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Driveway Charging Options?

Discussion in 'Model 3: Battery & Charging' started by Mom of 3, Sep 19, 2017.

  1. Mom of 3

    Mom of 3 Member

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    Hi,

    Long time lurker and few poster. Like everyone else I am getting ready for my Model 3. I have no garage in my house, just a driveway and a side yard with a manual gate. My plug-in hybrid stays on the driveway and I just leave my charger (110v) plugged inside the gate and the car plug outside of the gate. This has worked fine and I never find a strange car plugged in my driveway when I get home. I figure even if someone charged their car on my dime, it is not a huge loss.

    With Model 3 coming, I aim to upgrade the outside outlet to a NEMA14-50 but I am not so sure about the practice of leaving the plug outside. I also don't want the hassle of opening the manual gate every night to retrieve the charger or drive into the side yard. I never know what the kids leave in the side yard and would probably end up ruining many plastic toys in the dark. Is there an outside charging option with security that I can install fairly inexpensively? I would love to have something that 1) would recognize my car as "ok to charge", 2) would recognize me as "ok to use this plug" through biometrics (fingerprint swiping), or 3) would recognize me through a password.

    Any ideas?
     
  2. voip-ninja

    voip-ninja Member

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    Well, none of what you described is inexpensive when you are talking about things like biometric authentication for charging.

    This guy made a custom carbon fiber bollard that weighs 20 lbs. He drags it outside to the curb and plugs it into a special outlet that a typical EV owner would have no way of using. Seems like exactly what you're after. Install new outlet and upgraded circuit, get this thing, and lock it inside your gate or house when you aren't using it to charge. He says it weighs about 20 lbs.

    He offered to make a couple for others if there was interest. I don't imagine it will be cheap but it might do exactly what you want.

    Portable carbon fiber curbside charger for Model 3
     
  3. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    Is upgrading the gate to something remotely controlled possible?
     
  4. eSpiritIV

    eSpiritIV Member

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    Just buy the Tesla Wall Connector. Only Teslas can plug into it, and i doubt you will have many Tesla owners who will want to steal your power unless its an absolute emergency.
     
    • Like x 1
  5. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    Why the change in security philosophy? What is it about a 14-50 vs. a 110V outlet that makes the difference?
     
  6. tracksyde

    tracksyde Member

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    A simpler solution may just be to install a "connected" or "smart" EVSE/'charger' that you can monitor or set a timer on.

    My friend has a JuiceBox that he's very happy with. He can monitor its activities on his phone or through a web portal. He can start and stop charging remotely n' all that.

    I have an OpenEVSE that I set a timer on. Basically, its not "active" except for a few hours each day when I currently use it. For example, mine is set to only work between the hours of 5AM and 8AM. If you rolled up to my house and plugged it in during any other time, it wouldnt work. JuiceBox has similar functionality. Personally, if I was looking for a generic (not Tesla specific) charging solution, I'd probably just go with the JuiceBox Pro (its like $600, iirc).

    My EVSE is mounted inside my garage and I have the charging handle run outside and stored in a terracotta pot so as not to incite riot among my neighbors/HOA.. so I have a similar set up to what you're envisioning.
     
    • Like x 2
  7. FlyingKiwi

    FlyingKiwi Member

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    The technology geek in just dreamt up a home automation solution for this problem.

    Contactor for the outside circuit at the switchboard, controlled by a home automation system that checks what is connected to your home wifi. If an authorised car (identified by MAC address) is connected to your home wifi, the contactor gets pulled in and the circuit goes live. if your car is out of range the contactor stays open and the circuit is dead.

    I'm not yet a tesla owner so you'd need to confirm that the car stays connected to wifi at least until charging is complete.
     
    • Like x 1
  8. Sudre

    Sudre Member

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    • Like x 1
  9. Mom of 3

    Mom of 3 Member

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    cost of electricity. I think someone plugged in at 110v 10A will not cost me all that much, but at the larger current draw (40A) during the day when electricity cost more, my bill can go up significantly.
     
    • Informative x 1
  10. Mom of 3

    Mom of 3 Member

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    Thanks! I'll look into both JuiceBox and OpenEVSE.
     
  11. eSpiritIV

    eSpiritIV Member

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    This person has a good idea. If you want tesla only system then use the tesla wall charger. If you want software security and ability to charge other EV's then the Juicebox is the way to go. Im sure other manufacturers have similar solutions.
     
  12. Mom of 3

    Mom of 3 Member

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    No immediately after the Model 3 purchase.. The gate is the swing open side type. There may be other cars on the driveway so I would have to change it to the chain sliding type. I heard 10-15k all told. I can't justify it for a few minutes of hassle every day.
     
  13. shrspeedblade

    shrspeedblade Member

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    Your situation sounds similar to mine. What I did was I have a 30ft cord running to the Juicebox (which is wired right into the panel, not plugged in, which was actually easier/cheaper than getting a 240v plug installed). The cord running out of the Juicebox is at least 15ft so both just stay in a covered area behind the fence when not in use. Takes me all of about 15 seconds to run the cord out and plug the car in.

    I should note that the electrical panel for the house is oh-so-conveniently mounted on the opposite side of the house from the parking/storage garage. :mad:

    The cord lengths can be custom made for the Juicebox depending on your needs. I've been using mine for over a year and it's been great! A dramatic improvement over 120v with my Volt even. Soon the J1772 will have an adapter for a different vehicle! :)
     
  14. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Well-Known Member

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    Simplest solution seems like it would be something that could easily cut off the circuit.
     
    • Like x 1
  15. ulrichw

    ulrichw Member

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    I treat my Level 2 EVSE (plugged into a NEMA 14-50 outlet) the way you treat your 110V charging arrangement - I leave it in the driveway.

    Sure, in theory, somebody could park in my driveway during the day to charge their car, but it's not really likely, and the most electricity they could consume would probably be $4-$5 worth (plus I would see it pretty quickly since I track my electricity consumption).

    I'm a little more concerned about someone stealing the EVSE itself - but that hasn't happened yet in the 18 months we've had our electric car.
     
    • Like x 1
  16. boaterva

    boaterva Supporting Member

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    Won't the circuit have its own circuit breaker that you can turn off when not home? Or is that not workable every day?
     
  17. brkaus

    brkaus Active Member

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    Thinking mechanically. What about something one could lock over the plug? Or a box with a slot and a lock to store the plug. The HPWC could still be inside.
     
  18. Sonny Daze

    Sonny Daze Member

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    Like the circuit breaker (as @boaterva mentioned).
     
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  19. Mom of 3

    Mom of 3 Member

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    Thanks all for the helpful replies.

    I looked into JuiceBox and also looked at the other EVSEs out there. I also thought about what it is that really bothers me about leaving the charger handle on the driveway and how I use/not use the side yard gate.

    The reality is that I don't want to make too much extra effort to plug-in every night. Usually I am home right about the time the babysitter needs to leave. I don't have too many minutes to open/close gates and drag out equipment. The existing charger handle is heavily abused. It gets rained on, sometimes dragged across the concrete as someone else opens the gate (the gap under the gate is smaller than the handle), and I am sure it gets stepped on or kicked accidentally. I wanted to take care of my Model 3 equipment better.

    After thinking about all of your ideas and the above considerations, I am inclined to do the following:
    1) install NEMA 14-50 close to the gate on the side of the house. Hard wiring is possible too, I have get my electrician to quote the options.
    2) install JuiceBox or equivalent (must have outdoor rating and timer)
    3) keep the UMC in the new car
    4) fashion a box that I can hang inside the gate near the post on the non-moving side and cut out a portion of the gate and re-attach with a hinge and a handle/latch. I will keep my charger handles in the box and at night open this trap door without opening the gate to retrieve the handles to charge the car in the driveway. Lock on this trap door will be optional. There will be no juice during the day anyways. I just have to locate the opening carefully so someone with long arms cannot reach in to unlock the gate from the outside.

    I still have a few months since I am waiting for the SR, unless the max federal credit runs out before my estimated delivery date (Feb/Apr), in which case I will take the LR/PUP (Dec/Feb).
     
    • Like x 2
  20. boaterva

    boaterva Supporting Member

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    On the credit, you should be fine until end of June, unless something really weird happens. Unlikely they hit 200,000 this year!
     

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