TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker or making a Paypal contribution here: paypal.me/SupportTMC

Superchargers At National Parks

Discussion in 'Charging Standards and Infrastructure' started by TheTalkingMule, Dec 23, 2014.

  1. TheTalkingMule

    TheTalkingMule Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2012
    Messages:
    1,272
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    Our 58 national parks are some of the most remote points in the country and also some of the best arguments against moving to a purely EV personal transportation system. Putting superchargers at the 45 or so parks located in the continental US makes a lot of sense. Are there currently any petitions out there to add some level of vehicle charging across the entire parks system?

    A partnership between Tesla, perhaps Musk as an individual, the Parks Service, and an environmental nonprofit would be a huge boost to product positioning.

    Unbranded superchargers with additional Level 2 slots perhaps? Given the relatively few locations, I'm pretty surprised this isn't already in the gameplan for either Tesla or the Parks Service.
     
  2. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2013
    Messages:
    10,393
    Location:
    San Mateo, CA
  3. dhrivnak

    dhrivnak Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2011
    Messages:
    2,150
    Location:
    NE Tennessee
    I think it would be far more appropriate to have 80 amp J1772 charging. A plug that all EV'S can use.
     
  4. Karma

    Karma Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2014
    Messages:
    80
    Location:
    Safety Harbor, Florida
    YES! I've been thinking the same thing since I started looking into a Tesla and the SC network a couple of years ago. Chances are that it will have to go through the vendor licensed for providing services at each park (I'd need to review the vendor agreement to confirm), but I would LOVE to see SC's and J1772's at each of our National Parks, AND a reduced entrance fee for BEV's.


     
  5. SFOTurtle

    SFOTurtle Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2013
    Messages:
    1,039
    Location:
    Los Altos, CA
    It is, from what I have read, a park by park process. I know this is the case for Yosemite. There has been zero action taken by the vendor who handles Yosemite services despite many communications/requests to that vendor. Doesn't seem to be any impetus for them to do anything, at least not yet.
     
  6. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2011
    Messages:
    7,842
    Location:
    Portland, Maine, USA
    I disagree about putting SpCs at destinations.


    1. People ought to be encouraged to spend days, or at least the better part of a day, at National Parks.
    2. There could be issues about having proprietary charging spots for Tesla on federal lands.
    3. You'd have a lot of problem with people plugging in their Tesla and then going for a 4-hour hike, taking up a scarce charging slot.
    4. I suspect that most Parks don't have lots of extra grid capacity. A six-bay SC site has to be wired to draw about 600 kW, as much as a modest hotel.

    As @drhivnak notes, 80A J1772 chargers address all these issues and could gather much broader political support.
     
  7. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2013
    Messages:
    10,393
    Location:
    San Mateo, CA
    Well said. Our national parks are "America's best idea", and are for everyone. Installing Tesla SCs would not fit well with that principle. Max amperage J1772 chargers are the best solution.
     
  8. apacheguy

    apacheguy Sig 255, VIN 320

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2012
    Messages:
    3,728
    Location:
    So Cal
    Yes, but one thing I can't stand is seeing a Leaf hog an 80 amp charger and only be charging at 28 amps (and in most cases 14 amps with Gen 1 chargers). And I say that as a Leaf owner.

    If you can build enough of them, fine, great idea. But the reality is that only one or two are likely to be built in each park and they'll be occupied most of the time with slow charging EVs. I say better off spending $ on more J1772s at 30 amps and only have one or two Tesla reserved HPWCs.
     
  9. GRA

    GRA Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2014
    Messages:
    308
    Location:
    S.F. East Bay Area
    #9 GRA, Dec 23, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2014
    Agree that proprietary chargers inside the parks are probably a no go, and SCs probably don't belong there in any case. SCs belong in the gateway towns outside the parks, i.e. West Yellowstone/Gallatin/Jackson/Moran/Groveland/El Portal/Lee Vining etc., with the highest possible amperage J1772s (commensurate with the electrical system limitations) usable by all inside.

    I proposed, designed, spec'd and installed a PV lighting system in the Yosemite backcountry a couple of decades back, and had to deal with five separate park departments to do it, not including the concessionaire, so rapid response to proposals isn't to be expected. I started writing a proposal to install EVSEs inside Yosemite a couple of years ago, but decided to hold off submitting it as I thought it was still premature - short range BEVs were a poor choice to get there and lacked en route infrastructure, PHEVs didn't really need them (although running on electricity rather than gas inside the park is desirable; use of the hold button while outside the park en route is recommended), and Tesla had yet to put any SCs within easy range (Manteca will _partly_ solve this), so I've been holding on to it for a riper opportunity.

    With Manteca soon to go live and longer range affordable BEVs (hopefully) appearing in the next two years with (hopefully) appropriate QC infrastructure at least between the Bay Area and the park, it may soon be time to install a modest number of pay J1772s in addition to the single free Clipper Creek that's now available in the Yosemite Village parking lot. Per Plugshare it's apparently regularly used by an employee's Volt, but he's happy to let you disconnect him if you need a charge.

    Anyway, leaving aside the cover letter/executive summary explaining the rationale for more EVSEs for the benefit of the DNC at Yosemite President and the Park Superintendent (NPS is the permitting authority and has the final say on any changes in the park), here was a first draft of possible locations. Comments are welcome:

    Option #1: Initial, lowest cost option.


    Allow Level 1 charging from currently existing 120V/15A receptacles. Receptacles should be chosen which have no other load on the same circuit, and which allow the EV to park in such a way that no cords extend across pathways or through wet areas, for safety and liability reasons (see App.A, Link #3). Charging can either be free or preferably at a low flat rate (window sticker/hang tag etc. with expiration date to show payment) and should be available to all, not just hotel guests. there should be a minimum of two receptacles in each location. Such receptacles should be available in 3 general areas:


    Yosemite Valley: Ahwanee, Yosemite Lodge, Curry Village, possibly Housekeeping camp and Yosemite Village.


    Tuolumne Meadows: Tuolumne Lodge, probably Store/Gas station area for the Campground also.


    Wawona: Wawona Hotel, Store/Gas station area, possibly the Pioneer History Center.




    Option #2: Initial, dedicated pay L1/2 EVSEs plus Option #1 receptacles where L1/2 can't be afforded. Chargers should allow reserving in advance, and as above there should be at least two in each location, with maximum time limits on each EVSE. 4 areas:


    Yosemite Valley: same locations as Option #1 but definitely including a pair of EVSEs in Yosemite Village parking. EVSEs at Curry Village and Yosemite Lodge parking lots should be located as close as possible to the Pines and Camp 4 campgrounds, respectively, to facilitate charging by people staying in those campgrounds.


    Tuolumne Meadows: Same locations as Option #1, plus the Visitor center, Wilderness Permit center, Dog Lake/JMT trailhead lot.


    Wawona: Same locations as Option #1, plus possibly the Campground, Mariposa Grove parking lot.


    Crane Flat Gas station* and/or Big Oak Flat Entrance Station, possibly Tuolumne Grove parking lot.




    Option #3: First Expansion: Multiple dedicated L1/2 EVSEs in all locations above, plus L3 Quick chargers at Crane Flat* and possibly Wawona and El Portal. Add L2 EVSEs at Glacier Point.




    Option #4: Full Expansion: Multiple dedicated L1/2 EVSEs at all above locations, all park campgrounds/parking lots where power is currently available and people are likely to spend at least 30 minutes, including Lower Yosemite Falls, Tioga Pass, White Wolf.


    * I did some on the ground recon of possible locations along Tioga road two years ago, and found that the Crane Flat gas station gets its electricity from a big diesel genset, so consider it ruled out. One possibility might be PV panels in the Tuolumne Grove parking lot, perhaps something like this: Here Now: The World's First Portable, Self-Contained Solar EV Charging Station | PluginCars.com

    so it can be moved for winter. It wasn't clear to me how the Yosemite Institute facility in Crane Flat gets its power, but if they are tied to the grid then possibly EVSEs can be put there.
     
  10. Karma

    Karma Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2014
    Messages:
    80
    Location:
    Safety Harbor, Florida
    I spend a lot of time in national parks, and typically not just a few hours. However, many people are just, unfortunately, passing through, and don't have more than a few hours to "auto-tour" and take a few pictures. Encouraging BEV's would go a long way towards decreasing emissions, and in my mind, making the correct statement that we need to protect and conserve the parks. The J1772 is most likely the preferable route, as it's open to all. However, it would be HUGE for Tesla to place SC's in the gateway cities. The only problem with those cities is the real estate is incredibly expensive and hard to come by.

    Lastly, while SC's may draw the amperage of a small hotel, Elon's made it clear that he wants to promote SC's powered by solar. There are 5 National Parks in Utah alone that could easily provide the sunshine required to keep the SC's fully charged.

    I get pretty fired up at the idea of seeing solar generated EV stations in our national parks and I really see it as a logical extension of Elon's vision (and mine!)

     
  11. CHGolferJim

    CHGolferJim Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2014
    Messages:
    842
    Location:
    Chapel Hill, NC
    A nice move would be for Tesla to donate HPWC to 2-3 parks in each of the 50 states. Then usage might encourage more installations. A great way to publicize an initiative for destination charging.
     
  12. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2009
    Messages:
    5,062
    Location:
    Colorado
    Even better, Tesla should offer to donate the HPWC's and pay for reasonable installation costs at all National and State Parks. This could be after a modified application and review procedure like the "Destination Charging" program.
     
  13. flankspeed8

    flankspeed8 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2014
    Messages:
    645
    Location:
    Vermillion, MN
    who foots the bill for the actual power used at these destination chargers?
     
  14. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2012
    Messages:
    12,763
    Location:
    Texas
    Presumably, any at National Parks would have to be solar plus battery, so there wouldn't really be a power cost. (Assumption here is that the Parks currently don't have enough power to provide any kind of rapid (greater than 30 amp) EV charging.)
     
  15. dhrivnak

    dhrivnak Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2011
    Messages:
    2,150
    Location:
    NE Tennessee
    Again I reiterate why would we use taxpayer funds to install charging stations that only about 1/4 of the EV'S on the road could use? All could use a J1772 and I see no downside. True a Leaf or Volt could not use all 80 amps but the higher power is there for those that can use it. I think one will find the installed cost of of an 80 amp unit not much different than a 30 amp unit as the labor and trenching are the largest cost, not the station itself. And while we may think it a waste to see a Leaf plugged into a 80 amp unit I would wager the Leaf (and Volt, I3, Focus, Mercedes B.....) would think it a waste to see a HPWC that they could not use. Also I can see the NPS purchasing a Leaf or Volts for use but I doubt they will be buying a model S.
     
  16. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2011
    Messages:
    7,842
    Location:
    Portland, Maine, USA
    L1 charging is so slow that I wouldn't want to encourage any public expenditures to expand it. Sure it's better than nothing, so it would be good to encourage the Parks to adopt a policy regarding L1 charging at existing receptacles. Such policy should identify which receptacles can be used safely, at what amperage. L1 charging points let people check off the "yes we support EV charging" box without providing really useful infrastructure. (And, yes, I once recharged my Model S completely on L1 at a remote spot in the Adirondacks; fortunately we were staying there for four days.)

    I would focus exclusively on expanding L2 charging options. While L3 would be great, there are three competing standards in the U.S. now, and supporting all of them would be quite expensive. So, I'd support a "Phase 1" = your Option 2, with "Phase 2" = your Option 4 after an evaluation of the success and lessons from Phase 1.

    I really like your idea of buying a charging placard. This is an elegant solution to a number of problems. Sure, it relies mostly on an honor system, since enforcement will probably be spotty.
     
  17. GRA

    GRA Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2014
    Messages:
    308
    Location:
    S.F. East Bay Area
    Part of my reasoning with the L1s is to get them there for PHEVs now, and also put them in locations where people will be leaving their cars for long periods of time, i.e. backcountry trailheads and campgrounds that see lots of weekend or longer use. At the typical trailhead, a car left for the weekend will get 30 or more hours of charging, which is more than enough to allow most BEVs get back to a SC/QC outside the park (especially going downhill), without taking up a large amount of the usually limited electrical capacity. Having L1/L2 and eventually L3 also allows varying the price by speed, so that we can hopefully avoid people monopolizing faster chargers than they need. In addition, there has occasionally been some ad hoc use of L1 receptacles used for Tesla Roadsters etc. at places like the Ahwahnee going back about 5 years, so I was hoping to convince DNC to regularize their standards and procedures rather than just let them be at the whim of whoever happens to be on the desk. Eventually L1 circuits can be upgraded at relatively low cost to low amperage L2, still encouraging a natural segregation according to need.

    As to L3, I consider them problematic at most inside the park locations due to capacity limitations, and while in those areas which have the capacity I see no problems with installing dual CHAdeMO/CCS QCs, I don't believe that NPS will allow installation of proprietary QCs (SCs) inside the parks. The other issue with QCs is whether we should be encouraging the all-too-common "I've seen Yosemite - I drove in, took some pictures, bought some knick-knacks at the gift shop and was out of there in an hour and a half. It would have been less, except for the heavy traffic." That's a question of values, and I for one believe that QCs should only be installed inside the parks at locations that mainly see through traffic. I doubt that the general public would agree.
     
  18. Chipper

    Chipper Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2013
    Messages:
    1,182
    Location:
    Chattanooga, TN
    Personally I see a couple of big problems with this suggestion: First and foremost is the location of national parks. Typically they are in way out of the way locations. Usually significantly OFF the beaten path and major highway systems. Putting SC's here would negate the "Point A to Point B" capability Tesla is trying to promote. Secondly, most National Parks are very limited when it comes to dining options and ah...facilities. Third is infrastructure. Many of our national parks have very little in the way of electrical infrastructure. Piping that many amps back to a campground parking area would be quite cost prohibitive. Fourth, to my knowledge all national parks require entry fees and passes and gates. Do we really want to overburden the park service rangers and bring added traffic flow into these areas?
     
  19. Skyhawk

    Skyhawk Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2014
    Messages:
    69
    Location:
    Tri-Cities, WA, US
    At Park entrances

    Did anyone else notice the proposed SC location at the East Entrance to Yellowstone, near Cody WY on the new Tesla Map for 2015?
     
  20. Rheazombi

    Rheazombi Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2008
    Messages:
    618
    Location:
    Boston
    my 2 cents:

    There should be SCs on the way to every national park, they don't have to be IN the park itself. This would help prevent the problem of people parking there for hours while they hike etc, but would enable Teslas (and maybe other long-range EVs someday if they ever get their act together and make use of the patents) to be able to travel to these remote locations that are not always on a well-traveled highway route.

    They can be solar powered, especially if these chargers must exist in a somewhat remote location without great grid access. There need not be a huge bay of 8 stalls. 2 should suffice. There can be HPWCs, J1772s alongside them/elsewhere on the route to enable the most people to use them. They will not be taxpayer funded.

    Should solve most of the problems mentioned here.

    EVs + National Parks just go together in my head :) Especially love the idea that they keep the pristine air clean and free of smog.
     

Share This Page