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Fewer AVCON charging stations

Discussion in 'North America' started by TEG, May 24, 2009.

  1. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    There are quite a few, and bah humbug to taking away our Avcons to "upgrade" them to Tesla. Will someone give me a free Tesla to Avcon adapter?

    The first Tesla public charger announcement showed a Tesla charger being ADDED alongside the existing Avcon. If they start ripping out Avcons to put Tesla chargers in their place that is rude.

    So, what comes next - GM "upgrading" the Tesla spots to J1772 so that Volts can charge there instead? I sure hope we don't get a game of musical chargers where the same spot keeps getting a different plug depending on who "upgraded" it last.
     
  2. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    Heh... "upgrade" was not my word and I almost put it in quotes above. I believe Dixon, Davis, and Vacaville are all examples of stations that were once Avcon replaced with Tesla connectors. Perhaps it would be more neighborly to just put in NEMA 14-50 outlets until a standard is adopted (especially at those locations that can't handle the full 70 Amps).
     
  3. EVnut

    EVnut Darell, the EVnut

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    They did exactly that at the Davis parking garage. We got them to put the Avcon back in. So now we have SPI, Avcon and Tesla in the garage. Everything is up and running. Yay! And I'm about to replace the broken SPI at our E-st Plaza so that Davis will once again be fully functional - in fact MORE functional than ever now that we have a Tesla unit.
     
  4. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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  5. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    The first products to market can often set the Standards.

    With the virtual elimination of the first wave of EV's existence by manufactures crushers it leaves a nearly clean slate.

    Consider that all the EVs combined only equal less than 2000 vehicles and they split that count with 4 kinds of connectors.

    Tesla's connectors are on the way out. The J connector has been agreed to by Tesla and GM
    and others so the demise of the Avcon and Paddles in inevitable. Just jump ahead 3 years when a charging station like Davis has a Miev, Tesla, Volt, Nissan, Mini, and Fisker all wanting to plug in their J connector. The 100 Ford ranger owners and 600 RAV4 owners will be squelched by a lot of voices -some of them rich and connected.

    Besides, with thousands of J chargers out there and no one adding paddles or Avcons anymore, anyone running with something besides a J connector will want to take advantage of that network anyway.

    The day a J gets installed on any production vehicle, if I were you, I'd buy/make an adapter.
     
  6. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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  7. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    So then why replace public Avcons with Tesla propritary plugs right now? Are you suggesting that they will then change the Tesla plug to J1772 anyways?

    (note, Avcon is an old variation of the J1772 standard).

    Is the message to the marketplace that EVs use temporarily technology? What you buy will be made obsolete and they will remove all the old charge stations when the next generation arrives?

    Should we change the size of the pump nozzle so that pre 2010 gasoline cars get phased out? I am sure auto companies would love to be able to obsolete all their old cars every decade, to keep people buying replacements, but the marketplace expects that they can keep their car as long as it is maintained and still running well. One claim for EVs is that they don't have all those moving parts to wear out, but if you can't find a place to charge your older EVs it is worse than having a gasoline car.
     
  8. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Why is PG&E changing them? Do they own them? What motivates PG&E to change them? Is someone paying PG&E to convert them?
     
  9. EVnut

    EVnut Darell, the EVnut

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    Yup, It is either state or Fed money. Can't recall right now. I think Fed though. Same reason PG&E gives away CFL's and does all these other warm fuzzy things. Because they're mandated to.... and usually given money to do it.
     
  10. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    I'm not saying to pull Avcons now but to start pulling them and the Tesla plugs as soon as the J connector is adopted. I guess my point is that by fighting now you are simply expending energy on a lost cause. I understand that you may want to keep the ones in your neighborhood as long as possible!
    In the case of Tesla owners, yes but it's just bad timing. Tesla has agreed to swap out the connectors presumably on the chargers they have set up as well as the cars.
    I already addressed this with total car and charger count. A few thousand of each, split into 4 formats (and a fifth coming that everyone agrees on) comes nowhere near the 160,000 gas stations and 200,000,000 cars on the road.
     
  11. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    #11 TEG, May 24, 2009
    Last edited: May 24, 2009
    So the state or fed government is spending our tax dollars to convert SAE standard Avcon connectors to proprietary Tesla charging stations? Why? Because the Teslas are more 'important' than some similar number of Avcon based EVs? It really isn't money well spent if they are just going to change connectors (to J1772-2009) soon anyways.

    And what about in cities like San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose where the mayors have embraced Better Place? Will city funds go to convert Avcon or even Tesla stations to PBP standard?

    This could turn into a mess of a turf war over the existing charging spots.

    It reminds me of a situation long ago when I was living in an apartment. The only TV hookup was to a shared roof antenna. A couple of residents petitioned the owner to get cable. When the owner finally told the cable company they could hook up those two residents the cablle company came in and chopped out the whole roof antenna and hooked up the two residents and left everyone else with no TV at all. When people complained, the cable company just said that they would be happy to "upgrade them" to pay cable. The building owner made a fuss but it didn't really make any difference. As far as the cable company was concerned, "over the air" broadcast was obsolete. Of course they would.
     
  12. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    If SAE ratifies the new connector as the J1772-2009, and says that the old J1772-1996 Avcon is "obsolete", then I would be glad to get an adapter and start using it at 'upgraded' charge spots. What I don't like is the idea that I could be cut off altogether because some company says that their proprietary interface is better or more important than the old standard.

    Is anyone thinking about backwards compatability for these things?

    970618_sk_lg.jpg

    By the way, Tzero is another Avcon vehicle.
     
  13. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Don't underestimate how many EVs are out there using the Avcon connectors. Along with the Tango, Tzero , RangerEV, Sparrows, home brews, there are also some Th!nk City cars...
    3560831745_995bc0c350_o.jpg

    And yes, I know I am posting this 'plea' on a Tesla centric board where many of the numerous Tesla owners are probably thinking "who cares about those tired old EVs?"... But what about when the tables are turned later and someone else comes along with the next big thing in EVs and starts taking away Tesla compatible charge spots?
     
  14. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    #14 vfx, May 24, 2009
    Last edited: May 24, 2009
    Probably inductance charging was not practical for homebrew EVs so Avcons became the defacto standard.

    By the way there are several bills pending in CA that will make just about everything to do with buying, converting, storing, and building EVs and their needed infrastructure, discounted and tax free.

    As for TEG and his kinetiscope, surely he knows we are all converting to digital television next month... :wink:

    __________________
     
  15. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Maybe Chris Paine can do a short "Who Killed the Avcon?" before "Revenge of the Electric Car" gets done.
     
  16. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    I heard Kirk might take out the Avcons in the next Trek film.
     
  17. EVnut

    EVnut Darell, the EVnut

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    At current prices of $6000 for the inductive charger to hang on the wall, and $3000 for the inlet for the car - yeah, I'd say that money could be better spent on a home-built!
     
  18. EVnut

    EVnut Darell, the EVnut

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    Hey Guys - Tom Dowling who is our infrastructure guru wanted me to post this here for everybody's info:

    > The new Tesla stations currently being installed have a Tesla
    > proprietary connector, not the new SAE J1772 connector. The
    > new J1772 connector is not yet available, and may not be
    > available for several
    > months, perhaps longer. Tesla intends to change to the new J1772
    > connector when available. The intention is that at some
    > point, the Tesla charging stations will be converted to J1772
    > charging stations.
    >
    > Right now, we're doing our best to be sure that sufficient
    > Avcon charging stations remain available for drivers that need them.
    >
    > For instance, there is a Tesla charging station in Woodland,
    > but there are two Avcon charging stations right next to it.
    > There is a Tesla charging station at a garage in Davis, with
    > an Avcon charging station alongside. In Dixon, there is no
    > longer an Avcon station, but there
    > are other Avcon stations within a few miles. In Vacaville, there are
    > four Tesla charging stations, but there are many Avcon
    > stations nearby, including one alongside a couple of Avcon
    > charging stations.
    >
    > I don't expect there to be a Tesla to Avcon adapter, due to
    > cost and to the temporary nature of the Tesla connector.
    >
    > However, I do expect there will be a J1772 to Avcon adapter.
    > The handshake should be able to be passed on. The Ranger EV
    > driver should not need a PowerPac or similar unit. I expect
    > the adapter will be a short Avcon cable, with a J1772
    > connector on the far end. The J1772 handshake signals are
    > compatible with the Avcon handshake signals, and we will have
    > to devise a way to pass on the signal.
    >
    > In order to make sure that vital Avcon charging stations
    > remain in service until the J1772 connector and the Avcon
    > adapter for it become available, it's very important that all
    > visits to Avcon charging stations be logged. If there are no
    > usage reports, it will appear
    > that the station is not being used. Here's the best way to log
    > them:
    >
    > Here's the easiest and fastest way to submit an "I Was There" report.
    > 1) Go to EV Charger News - Home, and click on "Charging
    > station lists by region."
    > 2) Click on "All sites" for the region that contains the
    > location you want to update.
    > 3) Scroll down, and find the name of the location you want to update.
    > (Or use Ctrl-f to find the listing by name or city.)
    > 4) Click on the "EVC Map" link at the right end of the line
    > for the station you want to update.
    > 5) Click on the "Add Comment..." button on the right side of
    > the map screen.
    > 6) Fill in the Comment box (give as much detail as you can),
    > and click Submit, then click "OK" on the submitting email box.
    >
    > Thanks!
    >
    >
    >
    > Tom Dowling

    And his ps:
    > Very soon, EV Charger News - Home will include a link to a
    > list of Tesla charging stations.

    Now I need to figure out why he can't post on TMC for himself...
     
  19. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Sometimes the Avcons can be out of commission due to tripped breaker, etc.
    Having a "plan B" on a long drive is useful, so it would be unfortunate if we get down to one Avcon per region.

    Another thing to consider is the Tesla owners don't absolutely have to find a Tesla connector to recharge.
    Many are already carrying Avcon->Tesla adapters, so they could still use the existing charge spots without having to remove the Avcon compatibility for other types of EVs.

    3542819190_3abdcab17c.jpg
    3542819492_a25310b6b5.jpg
     
  20. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    But word is from those who have them say don't bother buying them.

    It's gonna be painful but we will get through it.
     

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