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How often do you use public charging stations? (non Supercharger)

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by RedDragon, Jul 10, 2016.

  1. RedDragon

    RedDragon Member

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    I'm taking delivery of my MS60 next month. I just had a HPWC installed at my house, and I live about 2.5 miles from a Supercharger. I don't anticipate needing to use public charging stations (ChargePoint, etc..), very often, but do you find that you're plugging in at shopping centers, etc to stay topped off?

    With at-home charging and Supercharging, was just wondering how often MS owners found the need to use other solutions.

    Thanks.
     
  2. KJD

    KJD Member

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    When I drove a LEAF I would use public charge stations quite often. Now that I have a Tesla I hardly ever use them. The range of the Model S makes it much easier to manage without them. They also seem painfully slow after using a supercharger station. I do however keep several access cards (greenlots, SemaCharge, nrgevgo ) in the car for just in case I need them. Most of these I have used just one time just to make sure they really work.

    Tesla destination chargers I have found useful when traveling. It is very nice to stay at a hotel that has a Tesla HPWC and start the morning with a full charge.
     
  3. SW2Fiddler

    SW2Fiddler Bannd Member

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    Need? Never (in the home town). I plugged in to add "lightning bolts" to the car's map, for fun, for a while, but even the novelty of that 'game' wore off.

    You'll find the HPWC adequate, I predict, and visits to the local SC will be to meet fellow owners, parking in a non-charging spot and dispensing advice about local attractions/traffic/etc.

    Enjoy your ride!
     
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  4. CliffG

    CliffG Member

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    Need? Never.
    Take advantage of? Fairly frequently, at work (we have a few EVSEs). What the hey - it cuts the cost of my commute (in terms of kw) in half. The L2s used to be on ChargePoint, so I got (free) cards from them. I thought I might need them elsewhere at times, so I still carry one with me, but haven't actually needed it. Since then, we've replaced the ChargePoint units with ClipperCreeks and don't require a card anymore. They're still on PlugShare, btw.
     
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  5. cpa

    cpa Member

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    Under your day-to-day scenario, I would say no. However, here are some real-life situations for me when I used public charging:

    1) Staying out-of-town with friends or family. I feel that it is wrong to leech electricity from them even though the cost to them is trivial. I will find a public charger and charge enough to allow me to reach the proximate Supercharger when I depart. If I need to stay more than 3 hours at a public charger, I leave a note with contact information.

    2) Day trip to a public spot like the beach or an amusement park. If they have public chargers, I would avail myself of them while I am enjoying the activities.

    3) A longish stretch that is off the Supercharger Highway. Even though most public chargers are 30A, an extended meal or visit to local attractions will afford 35 to 50 miles of range which might be enough to reach a destination charger or Supercharger.

    I think that BEV drivers need to be able to anticipate their driving desires, and be as prepared as much as possible. We need to have the "can-do" approach to going places instead of "well, we better take the ICE, cuz I don't know if we will be able to charge our Tesla at XYZ."
     
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  6. dhrivnak

    dhrivnak Active Member

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    I frequently use when out of town and always favor the establishment that provides them. I figure if a place puts in chargers and no one uses them then the build out will be slow. But if they get a lot of traffic due to it others will add them. Remember we are building for the future.
     
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  7. mikeash

    mikeash Active Member

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    Occasionally here. There are a couple of trips I take where it's a bit beyond round-trip range, Superchargers don't quite cut it, but public L2 charging takes care of it. Rehoboth Beach, DE is one, where the round trip is about 102% of my battery, but there's a great L2 setup right at the beach as well as some more at the outlets my wife likes to patronize. The Supercharger at Salisbury, MD is a bit out of the way so it's good not to have to make that detour. Another example is trips to Lancaster, PA and vicinity, which is marginal depending on local driving while we're there, and L2 bridges the gap.

    Superchargers are always preferred when convenient, but in certain circumstances it's easier to add 60 miles on an L2 charger while you spend a couple of hours doing something you want to do than it is to stop for 10 minutes at a Supercharger where you otherwise wouldn't stop.

    I plug in locally sometimes as well, but not all that often. It's nice to get free electricity, and I want to let the places know that their chargers are useful and attract people. I always leave a note on my dashboard with my phone number when I do that, in case someone with greater need comes by!
     
  8. Frankman60

    Frankman60 Member

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    While I wont be getting my MS 60 for a few weeks, I will use one of the 120 volt receptacles at the airport parking garage I use in my home city. The garage has a row of reserved underground parking spaces, with a 120 volt receptacle for each parking space. The parking spaces are a little wider which helps with door dings, and I think people that drive EVs are more curious than the general population so door dings won't be as much of a problem. Interesting, the receptacles are only live for 6 hours a day from midnight to 6 am, but the garage does not up charge at all to use the parking spaces. Using that type of a receptacle, the MS should gain about 18 miles of range per day, so this isn't going to do much to fill the battery pack unless the trip is a long one.
     
  9. Skipdd

    Skipdd Member

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    Looks like I'm in the minority so far - I use public chargers at least once a month and sometimes more. I live in MD, but have an office I work out of a couple of days a week in Herndon (round trip 75 miles). I also am in the Baltimore suburbs a couple of days per week. On days when I have to do both, I use an EvGo Chademo stn to remove my range anxiety.

    I put 23k miles on my S the first year and didn't use it exclusively; used the ICE for some trips.

    So I would say it depends on where you live and where you travel. Having a Chademo adapter IMHO is a very useful tool.

    Cheers.
     
  10. DFibRL8R

    DFibRL8R Member

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    +1 for using public chargers to encourage infrastructure build out and increase awareness and support for EVs. Patronizing a business that goes to the trouble of installing EV charging is important to me especially in areas of the country where EVs are still rare sights. I have been to several public chargers where a curious passer by or business employee tells me I'm the first EV they have ever seen charging there.
     
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  11. mikeash

    mikeash Active Member

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    Yeah, some of those L2 chargers really don't see much use, and it's great to show people they're not just a waste of space and money. Some of the ones around DC get really busy, and I usually leave them for others, but out away from the big city they often get very little use, and plugging in my car draws curious onlookers. My wife says she actually had someone asking to take a video of the process last time she did it, from someone who had never seen a Tesla before and wanted to know how it all worked.
     
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  12. dgpcolorado

    dgpcolorado Member

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    I plug-in to public charge stations locally about twice a week: one-day-a-week volunteer job and my weekly 70 mile grocery shopping trips. I don't need to charge, since a 60% charge at home is plenty for local driving. I use the public charge stations so that people can see them being used — EVs are rare here and I want to educate people as to their existence — and to show the municipalities that went to the trouble of putting them in that they are appreciated (I've spoken to them as well). Since there are two cords at each location and it is rare that someone else is there, I am not usually blocking the station from someone who needs it. Again, the main purpose is to educate the public as to the existence of EVs; since my car is "sunpowered" I don't pay for electricity at home.

    Both of those public charge stations were 80% funded by a state grant and the state fund is, in turn, supported by an annual registration fee charged to all plug-in vehicles. So, I helped pay for them.

    I did use public charging in Kirkland WA because I needed enough range to get back to the Centralia WA Supercharger Station. If the Seattle area had a Supercharger Station it wouldn't have been necessary. But an actual need for L2 public charging is rare on the routes I drive.
     
  13. ION eDRV

    ION eDRV Member

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    Plus one
     
  14. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    Speaking for myself, after 45K miles in my S driving all over the western United States, I would estimate that less than 1% of all my charging has been done using "other solutions". That is not to say that 1% has been unneeded. It was very useful at out of the way locations.
     
  15. jbcarioca

    jbcarioca Active Member

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    I use public chargers at least once per week, often more. Both supermarkets I frequent have EV chargers, so I plug in every time, mostly to show that they are being used. Several others are in my area that I Use when I am there, for the same reason.

    Frequently on trips public chargers are the only thing available, although that is gradually becoming less frequent. Four of my my most frequent such places have had Superchargers open in recent months!
     
  16. JPP

    JPP Active Member

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    Need--don't. I have 2 NEMA 14-50s at home. That said, the SF Bay area is very EV friendly. I plug in 2 work a couple of times a week. I plug in at a downtown SF parking garage once a month or 2. I plug in at the supermarket every 1-2 months, even for 30 minutes. Nice to have the availability and convenience.
     
  17. freeewilly

    freeewilly Member

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    The place I work has 10 public charging stations, so I use it all the time.
     
  18. johnnyS

    johnnyS Member

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    On a daily basis I never use public stations even when I am parking in a lot that has them. On road trips I have used them. We spent a couple of nights in Estes Park in May and charged at the city library on a good L2 station multiple times while we were there.
     
  19. AndreSF

    AndreSF Member

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    #19 AndreSF, Jul 10, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2016
    Drove a Volt for 3 years, used to plug in as much as possible to extend EV range and avoid use of on board gas generator. Do it very infrequently with MS (except for Tesla destination charging). There is a ton of EVs in SF Bay Area (I suspect LA is not that different) that might really need those charging spots, so very infrequently I do use SF downtown parking lots charges that are free of charge.

    BTW I've seen cases (at least here is SF Bay Area) when Tesla drivers take advantage of more convenient EV charging parking spots and not even charge, even though most places have specific signs "For EV charging only" around those spots. Not cool IMO...
     
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  20. Cnasty

    Cnasty Member

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    Has anyone seen any issues with people messing with the charging cable while charging at like a mall or somewhere?

    Seems it would be a target for some more attention than I would like at a public spot but seems very convenient to use them when shopping or something like that.
     
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