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Public Charging Stations

Discussion in 'Toyota Prius Plug-in' started by SimiPrius, Feb 15, 2012.

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  1. SimiPrius

    SimiPrius Member

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    Foolish me.....but I was under the impression that all public charging stations were based upon an industry standard. While our PHEV uses a J1772 plug, apparently my local Costco has two stations that are listed as "SPI" and AVCON" charger types. Can someone with some knowledge in this areas provide the basics of what this means to us? It would be frustrating to plan a trip somewhere only to find out that the charging station at the location is not compatible with our cars.

    Thanks
  2. jbrad4

    jbrad4 Active Member

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    The charging station network map I like the best is CarStations.com. At the top of map is a filter drop-down menu where you can select J1772. Since all are selected by default, you can de-select AVCON.
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  3. kstitt

    kstitt Junior Member

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    Is the charging cord for the Prius PHV designed to be used at a commercial charger using J1772? I am under the impression that the connector to the car is J1772, but what about the connector to the charging station? I don't have access to a "normal" plug at work, but there is a Blink charging station (J1772)nearby that I can use.

    I can understand the concern others have expressed regarding the lack of a locking mechanism for the EVSE while in use. Does anyone have any ideas how these can be locked while in use? I suspect these cords might become a"hot" item.

    Does anyone know if Toyota will make public charging available at their dealerships, something Nissian dealers have done?
  4. ddunlea

    ddunlea Junior Member

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    If I understand your concern correctly, there is no problem. The public charging stations have their own charging cords terminating in the various standards. (J1772 for PiP and others) You would not use your own charging cord in this situation. Keep it locked in the car (or at home) and use the public stations charging equipment.
  5. kstitt

    kstitt Junior Member

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    The Blink charging station only provided a female J1772 connector. Something is missing in my understanding.
  6. gwmort

    gwmort Active Member

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    I have a bicycle cable lock I use to secure my EVSE when using it in public (where practical), I saw a nice idea about a guy who moved the car up a few inches to park on his cord for security.

    All public chargers I have seen around here have their own cords.
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  7. janie

    janie Precious Prius Plug In

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    Last week I sent an email to Costco, because my local Costco removed their charging stations and have no plans to replace them. Here is the reply I was sent:

    Dear ******,

    We appreciate you taking the time to email Costco Wholesale.

    As of today's date we have no plans to update the outdated electric vehicle stations. It was presented to upper management but the decision was to not embark on a major installation as of yet.

    The decision was primarily made because of the use (or should we say non-use) of the units a few years back. PLUS sales of the electric car are currently minimal,so once the trend starts to shift is when it will be revisited.

    Thank you,

    Katy
    Costco Wholesale Corporation
  8. mrbigh

    mrbigh Prius Absolutum Dominium

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    I believe that IF Costco Headquarters will start receiving hundreds of letters requesting installation or upgrades of EVSEs for the up growing numbers of PHEV and EV in the current market, they will take action in a short time.
    That's my point of view
  9. janie

    janie Precious Prius Plug In

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    I agree- wish more of us would start emailing and/or sending letters to Costco . . .
  10. H2OSkier

    H2OSkier Member

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    Which email address did you use to contact Costco ?

    Thanks,

    Ken
  11. SimiPrius

    SimiPrius Member

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    I went to their website and, after going through many screens, it finally got to a place where I could email them. I provided them the information, such as which store I frequent, in the email. Their response was that due to limited use, they were not looking at upgrading their stations. I responded back and explained to them that the stations that they built were mostly for "test" cars and that most of them, if not all, are not even on the road any longer. I then gave them some information about the J1772 SAE standardized plug, etc. They came back to me and said that they would "review with senior management." That was about 2 weeks ago. Have not heard anything and as of last week, no change to the old stations.
  12. inventor00

    inventor00 Orange County Prius Club

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    Gwmort- How did you fasten a bicycle lock to the cord?
  13. RiverRat

    RiverRat Junior Member

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    We all need to email them. They could have had them all updated for free with the grant from california, and they chose not to. Here is a link that I found from last year.
    Costco taken to task for removing electric vehicle charging stations - Long Beach Green Transportation | Examiner.com
  14. gwmort

    gwmort Active Member

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    The Volt EVSE is a black box which the cable wraps around for storage with a handle and some lights on it. In the garage in Wilmington that lets me uses their 110v plugs, the outlet boxes are on conduit running from the floor to ceiling that I can get the cable behind. So I run the cable through the handle on the EVSE and around the electrical conduit. I also typically wrap the velcro strap around the conduit as well, but thats more for neatness and to hold the EVSE in place than for security.
  15. greinstein

    greinstein Junior Member

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    My PIP is going to be delivered next week. Having never used a public charging station, I am curious about charges for use. Are some free or is there a fee?

    Thanks
  16. SimiPrius

    SimiPrius Member

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    I think that they are all free...so far...
  17. calbear

    calbear Member

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    Yeah, they're brilliant. "Since nobody is using our outdated equipment that's not compatible with current vehicles, we're not going to be upgrading at this time..." Talk about chicken and egg here. Under this logic, gas stations would still be selling hay and buggy whips... and not upgrading to gas until people buy more hay... :rolleyes::rolleyes:
  18. Tracksyde

    Tracksyde Member

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    I dont know if you count this as "public", but I think the ones at Ikea are Blink chargers? I went to the Blink website and they dont explicitly list prices (not that I saw anyway). But they have 3 "levels" of membership listed with the following line:

    Blink Plus
    Charge as low as $1.00/hr

    Blink Basic
    Charge as low as $1.50/hr

    Blink Guest
    Your charge: As low as $2.00/hr

    I dont know what it takes ($$$) to be a member, but even $1/hr of L2 charging doesnt seem to be that economical with regard to current gas prices.

    It seems to me that at these rates, its really to capitalize on those cars who NEED to charge (or those whose main goal is to simply reduce the use of gasoline, regardless of cost).

    EDIT: It costs $30 per year to be a Blink Plus member and its free to be a Blink Basic member, you just need to create an account and give them a credit card number. Blink Guest is free.
  19. SimiPrius

    SimiPrius Member

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    So even if you do Blink Plus at $1.00 per hour at a level 2, that is $1.50 to charge the car for 15 miles, or about $$4.50 for 45 miles...about what gas cost today...and you had to pay them $30.00 to join. And it gets worse as a guest.....
  20. usdmattiphone

    usdmattiphone Member

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    It seems like they're trying to essentially recoup the cost of the stations. I imagine with the wiring to the station, the station, the network connection to do charging, and the actual charging circuit probably runs at LEAST $3k to install. Given the scale of plugin vehicles out there being smaller, they're going to have to charge that rate for a year or 2 just to break even. I know my campus is partnering with the local power company and blink to install 50 chargers, but part of the deal is that blink requires them to charge the blink rates for a year, and after that the university can set the rates to whatever they want (they want to change it to what they actually pay for electricity).
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