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EV Charging Everywhere!

Bob Bruninga, PE
IEEE National Committee on Transportation and Aerospace
Electric Vehicle Association of DC
wb4apr at amsat dot org

Let us PAY to PLUG-in!:

We have electric cars.
We have 115v outlets at work and in parking garages.
We need authority to plug in and a Method to pay for it.
This is a NO COST – SELF HELP project! . . . . . . . .

See the NPR interview by Jessica Gould or hear it (2 mins).

Download my IEEE Paper on L1 Charging. Provides supporting justification for this concept.

Other Related Pages:

Federal, State, City and Corporate authorzation for EV charging at work
Parity between EV Road Tax and Gas Car Environmental Tax
Get the Charging-at-work Presentation from the DC EV Forum 12/12/11.
Download the EV Position Paper on Charging Infrastructure
Talk to the manager of every Garage, Church, Hotel or Bar you visit where you see existing 115v outdoor outlets!
Download a sample letter to your Free, Paid, Condo, or Mall parking garage with existing outlets.

The outlets exist already in most garages and parking lots! All they need are signs to tell us how to pay for the electricity. This is either $2 a day, or $20 to $40 a month depending on range.

Monthly Pass: For employee parking, the authorized EV owner employee plugs into any convenient 115 VAC outlet in the garage. No special chargers or installation is required. A few such existing exterior 115 volt standard outlets can usually be found on most facilities everywhere (at least equal to the number of EV’s that work there for the next few years!). If not, they should cost little to install. See photo at upper right.

Buy A SIGN! A friend (with an unrelated company) is helping make the green sign shown here at right available to others for $26. So go to this site, select the quantity and select the $3 First class mail option (also select USA only). Do not combine with any other purchase from the company. To purchase one of these signs for your local Employer or Parking Garage, click here

This Simple Signage on Existing 115v Outlets will accomplish FAR MORE than the $50 Million government rebates being offered for the installation of expensive level-2 quick chargers which are not needed at home (8 hours sleeping) or work (8 hours working) for employees. This 115 volt charging at work can almost double the effective commute range of EV employees. Expensive L2 Quick chargers at work are generally idle 83% of the time! (see analysis below) because cars charge in an hour or so and then sit idle. Managers do not want employees going to the parking lot every hour to play musical chairs with their cars to share a few expensive L2 chargers that can fully replenish an average commuter EV in under an hour! . . . Let them plugin to any 115v outlet the full 8 hours and get the same charge instead.

The Employer/Employee relationship already exists for pay-as-you-go coffee messes, and here the employee’s Electric car plugged into a 115v outlet is drawing no more power than a coffee pot. In addition, he/she is even willing to fully pay for the electricity up-front.

The cost for 21 workdays a month of 8 hours of electricity from any standard 115 volt 15 amp circuit to make up for an incoming commute is shown in the figure below right. Nearly 70% of all commuters would use less than 81 cents a day while charging at work. Employees are able to purchase monthly charging passes based on their home-of-record distance to work. Using an electirc rate of 15 cents per KWH then $20/month would cover 70% of all commuters driving under 16 miles to work, and $40/month would cover the serious 32 mile trip to work by a Leaf or other road-warrior commuter as shown in this plot of commute distances and percent drivers. Maybe $5/mo would cover for an electric Motorcycle and $2/Mo for an electric bike. And this simple system cannot be abused!

Power drawn is Self-Limiting. This arrangement cannot be abused since an EV simply cannot draw more than about $1.80 a day from a 115 volt 15 amp outlet during an 8 hour day. Any more current and the 15 amp breaker will trip. If one tries to stay plugged in for say 16 or 24 hours to draw more government/company electricity than he has pre-paid, he runs up against the problem of a full battery! Once his car’s battery is fully charged (which for 2/3rds of all EV’s is under 4 hours) then no more power can be drawn from the outlet! Assuming the EV owner always charges up at home the night before, then the charge time at work on a 115v outlet is directly proportional to his one-way distance to work as shown in the next graphic to the right.

Charge less than 2 hours – 40% of commuters (8 mi to work)
Charge less than 4 hours – 70% of commuters (16 mi to work)
Charge less than 6 hours – 85% of commuters (24 mi to work)
Charge less than 8 hours – 90% of commuters (32 mi to work)
This is SIMPLE and NO COST. Enough outlets EXIST NOW for the next year or so. Just say YES and let us Payin-to-Plugin. We must get off foreign oil ASAP and show how easy it is to commute in an EV.

For Example, I’ve been trying for over a decade to get permission to pay-for and plug into the outlet sitting right there within 6 feet of my car parking space at work (see photo at top). But no one in the government can figure out how to take my 50 cents a day and grant that authority. Maybe a simple sign will do it…

Range Anxiety and Public Charging Infrastructure: There is too much hype and media hand wringing over EV range. Over 67% of ALL Americans live in single family detached homes. This means that over 205 MILLION car owners already have an EV charging point at home (any 115v outlet) and all they need is an outlet at work to charge during the 8 hours the car is parked there. And we don’t need a $6000 quick charger installation to do it!

L1 Time to Charge: An 8 hour overnight or charge-at-work can replenish a 32 mile trip to or from work in under 8 hours. The expensive L2 Quick charger can do it in 2 hours but is not needed by most commuters during the 8 hours of sleep and the 8 hours of work! Talking Point: Level 1 standard 115v outlets at-work can fully charge over 90% of all commuters! (see L1 chart at right). .

Focus on the Benefits: Instead of focusing on how long it takes to fully fill an EV battery from L1 home charging, we should instead focus on how many miles-per-charge we get during an 8 hour charge at Home and at work. Since any EV will gain about 32 miles of charge during 8 hours on a standard outlet, that can give EV’s that charge at work a total daily range of 64 miles – more than a single charge can do in a Volt for example.

LEVEL-1 CHARGERS AT WORK: Enabling the use of 115v standard outlet Level-1 chargers at work should be the #1 goal of EV Infrastructure roll-out in the USA. As shown at right, installing level-2’s is an 83% waste of resources. However, enabling the use of 115v outlet charging (Level-1) can meet the charging needs of 92% of all USA commuters with EV’s and still use less than half the Level-1 charging capacity! As shown here, these 90% of all EV commuters simply plugged into a 115v outlet at work, would leave work fully charged in under 8 hours.

One Million EV’s by 2015: If you think 1 Million EV’s is a small number, remember, there are over 400 different models of gas cars being sold by 45 manufacturers to meet the broad distribution of public demand for vehicles that match their personal need. Even the #1 selling gasoline vehicle in America (Ford F150 pickup truck) only sells to 4% of Americans! And, by the way, it costs more than the Volt or the Leaf! If only 1% of drivers bought an EV, that would be 3.5 million EV’s! Since 67% of ALL drivers already have an L1 charger port at home (115 VAC outlet), this simple proposal to provide L1 outlets at work would INSTANTLY DOUBLE THE RANGE of every EV in the hands of commuters and at NO COST to taxpayers. Even Convenience stores are installing 115v charging outlets.

Double the Range: This is truly a no-cost program that will revolutionize the progress towards electrification of transportation and its concomittant environmental and economic benefits by doubling the range of EV’s for commuters and employees. It can also demonstrate to other large Company facilities the benefits of such an approach on their campuses.

FOCUS ON THE 115v OUTLETS FIRST! Too many bureaucrats and initiatives are too focused on the expensive Level-2 EV quick charging stations and promoting public EV charging infrastructure as a way to combat Range Anxiety. This focus on public charging is doing more to underimine the adoption of EV’s than to help them. Range anxiety is a self-fulfilling prophecy if we keep focusing on the need for routine public charging. Plug-in at work and double your range!

The expensive high-cost Level-2 quick charger at work locations and campuses makes little sense for the employee. The workday model for the quick charge commuter is flawed. Employers are not going to want their people doing musical-chairs in the parking lot every hour and rotating one EV off the charging station, and then rotating another one in its place? No. We need 115v convenience outlets on every lamp post and in many cases they already exist. We simply need the means for EV owners to pre-pay for the electricity so that then they get permission to plug in.

Payin-to-Plugin SUMMARY: The Level-1 115v outlets exist, or can be installed at minimal cost. Lets go for the low hanging fruit with respect to EV charging and enable the existing 115v outlets scattered around first. Writing a letter to every Garage, hotel, apartment, condo, church or Bar owner that has existing 115v outdoor outlets can jump-start EV acceptance overnight at no cost.

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