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Public HPWC Install Ideas

Discussion in 'New England' started by PeterK, Mar 6, 2014.

  1. PeterK

    PeterK Model S Owner

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    In the absence of superchargers north of Boston, I have a partially functioning HPWC (needs a new cable) that I would be willing to donate to a Montpelier VT restaurant I have frequented several times, to get a reasonable charging stop in place off of I-89. There are two Chargepoint J1772s in Montpelier, but they are slow and a half mile or more apart - and getting increasing use, likely from local commuters. Having an HPWC in downtown Montpelier (180 miles from Boston) would enable worry-free travel to Stowe and the Burlington/Champlain region, and would be a useful alternative or supplement even after the West Lebanon supercharger is in place, as it is 55 miles north of West Lebanon and 40 miles from Burlington / 30 miles from Stowe.

    I'm going to give the restaurant owner a call, but before I do, a few questions for this group:
    1) Would you use this HPWC (and eat at a good Italian restaurant) if it were available in Montpelier? How often?
    2) Can anyone give me an estimate of the cost of electricity consumed in the course of a 1-2 hour dinner stop/walk around downtown? For a full 4-5 hour charge? Over the course of a month?
    3) What's a good ballpark range for cost of installation outside, in central VT? Could they get a tax credit?
    4) How would a restaurant owner maximize the benefit of having an HPWC?
    5) Would any of you be interested in contributing to the cost of a) a replacement cable, or b) electrical work/installation?

    If anyone is aware of how others have succeeded in getting HPWCs and Sun Country Highway chargers installed and electricity paid for, please share. E.g. are there donation boxes, like at Mt. Washington Auto Road?

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
    -Peter

    - - - Updated - - -

    FYI within a 2-3 block radius are a Shaw's supermarket, Rite Aid and a hardware store, and a little further away are bookstore, cafes and a gelato place. Would be a useful stop on the way to a ski weekend.
     
  2. Pollux

    Pollux Member

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    #2 Pollux, Mar 7, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 8, 2014
    PeterK,

    Montpelier sounds like a nice spot.

    But when I run the numbers, it's 180+ miles from Boston/Cambridge/Metrowest. That's not conducive to a fast drive even in an 85, and probably not a good idea at all for a 60. Feels like you need a spot closer in, like Lebanon.

    On the plus side, a Montpelier charger opens up parts of southern Canada, e.g., Montreal.... if one is willing to be patient about charging at an HPWC (rather than an SC) in Montpelier.

    Because I don't understand where to place chargers for maximum effect for a given population, I'm inclined to give my money to Tesla to spend on the build-out. I wouldn't know which private charger to help fund. Couldn't good cases be made for *many* spots for a privately-funded charger?

    Having said that, I salute you for donating your HPWC and thinking through what might be a good location for it. I'll rely on your good judgement and the fact that you are putting serious skin in the game. When you are ready, please let me know how I can contribute financially to the cost(s) of the replacement cable and/or electrical work/installation.

    Thanks,
    Alan

     
  3. PeterK

    PeterK Model S Owner

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    #3 PeterK, Mar 7, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2014
    New New England Supercharger Locations

    Alan, thanks for your support. I've made the drive from Cambridge to just across Lake Champlain with a charge stop in Montpelier three times round trip and have posted about them here, particularly the last trip in cold and snow at Thanksgiving which was much tighter than I would have liked (Don't try this at home...). But I have no concerns getting to Montpelier on a range charge, even in cold and snow and/or driving at 70-75 and sometimes faster.

    West Lebanon is ideal but we know there will be an SC there at some point so I want to put the HPWC somewhere else on the route. Montpelier is a nice place to spend time vs. many one-stoplight towns or exits with a gas station and a fast food place along I-89. And I just found myself with an extra HPWC I'd like to make use of to benefit me and other owners. I will try to convince the restaurant to pay for the install but may not be successful. And I do need a new cable but will try asking Watertown for help with that.

    I have heard of owners placing Roadster and other high amp chargers or HPWCs along useful routes in California, Washington and upstate NY. I'd like to understand more about how they did it.

     
  4. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    Peter, I think this is a good location for an HPWC. I agree that 180 miles is readily achievable in all but the worst conditions, so it's not too far -- on the edge of too far, but not past the edge. And it will be a good complement to the planned Supercharger locations in West Lebanon/WRJ and Burlington.

    I did some research on how much the power might cost. The answer depends a LOT on the owner's rate plan. The simplest and most likely case is that the restaurant takes power under the Green Mountain Power General Service tariff. If so, energy is at a flat cost of $0.14171 per kWh. So, worst case hourly cost (assuming 80A at 240v = 19.2 kW) is 19.2*0.14171 = $2.72/hour. Without twin chargers, halve that to $1.36/hour. A near-full 80kWh charge is worth $11.34.

    IMO it wouldn't be unreasonable if the owner were to ask for a small contribution to cover power costs. Restaurants run on pretty tight margins.
     
  5. TexasEV

    TexasEV Active Member

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    They can get a 30% tax credit for installation cost. Remember it doesn't require a 100A circuit, if that's too expensive to install anything 50A or greater will do.


    For the cost of 1-2 hours of charging to attract a new customer, it's probably the least expensive marketing they can do.
     
  6. hcsharp

    hcsharp Active Member

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    Peter, I missed this thread or would have chimed in sooner. First, I think it's a great location. It's borderline too far in bad weather (snow, extreme cold) but that is temporary. We're eventually getting a SuperC in WRJ or W Lebanon. I get Tesla owners stopping at my house periodically for 80A when traveling to/from skiing (Stowe, Sugarbush, etc) and also to/from Montreal as well as Burlington, VT. Montpelier would be much better. Our house has no restaurant, shopping, cell phones don't even work (but we do have WiFi and great walking trails). I've felt bad knowing some of you sat in your cars reading a book when we weren't home or other reasons (privacy, etc.). I love Tesla visitors but Montpelier would be waaaaay better for you.

    I'm happy to help after April 15. Too busy before then. Have you spoken to them? What restaurant is it?

    Robert only mentioned the base rate but as he said, it really depends on their rate plan. Their peak use period probably coincides with when you would plug in. That will raise their demand charges which could easily end up being more than the base rate.

    What needs to be done to the cable? Perhaps I could help with that.

    @TexasEV: The 30% tax credit expired last year. It really needs to be 70 or 80A charging to work well. It would be a short stop for most people.


     
  7. PeterK

    PeterK Model S Owner

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    Henry and Robert, thanks. I've got a few other balls in the air at the moment so haven't progressed much. The restaurant is Sarducci's and I had a brief conversation with the owner, Carol, who didn't sound aware of Tesla. We discussed location for the charger - potentially mounted on the back side of the building near a couple of parking spaces. But she said even the back fills up so how would you handle the space - can't afford to leave it empty most of the time. My suggestion was that she or another employee park there and be prepared to move if someone wanted to charge - that way no customers are inconvenienced. I had another thought that MS owners who wanted to charge could reserve the charger when they make a restaurant reservation.

    I owe her a follow up email with more info. Suggestions on content (articles etc) welcome.

    Also at some point it would be great to get a Model S over to Sarducci's to show her. Anyone in or near Montpelier? It's a bit of a drive for me, would require an overnight on level 2 charging.
     
  8. PeterK

    PeterK Model S Owner

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    I'm not sure what's wrong with the cable. Since early this year sometimes it opened the charge port, other times not. And it wouldn't go green or blue when inserted Into the charge port - only if I locked the car with the fob. And even them it usually charged at scheduled time, but a few times did not. The intermittent nature was frustrating.

    One Watertown technician noted that it sounded like the charge port opener button on the handle might be stuck. It might be fixable but I don't want to have an iffy cable on a charger that people need, to get to their destinations. So I think we need a new cable.
     
  9. KJD

    KJD Member

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    It might be worth an email to Tesla to see if they would help you out. From the supercharger FAQ.
     
  10. PeterK

    PeterK Model S Owner

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    I spoke with Mat who wanted the old charger back so they can diagnose the problem for future improvements, but offered to help get a new charger for them. One of his tasks is to support the buildout of destination charging infrastructure in the area, and he agrees with others here that Montpelier makes sense. I'm including him on a note to the owner.
     
  11. PeterK

    PeterK Model S Owner

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    Henry and all, I stopped in Montpelier for lunch at Sarducci's on Monday while charging at a public L2 charger by the State House. I met Carol and had a chance to discuss things with her, took a look around the restaurant for possible HPWC locations, and showed her my car after retrieving it from the charger. She was very impressed with the car. I had parked right in front of the entrance but when we came out she was looking around for an "EV" - looking vehicle and was surprised when I pointed to my car.

    Here's a Plugshare view of the restaurant location vs. closest L2 charger at City Hall.
    me4ujesy.jpg

    Here's a satellite view of the restaurant building. As I previously posted, Carol's biggest concern is parking and managing so cars can access the HPWC. I think it could be mounted on the wall by the loading dock (just above the cupola on the building) or just right of it. Loading dock is usually active in the mornings, not when people would be eating there or likely charging. To the right is non-legal area where Carol and her staff often park 2-3 cars. I don't expect the HPWC would be in heavy use, so I think either would work and would be accessible at night. I spoke with Mat afterwards. He will work with Tesla to provide the HPWC and I think Carol would agree if we could collectively fund the installation. I'm willing to help fund if others will join in.
    ta5uga5a.jpg

    Loading dock:
    se2u8a6u.jpg

    Beyond dock:
    u7yba8et.jpg

    Here's a shot of the electric service. This could be the biggest issue. I don't know how much restaurants consume but I doubt they have 100A of spare capacity out of their 400A feed, and have no idea what it would take to expand the feed. I expect we would work with their electrician to understand the situation and then install.
    e7ujesa3.jpg
    6e9a3ahy.jpg

    I would appreciate thoughts of others here, especially those who have succeeded in placing chargers. Anyone closer to Montpelier willing to help with this? Henry, it would reduce the number of strange visitors charging in your driveway...

    Thanks.
    -Peter


    P.S. I shared this article with Carol as indicative of the kind of publicity Sarducci's could get: http://www.ohio.com/business/papa-joe-s-new-akron-menu-item-electric-car-charging-stations-1.488597


     
  12. PeterK

    PeterK Model S Owner

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    Update: I stopped by for dinner with the kids in early August but on a day she doesn't come to the restaurant. Sent her a follow-up note or two with links to the following articles about Tesla's destination charging initiative and asking her to connect me with her electrician so we could get an estimate of the installation requirements and costs. No response yet.

    Beyond the Supercharger: Teslas Other Charging Network - Corporate Intelligence - WSJ

    Tesla rolls out program at hotels, restaurants and resorts | SiliconBeat

    If any of you have a chance to go by Montpelier, please stop by Sarducci's and mention you'd be interested in charging your Model S there...
     
  13. PeterK

    PeterK Model S Owner

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    I finally heard back from Carol and she unfortunately is too concerned about her limited parking available to move forward (who'd have thought parking availability would be an issue in Montpelier, which IIRC is the smallest state Capitol?). She thanked me for showing her the car, adding "It's beautiful and the way of the future."

    So back to the drawing board. Anyone else know of a potential HPWC host location in the Barre-Montpelier-Waterbury area? Otherwise until a Tesla steps up with a NH/VT supercharger it looks like I'll be taking the long way via Albany's.
     
  14. tes-s

    tes-s Member

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    How about The Inn at Montpelier? I am not up that way often, but was there for a wedding two weeks ago. They are very close to everything and have a nice size parking lot.
     
  15. PeterK

    PeterK Model S Owner

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    Thanks for the suggestion, @tes-s. I haven't had a chance to contact them - too busy lately. I was just looking at Plugshare, however, and noted that there is now a CHAdeMO at VSECU (Vermont State Employees Credit Union?) on the outskirts of downtown Montpelier closer to I-89. And several other CHAdeMOs have appeared in Barre, Middlesex, Middlebury and Burlington. Vermont is suddenly developing its EV charging infrastructure - but where are the Superchargers?
     

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