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Discussion Starter #1
I’m a sustainability coordinator at a rural Midwestern non-profit of ~200 co-workers supporting a diversity of operations (retreat center, tiny college, nursing home, etc). We are behind the curve as to EV adoption. There are only two public Level 2 stations in the county.

Demand for a charger includes: a) zero plug-ins from our current fleet, but pulling some strings we will slowly phase in (though these probably more easily service by 110V in our garages), b) a retreatant asked once before they came, c) unknown demand from employees, likely small but would like to incentivize with infrastructure + potential free charging.

My first quote from a major hardware manufacturer + service provider was $4,760 for a one-cord bollard + $950 for site validation of install + service activation + $280 annually for software support. Their recommend installer (ignorant of final specs) ballparked $6,000 for a simple installation mounted on an existing building (no concrete work in parking lot, trenching, etc) with an existing dedicated circuit. Our in-house maintenance may be able to install + some contracting help. But even an optimistic scenario would put me around $8,000 minimum to essentially install a fancy electrical outlet in a parking lot (with a paltry warranty) + $280/annually.

I’m suffering from sticker shock, and worried about my reputation/discernment if hardly anybody charges here. I thought an EV charging station would make a great grant application to our local community foundation; but this would compound the frustration if it is perennially idle.

Amazon.com is showing a highly-rated, Level 2 plain-Jane outdoor charger for $399. My friend suggested install a couple of those instead and eat the electric cost, which in all likelihood will remain low for years and even with daily use would only be a few hundred dollars. One can envision creative work-arounds to the free charging issue if desired (if later removed as employee benefit, have parking lot tags available for purchase, etc).

Has anyone (institutionally) gone the plain-Jane route? What are some pitfalls? Where to find specifications for install (if we run into issues beyond the user manual)? Not as pretty as a fancy bollard with a cellular connection and LED display, but at a much lower cost.

Thanks.
 

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It sounds like you really don't need all the bells and whistles plus (depending where you are connecting into) you'll avoid unnecessary costs of trenching the cables etc. Probably the biggest 'risk' is making sure you have enough capacity to provide separate circuits for the charge points and having a competent engineer install them.

Can you download the specification of the unit and pass to an electrician for them to assess the installation?
 

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No problem. Welcome to the forum too and if you need any help with the install the forum has some really helpful members. Good luck with the project; it sounds exciting :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Let me throw out another question.... if no response I'll start a new thread:

So after processing some advice over at electricforum.com, I don't want the full bollard with cellular connection and software support. But I'd really like to have a level 2 charger show up on a network (like ChargePoint?) so that people can plan trips around it. If I can get WIFI to a charging unit on the exterior of a building, can I set it up such that it will show available/not-available on the network? I'm not interested in charging fees for use now... just showing available/not-available to both clients/visitors as well as our own employees (e.g. they know if someone went to move their car it is now actually moved).
 

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The obvious first point of call is Chargepoint themselves, if the end game is to attract passing trade by having a well-known EV network app direct drivers / potential trade to offer a quote.

However, not all drivers would refer at first to Chargepoint to find a local charge point, they're more likely to refer to something like Plugshare (costs nothing to add a listing on there), or some in-car satnav system, most of which cost nothing to add a listing.
If the supplier wants $280 per year for a software warranty, think of a more basic charge point, with no networking at all, no user authentication nonsense, and think how much electricity $280 will buy you instead. Add in the 'site validation costs', and that's many megawatt hours of electricity that you could offer.

Depending on your location, and the facilities you offer, if there's nothing else to do in the area while a vehicle is charging for a few hours ("Level2" charging probably means the drivers would need to stay on site for several hours), then attracting them to site may well be worth it's weight in gold if they're going to be spending money in an on-site cafe, or somesuch.

For a basic charge point, the sort that you may have at home Chargepoint say 'from only $499' - plus installation costs. That's actually not for a basic one but is networked. You can get cheaper than that.

For the price to have a networked charge point, you may find it's cheaper to actually have two simple ones, and then networked live availability is far less of an issue, and as for warranty and support, if it's cheap enough, you can afford to have one down while you get another cheap replacement ordered and installed.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Great thoughts. PlugShare is what I was thinking about... although without software support I'm not aware how to reveal the chargers availability in public way... I'm thinking I'd like to see about getting a unit that is networked (a user app over WIFI). We could use that internally to manage EV space for the 0, 1, or 2 users who might use it regularly, to begin with (share between the 2 employees who might need to coordinate charging). We have a staffed transportation department with drivers, so they could check the app quickly to see if a guest is done charging and could move the car for them (or move an employee's car to make room for a guest), bring it around for pick-up, etc.
 

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I suppose it depends on how you want this model to work and how you manage priority over the spaces (internal or external use). Bringing in apps, connectivity etc is pretty complex even for commercial operators. Can't you just advertise the point on Plugshare with a number to ring through to your transport team to allow them to manage a booking slot for an external passerby?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Great idea with the phone number... I'd also post some information / instructions on the charging unit for numbers to call, etiquette, etc. Thanks!!!
 

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Great idea with the phone number... I'd also post some information / instructions on the charging unit for numbers to call, etiquette, etc. Thanks!!!
No worries. Even commercial operators are only seeing a small number of charges per day and it sounds like the biggest benefit for your organisation would be internal or for visitors. By advertising on Plugshare you could even ask those who benefit from an emergency charge to make a donation to what sounds like a very worthy cause. You'd likely get more cash back than the cost of the power :)
 

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For visitors to get a suitable increase in range means they will have to take on several kWh during their visit. With the normal UK electricity supply at 240v, a 15A charging current gives about 10-15 miles of extra travel for 1 hour's charging, and a 30A charging current will give about 20-30 miles of extra travel per hour of charging. For US 110v supplies, these distances will be more than halved.

Do you have an industrial 480v 3-phase supply available on your site? If so, it may be possible to use this (I understand that the Leaf on-board charging circuit is designed to cope with the 277v Phase-Neutral voltage of the 480v 3-phase supply). Something to talk about to your local electrician.

You also need to consider the lead for connecting from the charging post to the car. UK practice for public Level 2 charging points is to have a Type 2 socket on the charging post, and for the users to carry their own connecting leads. I understand USA practice is to have tethered leads which means the connector on the end of the lead needs to match the connector on the car.

Perhaps USA contributors to SpeakEV may wish to comment.
 

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For US 110v supplies, these distances will be more than halved.

Do you have an industrial 480v 3-phase supply available on your site? If so, it may be possible to use this (I understand that the Leaf on-board charging circuit is designed to cope with the 277v Phase-Neutral voltage of the 480v 3-phase supply). Something to talk about to your local electrician.
I think this is misleading.

Normal domestic power supplies in the USA are 240V single phase (split around neutral to give two 120V supplies for small outlets but the full 240V used for large appliances). For commercial/light industrial it is 208/120V three-phase. 480/277V three-phase is used on much larger sites (which usually then have transformers to one of the other standards for supplying smaller loads).

The J1172 charging standard (which specifies the connector known as 'type 1' in Europe) calls for 208 to 240V.

Permanently installed chargepoints (whether domestic or public) therefore generally use either 240V or 208V depending what is available. 277V is less commonly available, and not notionally compatible with the J1772 standard (although specific vehicles can accept it; Tesla officially support 277V with their latest Wall Connector, though that does not have the J1772 plug).

A common rating for slow public charging in the USA is 30A, so 6.2kW if it's supplied at 208V or 7.2kW if supplied at 240V - so somewhere in the range of 20-30 miles of range added per hour of charging.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
If anyone is still watching, just wanted to update everyone.

Got 3 x eMotorwerks Pro40s. 2 installed this morning and they are working right out of the box. Have not set them up with WIFI yet but I’m really looking forward to this in regards to load sharing (I have 2 40’s on a single 60A breaker), reducing amperage draw to reduce demand charges, etc.

Thanks for the advice!

 

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Thanks for the follow-up; it's good to see the result of an enquiry. I see you decided to go for a dedicated supply point, with trenching and ducting costs, instead of bolting kit to an existing wall.

Regards.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Sorry if I wasn't clear... large reason for the location is that conduit had already been run for a groundwater cleaning pump to address an old leaky underground (gasoline) storage tank. How's that for irony?

Other reasons are that it is centrally located in a campus of 4 buildings/departments. Lots of traffic passes by here. Education/visibility is also a goal. The parallel parking spaces are new (it's not located within an existing lot exactly).

Conduit size limited us to a 60A circuit (I forget which gauge), so max 48A continuous x 208V = ~10 KW. I debated putting in both a 16A and 32A, but went with two load-sharing 40A chargers. I currently have them software limited to 24A each until I get another EV over here to test and confirm they really won't exceed 40A.

Given that this should handle any public demand, next step would be to tap into now-LED lampposts which have extra ampacity available, for Level 1 employee charging. But of 200+ employees I'm the only one with an EV so that may take some time.
 

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Why can a 60A circuit only support 40A worth of charging? Some sort of weird american thing? Here in the UK a circuit protected by a 63A breaker must be capable of operating continuously at 63A.

I've heard folk talking about LED lamp posts, but are the LED's arent really all that different in power consumption.

Consulting wikipedia, we can see that:

High pressure sodium produces around 85-150 lumens per watt
Low pressure sodium produces around 100-200 lumens per watt

These are what are normally used for street lighting.

LED seems to vary a lot but 200 lumens per watt seems to be about the max you can achieve.

Even if we assume best case LED, and worst case sodium, for the same light output your replacing a 250w HPS with a 100w LED. So for every 20 streetlamps you convert, you can fit one 3kw charge point. It seems a bit of a token gesture really.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Why can a 60A circuit only support 40A worth of charging? Some sort of weird american thing? Here in the UK a circuit protected by a 63A breaker must be capable of operating continuously at 63A.

I've heard folk talking about LED lamp posts, but are the LED's arent really all that different in power consumption.

Consulting wikipedia, we can see that:

High pressure sodium produces around 85-150 lumens per watt
Low pressure sodium produces around 100-200 lumens per watt

These are what are normally used for street lighting.

LED seems to vary a lot but 200 lumens per watt seems to be about the max you can achieve.

Even if we assume best case LED, and worst case sodium, for the same light output your replacing a 250w HPS with a 100w LED. So for every 20 streetlamps you convert, you can fit one 3kw charge point. It seems a bit of a token gesture really.
Yes, in United States breakers should only have 80% of their load if used continuously. Thus a 60A breaker can support 48A constant charge. I could not find 48A load-sharing EVSEs so 40A were more than sufficient.

I'm finding that local EV infrastructure is highly situational.

We have lots of lampposts, and they are dropping 150-300W per each. My Cmax Energi, for example, pulls 11.5A on 120V at home, so 1.4KW. In an 8 hour workday, that's worth approx. 33 miles worth of charge (more than the Energi even holds). Reminder that you don't need to add 150 miles of charge, just enough to get the person home.

A lot of large employers in EV-friendly areas have found Level 1 chargers to be sufficient. Level 2 are often several times more expensive, and incur more demand charges from utilities. They also require employees to shuffle vehicles around during the day.
 
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