and the lack of growth of charging stations) is causing problems! Now it's normal that most, and sometimes all, of the charging spots are occupied. And in my opinion by many folks who really don't need to charge at the airport, but just like the premium spots.

My Rants:
1) Plug-in hybrid cars should not use the chargers! They have gas engines and can get home without charging. And if they live a very long way from the airport, the 20 miles of range that the Toyota Prius PIH gets while occupying a space isn't very helpful.

2) Tesla owners living in the Dallas area shouldn't use these spaces! You drive 10 miles to get to the airport and choose to occupy a premium charging spot. Yes, they are perfectly located for frequent travelers, but don't occupy a charging spot if you don't need to charge!

3) I feel very conflicted about this one, but the three dual Handicapped/Charging spots in terminal A are either empty, or occupied by a non-electric car. So essentially 25% of the charging stations are occupied by gas cars or not occupied at all.

4) Most cars (including mine) are fully charged in a few hours or less, yet they occupy the spots for many days. What a waste of charging stations!

If I could change things today I would:

1) Change the current chargers to valet only parking. This would allow the valet folks to rotate cars in and out as necessary for quick charges. I think they charge $3 a day more than regular parking.

2) Install a large slew of (presumably inexpensive) 120v chargers, or just outlets. No need to offer fast charging when a trickle charge is more than enough. After all, if you're parking at the airport you're likely going to be parked for a few days. Maybe charge by the day to discourage unneeded charging.

The good news is that the range of electric cars is better, and charging stations hopefully faster and more ubiquitous. Maybe one day we'll be saying that charging stations at DFW airport are simply unnecessary and should disappear....
 

rhumbliner

Member
Sep 24, 2015
673
814
Las Vegas
Pretty much agree with all of your points, but I might suggest instead of — or in addition to — valet parking, just remove EV charging from “premium” locations. I’d prefer businesses move charging locations to the very back of their parking areas. Not only would it solve the problem of those spots being ICE’d or blocked by non-charging EV’s but might also help dispel the image that EV owners are elite snobs who think they deserve the best parking spots.
 

ewoodrick

Well-Known Member
Apr 13, 2018
5,285
3,729
Buford, GA
Absolutely, make them the least wanted spots and only install 12v 20a plugs. (Not that you need 20a, but they are single plug outlets)

That's what a commercial parking lot does at the ATL airport and it's awesome
 

Akikiki

A'-Lo-HA ! y'all
Nov 26, 2012
6,411
4,512
Kaneohe, HI
This is a long read. Sorry. Nothing new here that other's haven't said elsewhere.

I liked how this first post started this thread. This is a topic that needs to be discussed and maybe (hopefully) through some dispassionate collective conversation will improve EV etiquette. Since I have sufficient range that I won’t find myself at the airport needing to charge before I travel home, -I don’t have a dog in the fight. But that does not affect my thinking any more than if I didn’t own an EV. I don’t know what the solution to this issue is. I try to exercise a common courtesy to other drivers and cut other EV drivers some extra slack. I hope they do too.

Those folks that drive an EV to the airport and need to re-charge before they can drive home are really not going to like what I say. Sorry. I’m just talking about the situation, I didn’t create it. My comments are intended only for “leaving the car charging and flying out of the airport” situation. Applies to any EV, not unique to a Tesla and does not include Superchargers. AND does not include or apply to long term parking areas or signs specifically state or encourage parking and plugging in at an EV charger for days/weeks at a time. Say again, does not include or apply.

We all already know that a gas car, it takes roughly an average of 10 minutes to fill a tank (about 20 gallons) including pulling forward and out and paying. But this presumes that every car only spends its 10 minutes at a pump and moves out of the way for the next car.

Have you ever sit at Costco with only 3-4 cars in front of you before you can get to the pump? That half hour wait is miserable because we actually believe it should be unnecessary and it’s not productive time. Annoying, huh? Do you even to a small degree, resent the persons in front of you wishing in your perfect world, they would just pull forward out of the line and away so you can fill up? What if just one person in front of you filled their tank and left their car parked and walked into Costco for a 15 minute shopping trip? Really annoying, huh?

But when we drive our EV to Costco and park in the EV charging stalls, it’s understood by other EV drivers that it’s okay to walk into Costco for a 45-60 minute shopping visit.

Is it understood, is it acceptable to other EV drivers that it’s going to take 3 hours to charge? Yes, maybe. But what if someone worked at Costco and left their EV plugged in from 8 am to 8 pm? Still acceptable?

What if each EV that came to the airport needed to re-charge to go home. And it takes 3 hours for that re-charge (~>100 miles). About 18-20x longer than it takes to fill that gas car. Is it understood, is it acceptable to tie up an EV charger and prevent other EV drivers from charging for three hours?

While this is understood – is accepted, charging at the airport (and flying out) is different than any other park/charge and leave the car for longer than the charge scenario. Unless the EV charging station explicitly is advertised for long tern parking meaning days or even weeks, leaving an EV in a regular, not-long-term parking stall is not going to be considered acceptable.

Would you want to be the EV driver that can’t drive home before you charge and all the (not-long-term) EV charging spaces are used by people that parked and flew out? You have no way of knowing how long the space will be occupied. It matters not to you that they are just stilling there not charging or paying a premium to remain plugged in. You would also have no way of knowing if the EV driver is abusing a short term charging station and it expected to be gone for days or weeks.

Is there a solution for this? I don’t see why it would make a difference if the EV charging space was equipped with 240v 30/50 amp or 110v 15 amp. Sure installation of 110v is likely less expensive, but unless that means installing twice as many 110v instead of 240v, I don’t think it matters to a gas car driver. Converting parking spaces to EV charging stations away at the back less attractive areas will probably lessen the resentment, but gas car drivers still will only see one of those [email protected] EVs taking up a space.

Should EVs must be moved after charge is complete? A paid valet like service would move the vehicle and info the driver where it’s parked? Or the EV driver would be required to arrive 3-4 hours before departure to charge and move their EV to a regular space? Or a friend or partner would arrive 3-4 hours after the EV driver arrived to unplug and move the EV in behalf of the owner?

We already know there’s not enough EV charging stations at the (any) airport. Do we need more? How many do we need for there to be enough? Will common courtesy work until there’s enough? Do we need rules until there is enough? Enforceable rules?

I don’t guess we will see the solution for another 60-70 years when EVs outnumber ICE.
 

Dr. J

Active Member
Aug 23, 2017
1,473
2,687
Fort Worth, Texas
I don’t guess we will see the solution for another 60-70 years when EVs outnumber ICE.
A solution that comes to mind is a 2-hour (or similar) parking limit on airport fast EV charging spots. Enforced by towing. That way, the folks that need a charge on their way home have a way to get it. I guess there would have to be a variety of charger types to cover everybody. You'd probably have to install these on the way out of the airport so nobody sees it as a viable long-term spot.
 
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Frisco-Dad

Member
Jan 30, 2016
108
103
Frisco, TX
I’m not sure if all the J1772 charging spots at DFW are on the 1-2 hour parking level at the parking garage, but the ones I saw and used were definitely in the area where all the ICE parking spaces arround were the short term (1-2) hour parking spaces. Since they’re in the short term parking area, I assume they have the same 1-2 hour limit of the rest of those spaces. I only use the J1772 charging spots when I’m there to pick someone up and I am plugged in for an hour or less. Seems to me that 1-2 hour parking is the intended use for the J1772 spots, not parking for days and days.

There are plenty of 120v plugs on every floor of the recently constructed parking garages at terminal A and terminal E. The 120v wall plugs are better suited for EVs to plug in for days.
 
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Akikiki

A'-Lo-HA ! y'all
Nov 26, 2012
6,411
4,512
Kaneohe, HI
But can we just use any of the 120v outlets we see? After a while, either a of EVs or a few EV's doing it all the time are going to cause a considerable bill increase. Its doubtful that an airport is going to just eat that. Would that install a meter or station where there are 120v outlets to charge customers? Those 120v outlet were likely placed there for airport staff use, so now they have complicated their own resource to the point they have to have a system to bypass the meter or station. Just keeps getting better, huh?
 

mociaf9

Active Member
Oct 18, 2018
2,613
5,319
CA
Does PlugShare show us where outlets are? I'm fine with trickle charging for long trips.
Be forewarned that if they aren't explicitly made available for public use or car charging then plugging in without approval could be considered Theft of Services, a misdemeanor with a potential fine of up to $4,000.
 
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bollar

Disgruntled Member
May 1, 2013
2,667
878
Southlake, TX
I spoke with DFW about this in 2015 and the environmental manager at the time fully understood the desire for 110 VAC outlets and thought he could make that happen. In the meantime, they airport got funding to install the J1772 chargers for free and couldn't get comparable funding for the plain-old plugs. The 110 VAC outlets were installed anyway as the new garages have been built. I haven't followed up with the airport to see if they are okay to use for charging. I will do so.
 

TexLaw

Member
Jan 29, 2017
484
441
Bellaire, TX
Be forewarned that if they aren't explicitly made available for public use or car charging then plugging in without approval could be considered Theft of Services, a misdemeanor with a potential fine of up to $4,000.

Yes, there could be ugly consequences for just plugging in without permission.

I would happily pay a reasonable fee (five or ten bucks, perhaps?) for a "plug-in permit" that I could just leave on my dash while gone, and I would be damn near tickled pink if those were the remote spots.
 

RDoc

S85D
Aug 24, 2012
2,736
1,584
Boston North Shore
A solution that comes to mind is a 2-hour (or similar) parking limit on airport fast EV charging spots. Enforced by towing. That way, the folks that need a charge on their way home have a way to get it. I guess there would have to be a variety of charger types to cover everybody. You'd probably have to install these on the way out of the airport so nobody sees it as a viable long-term spot.
I don't think these are fast chargers. What I've seen at airports are regular L2 J1772 chargers. Two hours isn't really worth doing with them.
 

brkaus

Well-Known Member
Jul 8, 2014
7,739
6,273
Austin, TX
I don't think these are fast chargers. What I've seen at airports are regular L2 J1772 chargers. Two hours isn't really worth doing with them.
It is if ya want prime parking :). Same as the J1772 with the Tesla’s at Whole Foods!

I like the chain of 120v/15a(20a) spots with a printed dash permit to charge.

there is a huge difference in cost between a large number of 120v/15a outlets and 240/50a outlets. Peak current costs in hardware and electric fees.

Of course some of it could be mitigated by controls you manage peaks. But a lot designed for long term parking it isn’t as critical.
 

redi

2013 P85+
Aug 31, 2013
612
150
DFW, TX
I thought some of the Tesla stores had a reasonable and inexpensive filter for preserving parking around their charger and outlet array with a little plastic chain around the spot. Most ICEers won't go so far as to get out and move the EV only chain out of the way to ICE a charging spot, will they? Mostly they want to pretend to be oblivious and that's hard to do moving a barrier around. EV folks with legit charging needs don't seem to mind.

Putting chargers in the boonie spots has to work somewhat. Even more with a rope/plastic chain around the spot.

Lots of 110v outlets in a line seems a perfect thing to hog if you are going out of town for a week - you'll get full charge by the time you get back. What's a 110V outlet cost to put in? $5? Don't know how they'd compensate anyone for the $10 in electricity that charging a flat battery. Maybe this has to be the valet job as well - figuring out how long your gone and how much you need - they'd certainly be able to add the de minimis fee for the electricity consumed.

Valet management of the charge rotation is probably the only truly workable solution, leaving them with an order of how much battery you need to have upon return. Can they do that?

And the Plug-in Hybrids need to get booted to a gas station and told to charge at home :) Those are only pretend EVs.


I'm watching a similar tango at my spouses work where they are trying to manage a daily whatsapp meelee with bunch of free chargers, EVs and PiHs all trying to get free electrons, and prevent ICEing on the close premium spots.

FWIW, I don;t think the GMC is an EV or PiH.

Showing up with a full battery when you can and staying out of the way of folks really needing a charge should be the answer. For DFW, I'm sure the last thing you want to do after a hard week out of town is to hit the Southlake SuperCharger on the way home, but its only 8 miles from DFW.



IMG_1480.jpg
 
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Missile Toad

Member
Aug 30, 2016
615
593
Houston
I've been to all the Superchargers in the Metroplex except Arlington. As nice as Plano and Dallas Superchargers are, Southlake is the prime spot, without a doubt. Lots of places to eat. Movies. Barnes and Nobles. Shopping. I'm sure you could find something to do, even after a long trip, at the Southlake Supercharger. If it was up to me, I'd get a nice dinner at Brio, and then goof off at the Apple store while trying to get 90+ kWh.
 
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fwgmills

Supporting Member
Jun 30, 2015
151
70
Roanoke, TX
Showing up with a full battery when you can and staying out of the way of folks really needing a charge should be the answer.

Yes, it is the answer but you're assuming that most humans are rational creatures. When Hurricane Harvey hit the Houston area and rumors of gas shortages started to circulate, everyone and their dog went to a gas station whether they needed gas or not. We all remember the outcome.

We considered going too for my wife's Yukon but we knew it was a rush based on rumors and we had my Model X anyway if we needed to go somewhere so we waited. Sure enough a few days later it was over.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it."
--Kay
 

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