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First Contact: Advice on requesting EVSE installation

Discussion in 'Charging Standards and Infrastructure' started by Slackjaw, Jan 10, 2012.

  1. Slackjaw

    Slackjaw Member

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    I am part of a small company renting space in a fairly modern research/industrial park. I'd want to approach the property/building owners and persuade them to install one or more points where an EV can charge. I think this is a single shot opportunity and I'll be dealing with people who don't know anything about EVs. I am willing, if it tips the balance, to pay for installation of any equipment, up to and including something like a Chargepoint thing-on-a-stick. I don't really know how to present the case and would like any advice on how to package it.

    As far as I can tell the current parking conditions are:
    • no covered parking at all
    • lights on tall poles (spare power?) are generously distributed in the parking lot
    • there are 3 ft high mini lights near some parking spots
    • in one corner of the parking lot is a garbage compactor with a 208V warning on it, possibly useful
    • cannot see any "accessible" 110v sockets anywhere

    Background: I'm commuting 125 miles round trip daily and using about 145 ideal miles to do it. That doesn't leave me much wiggle room in Standard Mode. My core assumption here is that charging every day in Range Mode would reduce battery life (essentially costing more than installing charger at work) and make my car hate me.
     
  2. hcsharp

    hcsharp Active Member

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    Landlords of modern industrial buildings expect to have to work with their tenants for special needs like this. Usually the most expensive part is not the hardware. It's the electrician and labor. But it depends on a lot of factors. The first thing I would do is call ChargePoint and ask their advice on how to approach the owners. I'll bet their marketing dept has already figured this out. Then I would buddy-up with the head of maintenance for the building. Give him/her a ride. Having somebody like that on your side will help.

    I have some ideas that sound good in theory. Find out what the garbage compactor is using. Sounds like it's 3-phase so probably not wired for very high current levels, but find out. The easiest solution would be a smart charger that shares the supply with the trash compactor. When the compactor is being used, the charger would automatically reduce amperage to very low or zero, and resume when the compactor shuts off. There are people in Europe with 3-phase supplies that have implemented this solution to help balance the load across all 3 phases while charging their Roadster.

    It's also a lot cheaper and easier to install a NEMA 14-50 outlet or even 14-30 than a J-1772 port like a ChargePoint unit. Harder for them to charge you for the power that way but it's peanuts. Maybe consult with a commercial electrician first to find out if it's legal to install one in a parking lot. Good luck and keep us posted on your progress!
     
  3. dhrivnak

    dhrivnak Active Member

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    As a fall back postion even if they will install a standard 120 outlet if you typically spend 9 hours at work that would give you about 50 miles of range giving you plenty of "wiggle" room. It should also be an easy sell as the electricity cost should be a modest $.15/hour.

    I have been pushing for a plug at work for 6 months now with little success so good luck!
     
  4. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    #4 dsm363, Jan 10, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2012
    If you're willing to pay for installation of a NEMA 14-50 outlet and even pay for the electricity (on an honor system), I think they'd have a hard time turning you down. You could always see at the end of the month how much you charged there and send them a check. Good luck.

    Installing a J1772 charger might make your case better as you could argue it would be open to other people but then they might need to install more than one since you'd be using one every day. Also, you'd have to leave your expensive adapter attached to your car while charging each day.
     
  5. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    From personal experience, don't bet on it.
     
  6. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    It's worth a shot but you're probably right. I was able to talk a hotel in Texas into putting in a J1772 80A charger in with the help of someone with some connections. No one had brought up the idea with them before but knowing someone with connections to the people making the decisions would help if that's possible.
     
  7. hcsharp

    hcsharp Active Member

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    Charging when you get to work will also cool your battery so it won't be sitting at a warm temperature all day. Driving home at a higher SOC will also be better for your battery because it will draw fewer amps and heat up slower.
     
  8. Slackjaw

    Slackjaw Member

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    Thanks for all the good advice; I'll update this thread with any developments.
     
  9. cinergi

    cinergi Active Member

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    First, make them an enthusiast of the car (or find someone who is). Get someone on their team in love with the Roadster. Then you've got an advocate.
    I had a VERY hard time finding an apartment that would put a plug in for me. It took me months to get to a point where I found a place willing to really check into it and then played a long back-n-forth game. And this was for a NEMA14-50.
    Showing off the car (get them excited), mentioning how EV numbers are growing, that there may be incentives, and hooking them up with my CA at Tesla all helped. For them, it's about corporate policies, insurance / safety / risk, cost of the electricity (they don't believe how cheap it is), etc ...
     

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