## Home Electric Vehicle Charging Solutions

We had the opportunity to upgrade and make some changes to our home Electric Vehicle (EV) charging setup and thought to share that with you.

I went back to look at my posts to see if I could update what I thought I had written about in the past.  It turns out that I must have shared this information to the public via forum posts and not on the blog, so I figured to go over home charging today.

As a long-time multi-EV owner, one of the things that we’ve setup at our home is the ability to charge our EVs at the same time. This can be as simple as running several 120V plugs, but when you drive the miles that we had on our daily commute, 120V service is just not enough.  As a result, we’ve made accommodations to upgrade our EV charging to varying grades of 240V service.

So, to explain what I mean by varying grades of 240V service, I need to go off on a short tangent, I’m not an electrician, but having been involved with EVs for over four years has made me understand some EV basics.

1) Battery capacity and EV range is measured in kWh of storage (your consumption rate determines what that range is in miles or kilometers.)  This is why the Model S and Model X is sold with differing models corresponding with battery size.

2) The speed to re-fill this battery capacity is measured in several ways, but basically in kW of power.  The higher the number, the faster that a car can charge. So, this kW maximum for a charger is the amount of Volts multiplied by the Amps of the service.  Furthermore, an EV charges at 80% of the total Amperage that the circuit is rated for, so a 40A circuit can use a maximum of 32A to charge.

On a basic, common North American plug outlet, 120 Volt x 15 Amp service, an EV driver can use 120V x 12A = 1.44 kW of power.  (On Model S, this is a maximum of 4 miles per hour charge rate, under ideal conditions.)  It is interesting to note that many early EVs of this current generation (2011 and 2012 Nissan LEAF and Chevy Volts) had a 3.3 kW charger.  Even though, I believe, previous generations of EVs (GM EV-1, RAV4 1st gen, etc.) had 6.6 kW charging.  Many current EVs now provide at least a 6.6 kW charger.

Our old ActiveE was rated at 7.2 kW (originally, but by the end this was de-rated closer to 5.5 kW by software because of some issues.)  My wife’s Roadster has a 16.8 kW charger and our Model S is equipped with dual chargers for a total of 20 kW charging capability.

That being said, the higher the voltage one uses the amperage of the wire has to increase to give you a quicker charge.  So, to get a 16.8 kW service for the Roadster to run at full speed the Electric Vehicle Supply equipment (EVSE/i.e. electric vehicle charger) has to have a 90 Amp circuit to run at 70 Amps continuously over 240V.  (Remember the 80% rule for charging.)  So, to get the 20 kW charger to work on a Model S, a 100 Amp wire and breaker needs to run to get that going (19.2 kW, but who’s counting.)

I digress… Back to the point…  The higher the amperage for the circuit installed, the thicker AND more expensive the wire will be.

I am sure that for my North American EV readers, many have one EV plug to provide 240V service charge their car. How many places to charge 240V do you have at home? When we first took delivery of our BMW Active E in 2012, we didn’t have a single 240V service installed in our garage.

We actually spent a few weeks charging the car on 120V.  Something that those of us that follow Thomas J. Thias (the Amazing Chevy Volt) on Twitter see him espouse the greater than 1.5 Billion charging locations at this voltage in North America – 120V regular outlets (at 1-4 miles per hour, not normally relevant to me, but as Thomas reminds us, it’s a “good enough” solution for 80% of the drivers on their average commute.)

Just this evening, September 27, 2016, Thomas Tweeted the following out (in reply to a ZeroMC tweet)

We’ve even used the same Level 1 charger when we visited family…

Needless to say, that got old FAST…

So, two weeks later, we took advantage of a grant in 2012 and got a Chargepoint CT-500 (back when the company known as Chargepoint was called Coulomb Technologies.)

There was a grant program available for new EV owners/lessors to take advantage of that covered the cost of the EVSE and some of the installation.  The Chargepoint CT-500 was an intelligent/networked EVSE that connected to the Internet over a mobile network (2G?!?) connection and part of the bargain was that the government and researchers can glean the information about the habits of the participants in the grant program.

Since EVSEs in 2012 were over a thousand dollars, we opted to participate in this program and had our first charger installed.  We expected it to be a 32A EVSE, (80% of the 40A circuit that was installed) but it was actually a 30A Level 2 station. The total cost of the EVSE and Installation was \$1,640. However, there was a state program that covered \$1,200. Which meant that we were liable for \$440 (plus \$150 permit) for a total of \$590 for the cost of our hardwired Level 2 station (plus the loss of privacy by participating in this monitored program.)

Here is the CT-500 when it was first installed.

To install the units, we had to use Clean Fuel Connection and their sub-contractors for the work and it was a pretty painless program. After signing the contract they were at our house two days later with the EVSE and our days of charging Level 1 was put in the back burner.

The charger was hardwired and the installers did a great job.

Here it is on the day we first installed the EVSE and we charged the Active E on that first Level 2 charger.

With this Level 2 setup and public Level 2 charging we were able to drive the Active E 54,321 total miles during the two years of the lease.  Several years later, the intelligent features of this charger became unsupported because the mobile network that the signals rode on was being decommissioned by AT&T.  So, today, we’ve lost the “smart” functionality of the charger, but it still works great with the Model S.  So, our first dedicated EV charger was installed in March 2012.

A year and a half after we started driving the Active E, we purchased my wife’s Roadster and finalized the order for our Model S.  Since we were already “experienced” rEVolutionaries.  We had a good idea of what it takes to charge a car and how long it took to do so.  We decided to install several NEMA outlets in the house, two NEMA 14-50 outlets and one NEMA 6-50.  We picked the NEMA 6-50 because, in 2013, the first “plug” ready non-Tesla EVSEs were being produced and we wanted to be able to charge “anything” off that and didn’t feel the need to recover miles faster than a 50 Amp feed on either the Roadster that we took or the Model S that was soon to arrive in November 2013.  The approximately 25 miles per hour that we anticipated to recover on a 50 Amp circuit (40 Amps usable) was going to be enough for our drive.

When we originally ordered our Roadster, we were unsure as to what sort of charging we would get with it that we ordered a Leviton 40A EVSE to deliver the wire speed of the NEMA 6-50 at full speed.  Here is that Leviton being installed for the Roadster to use on its side of the garage.  At the time of the purchase, this EVSE was selling for approximately \$1200 elsewhere and Amazon sold the same model for \$1050.  In 2016, this same EVSE is now \$699.

The EVSE powered up.  However, we ended up returning the Leviton EVSE as it was incompatible with the BMW Active E and made some WEIRD noises and sounded like it was having a BAD time, electrically speaking.  Furthermore, it turned out that we were going to get a Roadster MC240 with my wife’s car, so that can take full use of the NEMA 6-50 that we installed for the Leviton EVSE.  (We just needed an adapter to go from NEMA 14-50 to NEMA 6-50 that we had made for us.)  We charged the car on this MC240 for a short while (Tesla actually stepped down the charge from 40A to 30A on the MC240 on a 50A circuit) because we wanted a faster recharge time, so we found another Roadster owner selling their Roadster UMC and purchased that unit with a 6-50 Adapter to fit directly onto the circuit that our electrician installed for the Leviton.  And used that equipment to continue to charge the Roadster until today.

Here is a photo of the NEMA 14-50 outlet on the other side of the garage from the NEMA 6-50 installed for the Roadster.

We wanted to makes sure to protect it from the elements.

When we were having our electrician wire up the outlet for the Roadster, we wanted to future-proof  that location and asked to have 70A service pulled in.  To maximize the 70A breaker, we split that wire to two NEMA connectors the one (NEMA 6-50) in the garage for the Roadster and another one on the outside wall of the garage (a NEMA 14-50.)  This sharing of the one breaker is not really the “code” for these connections.  However, as long as we manually manage the Amperage on the line when using two different vehicles on each of the NEMA connectors, we should be fine.  (Remember the 80% rule, so a 70 Amp breaker means that we don’t draw more than 56A continuously on the circuit.) One of the benefits of driving any Tesla is its ability to be managed “downward” on the amount of current to draw from a circuit.  So, if a newer 6.6 kW Leaf were to be plugged into that receptacle and draw 32A, we still have 24A to use for the Roadster or the Model S.

As I mentioned earlier, we lucked out when we took delivery of our Roadster, we were provided with an original MC240 (which works only with the 1.5 Roadster) and we shortly thereafter got the Roadster UMC which is the pre-cursor for the Model S Mobile Connector (MC) and its replaceable terminals.  The Roadster one continues to be more flexible than the Model S MC in that it still has ten choices for different terminals for the product, we bought the NEMA 14-50 and NEMA 6-50 adapters to work with the plugs that we have in our garage.

We also ordered Quick Charge Power’s Jesla, however this was before it was even a QCP product.  Tony Williams worked with me to customize a Model S MC to be a Jesla. I wanted something that would work with ANY EV out there and the Jesla would plug into any of the other outlets in the garage and in the exterior of the house for when we have visitors, like my mom and her Nissan Leaf.

Here’s a picture of the Roadster charging on one of our exterior NEMA 14-50 outlets.

We had the same protective enclosure for the NEMA 14-50 that we installed on the exterior side of the house.  Additionally, should we ever decide to get an RV, we can plug an RV on the side of the house as well since this plug is dedicated to its own 50 Amp circuit.

Here is that outlet without the Roadster plugged into it.

That is the MC240 that the Roadster originally came with.  It has a hardwired NEMA 14-50 plug on the end of it.

It’s just on our driveway, but away from blocking the garage. This was convenient, but not the ideal place for the Roadster, the noisiest that a Roadster gets is when it is CHARGING, so we make sure, in the interest of keeping the peace with our neighbor, to have an outlet ready for the Roadster in the garage.

During the months between November 2013 and February 2014, we kicked the Active E out of the garage and it ended up charging on the driveway.

Here are a couple of pictures I took when we used to have all three cars, all plugged in and charging.

The J1772 EVSE that is plugged into the Active E during this duty cycle is the Jesla that I had asked Tony Williams of Quick Charge Power make for me.  It is great to see all the business that he has since built from the time that he made this product for me.

So, for several years we’ve had a great set-up at the house that allowed us to charge four EVs at once and not sure if we’ve ever have needed to do this… I do remember my mom visiting with her Leaf and charging it. The Model S was already charged, so I could just plug her Leaf into that J1772 (the original Chargepoint CT-500 from 2012). This photo was from Thanksgiving 2014, and the Active E was already back with BMW for at least 9 months at this point.  You can see the Roadster UMC plugged to the wall beside the Roadster (using a NEMA 6-50 at this point.)

That’s a long way to catch you up to what we just had done this past weekend… in 2016.

Well, a short while ago, we’ve had some charger challenges with the Roadster.  During testing, we kept swapping chargers to see the effects, and as a result of one of these tests, the MC240 that came with our car died and was not repairable.  Our service center provided us a replacement as a result of this failure because we still had our CPO warranty in effect. The MC240 is quite rare, so the service center provided us with a second Roadster UMCs.

When we took the “new” UMC home and plugged it in, it turned out that the new one was “flaky” (or, I suspect that there’s something with the Roadster, but we’re still figuring that out.)

Now, it has been difficult for Tesla to track down the UMC to begin with, and they are quite pricey, so, instead of trying to find ANOTHER Roadster UMC, I asked if they could just replace the dead MC240/flaky Roadster UMC with a new Model S/Model X High Power Wall Connector (HPWC.)

My point was that they were producing more of these HPWCs, the price for the unit has dropped significantly and is about a third the cost of another replacement Roadster UMC. The retail price for the Roadster UMC is \$1,500 without a NEMA 14-50 connector, and adding that connector is an additional \$100 for a total of \$1,600, and the Model S/Model X HPWC is now \$550 for the 24 foot model. Luckily, my logic was deemed to be a sound one, and we were able to get a 24 foot Tesla Model S/Model X HPWC (ver 2? (the one that can be daisy-chained)).  I figure that between the Roadster UMC, the Jesla, and our CAN SR and CAN JR, we have enough portable Level 2 capability for the vehicle.

Several weeks later, mid-last week, we get word that the replacement Tesla Model S/Model X HPWC was at the service center ready for pick up.

We went to pick up the box from the service center and take it home.  It wasn’t going to fit in the Roadster, so we took an S (the service center’s loaner as the Roadster is in the shop for its annual service) to bring this box home.

One thing about the Model S/X High Power Wall Connector is it is glorious and aesthetically pleasing EVSE.

Unboxing the HPWC…

In order to install the unit, it had to be hardwired, and I’m not an electrician, remember.  I scheduled our electrician to do the work this past Sunday, September 25.

As I mentioned earlier, we ran 70A service to the garage for the Roadster and the two shared NEMA outlets (the NEMA 6-50 and NEMA 14-50). I figured to have him use that feed for the HPWC.  Since it seems that we’re now predominantly a Tesla family, I also had one other change that I requested.  Between our Tesla bias and the fact that there are now more EVSE providers that are selling NEMA 14-50 plug-in EVSEs, not just NEMA 6-50 ones, I went ahead and asked our electrician to replace the NEMA 6-50 outlet for the Roadster with a NEMA 14-50 one.

The new HPWC can go to 80A on a 100A wire, but it was cost prohibitive to run that wire three years ago.  I was glad that we ran 70A because we are now able to take advantage of 56A power for charging (when we’re not using the NEMA 14-50 outlets) we’re able to charge a Model S (with dual chargers, or enabled for greater than 48A for the newer ones) at 34 miles per hour.  The Model S normally uses the old reliable Chargepoint CT-500 at 30A and approximately 18 miles per hour of charging.  So, if we’re in a hurry or if the Chargepoint “misbehaves” we now have the means to “charge quicker.”

Besides, the nearest supercharger to us is Fountain Valley and though it is a supercharger, it is easily the busiest one in the area as is evidenced by this photo around 1pm on 9/27/2016.

That’s six cars waiting and eight charging (there were seven cars waiting just before I took this picture.)

Additionally, we still have the NEMA outlets (now all 14-50s). We just have to manage the load effectively, and safely. I could use the advanced features of the new HPWC and daisy chain them in the future, but I think we’re OK with the way we’re set up for now. In the meantime, we just have to do the math and run a total of 56A on the feed. One requirement currently is that all these vehicles will have to be Teslas because it’s difficult to limit each feed to only 16A…  We can, conceivably charge two Teslas at 20A and a Chevy Spark, Chevy Volt, or 2011/2012 Nissan Leaf on 16A of power.  As we mentioned earlier, many EVs now run at 6.6kW or higher and that’s 32A of power on 240V.

So, in 2016, we are now able to plug in five vehicles to charge at 240V service in our home…

Looks like we’re ready for the rEVolution and hosting an EV meetup…

Or to have family visit us…  My sister and her husband just added a Volkswagen E-Golf to their garage a few months ago and, as expected, my gearhead brother-in-law has been “digging” driving electric. (I think that he’s garaged his Porsche ICE and taken to driving the E-Golf places.)

Furthermore, once we get our Model 3 reservations delivered, we’re ready for those as well.  We might need a bigger driveway and garage!

## Appreciating the past and hopeful for the future of EVs.

This past weekend, my wife and I joined our fellow members of the Orange County Tesla Club on a visit to the Nethercutt Museum and Collection in Sylmar (Los Angeles), CA. [SIDE NOTE: For those not from Southern California, the city of Los Angeles is the largest city in Los Angeles County and within the city there are distinct neighborhoods that have their own identities, but are part of the city of Los Angeles. Hollywood is an example of such a neighborhood, as is Sylmar. West Hollywood, on the other hand, is its own city. As is Long Beach, where the Formula E race will be held on Saturday, April 4, 2015. (which is why I wrote Sylmar with (Los Angeles) in parentheses, that’s my own editorial on it, and not convention.) Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.]

The Nethercutt family are the founders and heirs to the Merle Norman cosmetic company and have built an impressive collection of automobiles and other “mechanical art”. The OC Tesla Club has been itching to have longer drives for our group outings and this venture into Los Angeles (City and County) was just one such drive.

So, the day was meant to appreciate the company of fellow Tesla enthusiasts and appreciate the Nethercutt Museum and Collection. As with most automobile museums, I was prepared to view beautiful and restored relics of the past… ICE cars.

Well, I was in for a surprise and a treat. (The benefits of not really paying attention to the marketing brochures and online information about what was in store for me at the Museum and Collection. The only thing that stuck to my head from the materials was the restored locomotive and Private Train Car in the back, and that was pretty much it.)

As was pointed out by some of my fellow OC Tesla Club members, as impressive as the car collection is, the automated music collection was even more impressive. Unfortunately they didn’t allow us to record the audio or video of the event, but here are a few photos from that

This piano entertained us while we strolled the car collection:

and the piece de resistance was this automated/programmable pipe organ that came from a movie theater (for silent films) from Denver

You can see the rest of the visit in my flickr album.

But what does the Nethercutt have to do with EVs? Well…

I love to play “EV Spotting” and in the guided tour portion of our visit (at the Collection this time, and not at the self-guided museum section) in the ground level of the visit were TWO EVs!

Front view

Back view

Most EV junkies would recognize the more modern EV as the pre-cursor to this generation of EVs and focus of the documentary, “Who Killed the Electric Car?” (and the movement which spawned Plug in America, the 1997 GM EV1. The other one is older and not as well known. The 1914 Rauch & Lang Model B4 Electric Brougham.

Both vehicles were shown with their respective chargers connected to the vehicle in the Collection.

Rauch & Lang

Charger information

Interior

1997 GM EV1

Interior

One of the things that I noticed and would like to draw our attention to is the price of the GM EV1 at the time it was being leased out. Interesting that the price of the GM EV1 was \$43,995 and the average car price in the US at the time was \$14,000. That means that the EV1 is about 3.14 times the price of the average car.

So, the average car price in 2012 is around \$31,000 and the Model S average is around \$100,000, that means that the Model S is about 3.22 times the price of the average car. However, considering what you get in a Model S vs. an EV1. However, as was pointed out to me by David Peilow in my post at Speakev.com, “Just shows the jump with the Leaf or Volt in terms of value for money. I wonder how much of that is a reduction in the design price vs benefits of economies of scale, though.”

David’s point is made even clearer when one looks to see what the 2012 Nissan Leaf sold for in 2012. It started at \$35,200 before the Federal Tax Credit of \$7,500 for the purchase of a battery electric vehicle. So, that’s 1.13 times the amount of the average car without the application of the Federal Tax Credit. If the purchaser in 2012 was eligible for the whole credit, it also means that the Nissan Leaf at that point is 0.89 of the average car price. Food for thought.

The 2012 Chevrolet Volt had a MSRP starting at \$39,145 when purchased new. I don’t remember whether it was eligible for the whole \$7,500 Federal Credit, but let’s assume that it was. So, looking at the same ratios again. The Volt was 1.26 times the average car before the credit and 1.02 times the average car after the tax credit.

I used 2012 as my figure to compare as it was the easiest recent year for me to find the average car price for. Assuming mild inflation in the averages, it’s even more dramatic to see the drop in MSRP for the 2015 model years of the same two cars that I used for my example. The 2015 Nissan Leaf can now be purchased around \$29,010 and the 2015 Chevrolet Volt starts at \$34,185 before the tax credit.

It’s interesting that when one looks to the past, it really makes one appreciate what the future holds for us.

## End of year and EV tax credits…

So…

One of the negatives of the end of year is that a lot of folks who have procrastinated are trying to fit as much stuff in before the new year hits.

One of the things that affect Tesla owners during this time of year is the probability of being provided a nice P85 Tesla Model S for a loaner is less than at other times of the year.  Why is that?  Well.  Tesla has provided the top of the line Model S for its loaner fleet in the explanation that they did not want any Tesla customer to be deprived of a vehicle that is less capable than the vehicle that they bought from Tesla.  (of course the car they do provide is limited to 80 mph, but that’s a small point.)  As a result, when the Roadster or Model S is in service, I have gotten a P85 loaner vehicle from Tesla.

However, the last time I’ve had service done on my Model S, I was provided with an Enterprise Rental Car ICE Chrysler 200 or was it a Chrysler 300.  Either way, it was no Model S.  Now this was expected as we’re nearing the end of the year and Tesla makes its loaner fleet available for near immediate purchase from interested parties.  When we finalized our Model S order in the summer, we could’ve picked up something similar to our configuration a week out from the time we finalized.  I was, at the time, complaining about the increase in accessory prices and my contacts at the Tesla store in Costa Mesa could have provided a loaner purchase at a discount.  Additionally, to cover the mileage that the loaner vehicles would’ve endured, Tesla credits so many cents per mile from the sales price.

We decided against it, and thus I did not get the vehicle.

Surprisingly, since Tesla is the manufacturer of said vehicles and the loaner fleet have manufacturer tags, they are all eligible for the new purchase benefits.  These benefits are the Federal Tax Credit and whatever State incentives you may be eligible for.  (in California, this is a rebate for \$2,500 for the purchase of a pure Battery Electric Vehicle of a certain kwh capacity.)

So, back to the procrastinators and Tesla’s loaner fleet.  People that want the full tax incentives and obviously won’t have their vehicles built and delivered by 12/31 still have an option to get into a Tesla and get the benefits due to a new EV purchaser.

On a different note, other tax credits are set to expire this year.  Namely the installation of an EV charging station.  In the past, it would seem that Congress would renew the \$1,000 residential credit for installing an EV charging station in one’s home.  This year, apparently they did not extend this and as a result, if you, dear US based reader, are planning on purchasing an EV soon and need to install a charging station anyway, go ahead and do so prior to December 31, 2013.  You may be eligible to have up to \$1,000 credited back to you.   If you’re a COMMERCIAL location, the credit is even more generous.  It is 30% of the costs up to \$30,000.  However, it is now December 19, 2013 and seeing that commercial locations tend to get bogged down by such things as building permits, etc. I wonder how probable it would be to install these things by the end of 2013.

## Leviton EVSEs and BMW Active E

Regular readers may note that I reported a video many months ago regarding some weird grinding noises when I plug my Active E to a Ford branded Leviton charger at a dealership.  It would start the charge, but this really unnerving grinding sound occurs.  The first time this happened, I unplugged my Active E and left the dealership without much of a fuss.

I experienced the same grinding sounds months later at ANOTHER Ford dealership.  This time, it was during the process of assisting my mother look for her first EV.  Which resulted in her choice of the 2013 Nissan Leaf SV in Ocean Blue.  This time, I needed the charge, so I left it in while we did our test drive and negotiations.  Apart from the grinding noise, the car did take a charge and that was that.

In preparation for the pending removal of access to BMW’s EVSE when the i3 is launched, I have started looking at several “transportable” EVSEs and decided on purchasing a Leviton EVB40-PST.  This is a 40Amp 9.6kw EVSE that uses a NEMA 6-50 plug to deliver 40 Amps and was a good way to future protect from chargers that are up to 9.6kw and greater than the 6.6kw chargers out there.  The Active E was rated at 7.2kw and I wanted to make use of that and the i3 is supposed to be at 7.4kw and I wanted to be ready.  So, I had my electrician wire up another EVSE location a few days ago.

Well, it looks like there is an incompatibility between the Leviton and ActiveE.  The symptoms are similar to the ones found at Ford.  However, this time right after the grinding sound starts, the fault light comes on and the EVSE stops charging.

So, I guess I’m returning this one to Amazon.

## Dodger Stadium is going backwards on its commitment to being more environmentally friendly.

So, the new Dodgers management has been exciting to watch in the moves that they will take to “win”.

I was notified that after the disappointment that was the 2012 Season that the EV chargers in Lot N WERE going to be upgraded to J1772.  That was at least positive.

Then, the Dodgers tweeted the following in the beginning of 2013 –

Blue to Green! Measures toward being energy efficient will be instituted- new water valves, flush fixtures, waterless urinals, etc.

11:38 AM 08 Jan 13

Wow.  I thought. This is really going to happen!  The Dodgers will definitely be upgrading the chargers in Lot N for EV Dodger fans (heck even EV Opposing team fans can plug in).

Well, my excitement just got squashed by a very nice follow up email from Reconnect CA/Clipper Creek-

From: Stacey Barhydt <Stacey@clippercreek.net>
To: Dennis Pascual
Sent: Wednesday, January 16, 2013 2:36 PM
Dennis,
Hope you’ve been well and having a Happy New Year!  I had a note to contact you about Dodgers Stadium and the EV Charging stations . . . unfortunately we just found out that they are demolishing this site and accompanying infrastructure to make way for some new plans.
New infrastructure won’t be available for some time, thus they’ll miss the grant deadline.
Very sorry!  But maybe the parking lot will be better in the future.
Thanks again for all your efforts, we really appreciate it!
Stacey Barhydt
ClipperCreek, Inc.
Reconnect CA Program Support
530-887-1674 x 312

I guess the Dodgers Tweet was just PR…  They’ve decided to go backwards on their commitment to the environment…  (which is a shame.)  These new enhancements to Dodgers Stadium just took out the Prime Ticket Section that I was sitting in last year to watch the 8 or so Dodgers game that I went to under the Premium Mini Plan that we decided to sign up for with our 2011-2012 Lakers Playoffs budget.  (credit another early Lakers playoffs exit with those funds.)

So, Guggenheim Baseball Management (Mark Walter, Magic Johnson, Stan Kasten, Peter Guber, Bobby Patton and Todd Boehly) what are you guys going to do for your EV driving Dodgers fans?  What made you guys decide to back-track on EV chargers at Dodger Stadium?  Or do we still blame part of it on Frank McCourt because he’s still part of the parking lots around Dodger Stadium?  There were some old legacy chargers in Lot N.  Sure, it was a far walk from where my seats had been (you’ve torn up that section, so I’m not sure where I’ll be sitting next year since it would look like the Lakers probably won’t be in the Playoffs in 2012-2013 and I will have my early summer free, though…  the Kings might be getting some of those dollars as well now that the NHL has pulled its head out of its…)

So, rather than just complain, let me propose something else…  a mix of 110V and 240V chargers in ALL Dodger Stadium Parking Lots.  A Baseball game can go for 3-4 hours.  Some of your PHEV like the Volt or plug in Prius can use gas and can be filled up over 110V just fine during the game.  Those that need a faster charge (such as the Leaf or my ActiveE) and are pure EV can use the Level 2/240V chargers during that time to get their capacity back.  110V can do in a pinch to at least get enough juice to get to another 240V elsewhere.  That would show that the Dodgers really are looking to go from Blue to Green!  If you really wanted to understand your crowd, I would even suggest some higher capacity NEMA 14-50 for those Dodgers fans that are just now taking delivery of their Tesla Model S (I’m anticipating getting mine during the dog days of August and beginning of September.)  C’mon Dodger Ownership!

The Dodgers and practically any business can get some of its costs to install chargers back with grants that have authorized some reimbursement for installing public charging facilities.

Lastly, I got the following email from Chargepoint today –

You May Qualify for up to \$1,000 in Tax Credits

Hi Dennis,

Did you install an EV home charging station in 2012 or have plans to install one in 2013? We have some great news for you. The recent fiscal cliff deal passed by Congress includes tax credits for purchase and installation of an electric vehicle charging station. The Section 30C credit for Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property includes a credit of up to \$1,000 for purchase and installation of a charging station for personal use.

Additionally, Section 30C includes a 30 percent credit, capped at \$30,000 for business/investment use per site. This means that any ChargePoint customer who installed EV charging stations in 2012 or who plans to install EV charging stations in 2013 may qualify for up to a \$30,000 tax credit per site. So tell your employer or favorite retailer (hint, hint).

2011 IRS FORM: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f8911.pdf

(Subject to change, updated by the IRS)

Spread the EV goodness and share this email with people you know in the EV community so they can take advantage of this fantastic opportunity.

To view this information on our web site, click here.

Recommend a Place to Charge Your Car

Are you able to charge your vehicle at work? If so, are there enough charging stations available for you and your colleagues?

Does your favorite store offer EV charging? Are there parking lots you frequent that you wish had an EV charger?

Let ChargePoint help you get an EV charging station installed at any location. Email us at sales@chargepoint.com with the following information:

• Location Name (e.g. company, retailer, parking facility, etc.)
• Contact Name

Oh, and one more thing… happy EV driving.

Sincerely,

Team ChargePoint

So, between ReconnectCA and Chargepoint, Dodger Stadium could’ve been able to get upgraded for a lot less than it would’ve cost anyone else.

## Finally finishing up my 20k service…

, a photo by dennis_p on Flickr.

The car went into the shop on Monday, December 3rd to finalize the work from the 20,000 mile service. 21,021 miles… Not bad. Waited a few weeks for the part to (hopefully) fix the spline design issue that’s been reported.I’m hoping that the charging issue that folks have been reporting on Chargepoint/Coulomb chargers don’t affect this vehicle as I have a Coulomb charger at home. Fingers crossed. Still waiting on my dealership to tell me to pick up the car… Though it looks like Thursday, Dec. 6th… as of right now.

## National Plug in Day 2012… Part 2… The Cypress event for Orange County.

Part two of my 2012 Plug In Day experience was down in Cypress.  The Orange County event was held at the Mitsubishi North America headquarters and there was plenty of test drives around.  This was an opportunity to try out the Mitsubishi i (formerly the MiEV) and see their Level 3 ChaDEmo charger in action.

One of the first things that I saw after I parked at the OC event was a Sparrow.  Prior to my ActiveE, I was familiar with the Nissan Leaf, GM EV1, Chevy Volt, the Tesla Roadster and that was pretty much it.  As I waited to be allocated my ActiveE, I started reading up on previous EVs and the Sparrow was one that caught my eye.  It would never be a vehicle I would be getting, but it harkens to some of the trials and tribulations of EV predecessors to the current generation, after all, as George Santayana has written, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

The Orange County event had more EV conversions than the Los Angeles County event.

A converted Geo Metro –

A homebuilt 3 wheeler –

A converted Miata –

A converted VW Pickup Truck –

There was some speeches and now Congressman-elect, and former GM EV1 Driver, Allan Lowenthal was there to meet with his constituents.

The Orange County event provided me with the opportunity to test drive the Mitsubishi i (formerly the MiEV) and a Honda Fit EV (from Toan Ngo). I also let a few interested parties test drive my ActiveE.

The Fit EV –

Here’s a shot of the Mitsubishi i from previous trip to the same site in Cypress –

In all it was a successful day, filled with EV enthusiasts and curious folks who, hopefully, will become EV enthusiasts.

## Little Milestones reached today…

19,000 miles and 5 miles per kWh…

Here is 18,999 miles…

And now 19,000 miles…

I was parked at AAA Main Office in Downtown LA and used their charger while I did my business. They have you sign in to use their charger and I parked beside Toan’s Fit EV which I have still to write about for my Plug In Day event experience (here’s Part 1, which does NOT include the Fit Experience.) It was interesting to be parked beside someone’s car that I have actually test driven a month or so earlier. So, Toan, if you’re reading this. I accidentally interrupted your charging when I thought that the Aerovironment chargers worked like others (without RFID scan needed), I restarted the charge when I got the guy at AAA’s Smog Center to scan the RFID on both chargers for us!

It’s a nice ride… I like my ActiveE more, but his car is pretty good as well.

So. After my mid-day charge while I worked, I needed to run a quick errand and went flat for about a mile and change and noticed that I achieved a rate of 5.0 miles per kilowatt hour… This is insane. But I guess when you go between 20-25 mph and use regen to brake it could happen…

and further proof

Well, what do you know… Bumper to bumper traffic for about 20 miles after these shots ALSO allowed me to maintain the same rate!

## Charge It! – Great food near public chargers #6 in an ongoing series – Valley Road, Montclair, New Jersey – Nauna’s Bella Casa and ActiveE #1

I still owe you guys my first National Plug In Day experience.  However, to be a little more timely, I figure to update my Charge It! series.

As many of my readers know, I’ve been writing on a series of great restaurants to go to while you charge. Today’s post is a little different. It’s nowhere to be found in the Los Angeles area. It’s in Northern New Jersey, approximately 30 minutes (with no real traffic) from New York city – Nauna’s Bella Casa. No, I didn’t take several weeks to go from Los Angeles to New Jersey to go to lunch with my ActiveE. For this trip, I rented a Nissan Leaf from Hertz on Demand. Hertz car sharing subsidiary which allows members the opportunity to rent either a Nissan Leaf or SmartEV in the New York city area.

Nauna’s Bella Casa can be found at 148 Valley Road, Montclair, New Jersey, 07042.  (973) 744-3232.

So, what takes me from New York City to Montclair, New Jersey. Frankly, I wanted to meet this guy, Tom Moloughney, aka Mini-E #250 and more importantly to me, Mr. ActiveE #1 and the top mileage leader that I foolishly challenged to try to “catch up” on top mileage use for all of the other ActiveE Electronuts.  As of the writing of this posting (in-flight from JFK to LAX) my ActiveE is waiting for me at LAX Lot 6 with 17,902 and Tom’s listed mileage on wotnogas.com is 27,795…  Needless to say, this is a TOUGH challenge.

Here’s a picture of Tom Moloughney and me in front of Tom’s New Jersey EF-OPEC (AKA Active E #1).

So, how’s the food. It was good, home-style Italian food at a great value. I had the lunch special which was Soup, Entree, soft drink, coffee (or tea, I believe) and dessert for \$9.99. As opposed to other posts in this series, I have NO picture of the food. I was too busy enjoying the discussions between Tom and myself on the Active E, EVs, new BMWs, Teslas, Energy Independence, etc.

For my choice of soup, I picked the Pasta Fagioli. There were other choices, but I really like Pasta Fagioli so I had that. For my entree, I went with the Fusilli e Pollo which is the spiral pasta with grilled chicken & spinach. I really enjoyed the Fusilli e Pollo, but since I went out to Nauna’s in Day two of my trip to the East Coast, the meal was biologically breakfast for me, so the portion size was a little larger than I could finish, so I brought the rest to go. I skipped coffee and had ice cream for dessert (chocolate).  The meal was very good and felt home-cooked.

How about the chargers?  Nauna’s has two J1772 chargers, one on Chargepoint and the other on the Blink Network.  If you’re eating here, the charging is gratis, otherwise, the network fees would apply, I believe that the Chargepoint is free, but the Blink is based on your membership plan, so to get that charging at no cost, check in with the restaurant before you plug in.

How did I do getting to Nauna’s.  Well, I picked up the Nissan Leaf (was hoping for a SmartEV, but that will have to be a different post) from Hertz On Demand’s location at 375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014.   This drive was approximately 20 miles away, but my consumption is closer to 35 miles from the range.  This was my first time driving a Leaf for ANY extended period and I must say that it was not as fun as my Active E, at least it seemed to perform better than the Coda that I test drove a few months ago.

So, if you find yourself anywhere near Montclair, NJ.  Even if it isn’t that near, give Tom a call and see if he’s available and you can enjoy a tasty lunch and have some fun “talking EV and stuff”.  I’ll probably get around to plug in day 2012 (Part 1, Part 2 to follow) and my Hertz on Demand SmartEV rental fiasco.

## California EV enthusiasts or soon to be EV enthusiasts, make it easier on yourself! – Free EVSE charger offer

So, I’ve been meaning to post this offer on the ActiveE forum, but several of my fellow Electronuts have already done that…

So, I figure why not post it on the blog!

I received the attached email a week ago and promptly forwarded it to my office manager to forward to our new landlord.  I also sent it to my wife for her people to send it to their landlord.

From: Lynette Mandal <lynette.mandal@chargepoint.com>
Date: September 12, 2012 1:21:25 AM PDT
To: Dennis
Subject: ChargePoint offer to: home charging station owners

Seems like a pretty straightforward offer, but there is still resistance to installing EV chargers at people’s workplaces.

I am hopeful, but pessimistic that either my office’s landlord or my wife’s employer’s landlord will bite, but why not try.

Some of the concerns that I have heard directly and indirectly through others that folks have over installing public charging stations in their facilities:

• Concern over the increase in their electric bill
• The cost of the EVSE and installation of the charging station.
• Loss of use of parking space
• Commitment length for some of the “free” public EVSE installation.  i.e. 7 year agreement of exclusivity for any EVSE installs on the property.

Granted this offer only covers concern 2.  As much as you can explain that the cost to charge an EV is only \$.10 per kWH (national average), this is still an incremental cost that the landlord/employer currently does not have.  Others have said that an individual could volunteer to pay for this and it may well behoove you to do so, however, the nice thing about the Chargepoint offer is that it’s on network and there IS a way for the landlord to participate in what Chargepoint will cost per hour.

As for concern 3 on the loss of use of parking spaces, that’s just silly.  I know that my EV takes up exactly the same amount of parking space as any other car.  So, that’s an argument that can be discussed.  Additionally, other solutions have been put in place, such as the one at the Electric Lodge in Venice.  Their solution is to restrict EV only parking between certain hours and allow the spots to be ICEd at other times.

Either way, the spots get used and you don’t have to worry about under-utilization of a precious commodity like parking spaces.

As for commitment length.  I would gather that it’s all up to negotiation.

So, if you’re interested in getting a free EVSE for your office and live in California.  Make use of the offer above.