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I'm thinking of donating my referral HPWC to my local volunteer fire company...

Discussion in 'Model X: Battery & Charging' started by AdamHLG, Aug 11, 2018.

  1. AdamHLG

    AdamHLG Member

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    Hi all,

    I am a firefighter / EMT and member of our local volunteer fire company. Our first due area is fairly rural - we are out in the country a bit, but not more than 20 minutes away from a Tesla store with public HPWCs.

    One of my close friends and brother EMT at the station purchased a Tesla in March. Because he used my referral code, I just received my free referral black signature HPWC. I already have a HPWC installed at my house. It's not a black signature HPWC, but it works perfectly and I am not going to mess with it. Thus, I have two options: 1) Sell it; or 2) I had another idea.

    First, let me tell you about the volunteer fire and EMS service for a moment. We are a family from very diverse backgrounds but we share a single DNA flag that brings us together - - we want to learn how to help others, and we really love big fire trucks with lots of flashing lights and sirens. This equipment is not inexpensive to purchase and maintain. Our last medic cost in excess of $500,000 (with on-board equipment) and our new engine expected in the fall will cost way more than that. We have a mortgage, insurance, utilities, fuel, and every other homeowner expense as well. We rely heavily on community donations and annual fund drives. We sell snowballs in the summer, pumpkins in the fall, and Christmas trees in the winter. We run birthday parties for kids all year. All of this money is needed to run the company, purchase and maintain the equipment, and keep the lights on. But when someone in our community calls 911, we will be there and we will be ready.

    I am thinking of making a motion at the next company meeting as follows: "Motion to accept donation of a Tesla HPWC wall charger signed by Elon Musk, modification of parking spot at rear of station for electric vehicle charging, and installation of signage and donation box at modified parking spot."

    Here is my concept and I am curious what you guys think, and I have a few questions at the end of this story.

    With our diverse backgrounds, we have licensed electricians, construction folks, painters, basically all labor, for free. And the HPWC would be free. So this would be a zero-cost labor project. The only materials needed would be wire and conduit (the run is only about 30 feet to the main breaker box). plus some green and white paint for the pavement, plus a sign and a locked donation box. Let's call it $500 for materials, probably less.

    I would install the HPWC, paint the spot really nice green with a white border, and maybe get a template for EV charging to paint there, install a sign post, and install a sign and locked voluntary donation box.

    The idea would be that I would publish this HPWC on the plug share apps, our annual fund drive letters, our website, whatever, letting people know that our community fire station now has a public Tesla charger. This would be great for our community because visitors to members of our our community from out of town that own Teslas would be able to have a very convenient option to charge very close to their destination.

    When the visitor to the charger pulls to the back of the station, they can use the charger, and they can read the sign. The sign will welcome them, provide that the charger is free, and ask visitors to consider a donation for the donation box. Maybe we do a pamphlet holder on the sign and I create a one page 3-fold document about our mission, our history, and why we rely so much on donations to allow us to obtain and maintain lifesaving equipment, tools and supplies, and that their donation is helping the community at large including the family and friends they may be visiting. Drivers can read it while charging.

    I would close out my motion by stating that, at some point, we can add a non-Tesla universal charger to that spot (or maybe we also install a 220v outlet with the HPWC - i'll look into that as well). But I need to sell the membership on the concept. I need to explain that this charger is not for my friend and I because we live 3 minutes away and already have chargers. I need to sell them on the future.

    One final point, Depending on cost, I would like a video cam installed with motion detection masked to that spot for "movement". I would like to get mobile alerts when there is movement in that spot, both for security, and to know when I should check the donation box. If I can get this camera donated, this will be part of the setup.

    SO...... here are my questions:

    1. Do you like or dislike this idea?
    2. Do you have any suggestions to the idea?
    3. Do you think Tesla owners that use the charger will drop in a donation for the firehouse?
    4. Do you think the value of the donations will at least exceed the cost of electric? This is where I expect the members to grill me.


    Thanks for reading everyone.
     
    • Love x 5
    • Like x 4
  2. ewoodrick

    ewoodrick Active Member

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    The donation will be nice, but the installation may be expensive. Does the panel have enough room, how far will you have to run cable, additional breaker boxes are just a part of the costs. Even things like the building permits can get expensive. Having folks donate labor helps, but hardware still costs.
    I've seen some of the Baltimore FD and they aren't necessarily small.
     
  3. Graffi

    Graffi Member

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    Write a letter to Elon Musk, including what you say above, and ask if Tesla (which until recently provided a HPWC and Installation for free) would consider a tax-deductible donation to help with the installation and operating cost, and maybe even become a "Corporate Sponsor" of your Fire/EMT Department. It couldn't hurt. Just saying ....
     
    • Like x 1
  4. AdamHLG

    AdamHLG Member

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    You are correct I forgot about the additional disconnect. The actual wire run is about 30 ft. I already spoke to our captain today and we are going to look at the project more closely this week. He is fully in support.
     
  5. DCGOO

    DCGOO Member

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    What if someone comes along with some non-Tesla EV?
     
  6. tpham07

    tpham07 Active Member

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    Install a NEMA 14-50 and plug the wall connector into that instead.
     
    • Like x 1
  7. David99

    David99 Active Member

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  8. SSedan

    SSedan Member

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    I like the idea but proximity to things to do while charging is a big deal.
    I would say pull wire for a 14-50 or J1772 charger at the same time.
    Having the Tesla specific let's people charge faster than is typically of J1772 which is a draw.

    A local Nature center here has solar and Tesla/ Clipper Creek chargers and I drop a larger than suggested donation in the walking trails box.

    That said, less so here but on Tesla's own forum I am shocked by the sense of entitlement by the owners there. I think most will donate but I also think you will be surprised at the number who think the world owes them free electricity after giving them a $7500 tax cuts for the rich.........
     
    • Like x 1
  9. DCGOO

    DCGOO Member

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    Unfortunately, that does not help. Still limited to only Tesla, and even then only if the driver brings his own UMC from home. It needs to be a J1772 to have any degree of universal to it. We all have adapters for that. You are not going to plug a Bolt or Leaf into a 14-50 without the owner carrying a special adapter. Very rare I imagine.

    Don’t take me wrong, I think it is a great idea. But don’t forget that Tesla would probably give the FD multiple WC for free to participate in their Destination Charger program, particularly if it was public access, and free.
     
  10. tpham07

    tpham07 Active Member

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    Actually Tesla installs the Clipper Creek J1772 stations you see at basically every Tesla Destination charger.
     
  11. AdamHLG

    AdamHLG Member

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    I was just checking out these non Tesla chargers based on the above reply. Which Clipper Creek J1772 model would you suggest? I don't really know anything about other types of chargers other than the Tesla hpwc. Does this get wired into a separate breaker (I guess it would need to be a separate breaker. While I would prepare one parking spot for EV, I suppose I could not stop someone from an adjacent spot charging at the same time).

    I am going to figure out how to contact Tesla to see if they will help with this project. My only concern is the length of time it will take for a response. I suppose giving it 30 or 60 days won't hurt I already waited 8 months for the referral award. I suppose I agree that if I move forward with this project I should also put a clippercreek charger in as well.
     
  12. ThisIsTrue

    ThisIsTrue Re-member

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    I'm a volunteer medic with our local (rural) EMS agency (separate from FD), and I like your idea a lot. Both of our small municipalities have public (J-plug) chargers, which is great. Since yours apparently doesn't, this is a place where you can lead.

    My only suggestion (besides having a second/universal charger) is to put a meter on it. At some point folks will get cranky and say there's a big draw on the dept's electric bill, so you'll need a way to compare use against donations. No way to measure goodwill, of course, but that's there too.

    Good luck with the project, and keep us posted!

    *(Get a receipt from the FD for the value of the HPWC donation: that's a tax deduction!)
     
    • Like x 4
  13. ReddyLeaf

    ReddyLeaf Member

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    +1
     
  14. AdamHLG

    AdamHLG Member

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    I applied for the Tesla Charging Partner through the website form. I wrote up a modified script as suggested above. I left out the donation stuff and talked more about serving our community and the common goal, etc. Thanks for that suggestion. Question is, how long will it take for a response. We shall see. One way or another we will make this happen.
     
    • Like x 2
  15. davewill

    davewill Member

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    Am I the only one that had the reaction that this might sound a little self-serving since you and one other guy are the likely main beneficiaries of free charging at the station?
     
    • Disagree x 1
  16. ThisIsTrue

    ThisIsTrue Re-member

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    Clearly addressed in the original post:

     
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  17. Yinn

    Yinn Active Member

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    When I got my own HPWC installed, I was talking to the town permit office. They were looking to do a similiar thing and put in an application for HPWCs in the shared FD/PD parking lot. That was 2 years ago, as of 6 months ago at a town meeting; they still have not heard back.

    I'd recommend anyone interested should put in a request for their destination charging program. Since you already have a spare HPWC though, it doesn't make sense to get another one unless you were to do two spots or then sell yours. The other thing you can do is just swap the covers so you get the black/signed HPWC and put the silver cover behind the station where weather will wear on the painted cover.
     

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