Rules and Fees for using a charger at UCLA

Discussion in 'Toyota Prius Plug-in' started by davidbw, May 12, 2012.

  1. davidbw

    davidbw
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2004
    107
    26
    0
    In front of my computer
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    I was using google to find charging locations in Westwood and West LA, and found this page regarding using chargers built at UCLA:

    Electric Vehicle Charging Stations (1005053)

    Basically the page indicates that the charging stations at UCLA are for "top off" use only, and not for fully charging a car. You must pay a full parking fee in order to enter parking lot 9, which is $11/day for visitors. Those people who are UCLA affiliated are entitled to a parking discount when they drive a "Clean Fuel" car when they pay quarterly or monthly. You are entitled to park at the charging location for four hours, after which you must move your car to another parking space, and you pay $2/hour to Chargepoint for charging. They also want you to register with Chargepoint (another $5 fee), so you can be notified when the charge is done, and check to see if the charger is available before you enter the parking lot.

    Using other (Free) Chargepoint Chargers I have found that it usually takes two hours to fully charge my Toyota at a Chargepoint Charger.
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. fjpod

    fjpod
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2009
    417
    69
    0
    New York
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II
    My only comment is you have touched on a lot of reasons why it will be hard for public charging to take hold. It's expensive, there are stipulations, there won't be enough if even only 5% of cars are EVs or PHEVs.

    Home charging, and maybe at work if it is free, are the only reliable ways right now
     
  3. bfd

    bfd
    Expand Collapse
    Plug-In Perpetuator

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    597
    116
    0
    Close to SDSU in the Far Southwest Corner of Calif
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Advanced
    The chargers at SDSU are still free - but they are inside the parking structures. So if you don't have a Student or F/S permit, then it's $1/hr to park. Still, that's less than what you'd pay for a regular Blink Lvl2 pay station.
     
  4. seilerts

    seilerts
    Expand Collapse
    Battery Curmudgeon

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2010
    3,325
    1,444
    38
    Santa Fe, NM
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    I don't understand this expectation that parking and/or charging should be free for PiP, Volt, or any other EV/PHV for that matter. We are past the early adoption stage. If you have a PiP or other EV/PHV, charge as often as you can and remove your car as soon as it is full, in order to reduce your gas consumption, and make room for other users. If you aren't willing to pay for charging, then guess what, no one is going to install chargers.

    And why quibble over a $5 fee to set up a ChargePoint account?
     
  5. bfd

    bfd
    Expand Collapse
    Plug-In Perpetuator

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    597
    116
    0
    Close to SDSU in the Far Southwest Corner of Calif
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Advanced
    My gripe is that these charger networks were subsidized to begin with. So WE are already paying some level of their business risk. So if they price themselves out of reality from the get-go, then they've done a disservice to the whole notion of using renewable energy.
     
  6. seilerts

    seilerts
    Expand Collapse
    Battery Curmudgeon

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2010
    3,325
    1,444
    38
    Santa Fe, NM
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    The PiP is subsidized to the tune of at least $2500, on the presumption that it would be plugged in, thereby reducing our foreign oil dependence. And yet, some owners don't plug it in, not even at home, because all they wanted was a green HOV sticker. Talk about doing a disservice!

    Over time, the market will sort things out, as far has having reasonable charging costs. But at this stage of the game, being unwilling to pay more than $0.50 per PiP charge is kind of silly. If you paid net $30K+ to get one, then why not pay a couple more bucks a day to get the best MPG?
     
  7. CharlesH

    CharlesH
    Expand Collapse
    CA HOV Decal #00005

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2005
    1,714
    385
    0
    Milpitas CA
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Advanced
    A full charge on the PiP is worth close to a quart of gasoline (around 12 miles). So with a full L2 charge in 1.5 hours, and around $4/gal for gasoline, it really doesn't make economic sense to pay more than about $0.75/hr for a charge. It's a different matter if you have an EV and you need the charge or you aren't going anywhere. And as far as the environmental impact, depending on how the electricity is generated, the very efficient hybrid system in the PiP can generate less pollutants than the electric system.
     
  8. seilerts

    seilerts
    Expand Collapse
    Battery Curmudgeon

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2010
    3,325
    1,444
    38
    Santa Fe, NM
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    It doesn't make economic sense to buy the car in the first place, unless it is to get a green sticker. If you buy a PiP, you are either serious about getting the highest possible MPG, or desperate to get a green sticker for the quickest possible commute. The former plugs in as often as possible virtually regardless of cost, while the latte may never plug in at all. Both have solid economic reasons, but from a financial standpoint, the car is not as good a deal as the non-plug-in Prii.
     
  9. radiocycle

    radiocycle
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2007
    548
    77
    0
    Vallejo, CA
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    Well, those are not the ONLY two reasons....
     
  10. Rebound

    Rebound
    Expand Collapse
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2010
    1,936
    589
    0
    SF Bay Area, California
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    It's expensive to install an EVSE, but guess what? It's expensive to build parking garages! And gas stations are really expensive, too!

    The gas station marks up the gas a few percent, and that's all a parking lot should do. My car takes under 2 kWh of electricity -- less than 20 cents per hour. So charge me 25 cents an hour. But $2/hour for something that costs 20 cents? ChargePoint cannot stay in business if they need to operate on margins like that, because nobody will use them.
     
  11. fjpod

    fjpod
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2009
    417
    69
    0
    New York
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II
    And therein lies the rub...if public EVSE companies are going to charge anything more than 10 or 20% more than what you pay at home, people won't use them unless desperate. Honestly, with their costs of installing the chargers, leasing the space from the property owner, maintaining them, insurance, wireless phone connections, etc....I don't see how they can charge less than triple or quadruple what the juice itself costs.
     
  12. CharlesH

    CharlesH
    Expand Collapse
    CA HOV Decal #00005

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2005
    1,714
    385
    0
    Milpitas CA
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Advanced
    Anyone know what the financial arrangement is between businesses that install ChargePoint stations, and Coulomb? It's up to the business what they want to charge, if anything, and they control who is allowed to use the station, but Coulomb has to make money somewhere.
     
  13. hill

    hill
    Expand Collapse
    High Fiber Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2005
    10,577
    2,108
    54
    South OC So Cal & Nashville, TN
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    IV
    You mean like how we're past the early adoption stage of the oil industry? So sure ... let's stop free parking/cheep parking - free charging/cheep charging so we can do more and more and more subsidies for the oil industry. Oh ... and maybe a few subsidies to the health industry for our premature respitory problems brought on due to toxic fuel/exhaust. Great idea!
    :rolleyes:
    Sorry ... but it cracks me up how so many focus on the 1/10 of 1% of EV/subsidies, while the elephant in the room goes unnoticed. Won't Mr. Wizzard please answer me as to why we allow that philosophy to go uncheckek?
    .
     
  14. davidbw

    davidbw
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2004
    107
    26
    0
    In front of my computer
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    I must disagree with you. Maybe this argument should be taken to another thread as it has little to do with UCLA. I have found that the Plug-in Prius has a better MPG than the 2010 Prius I had previously without plugging in the Prius (48 mpg vs 58 mpg). I admit this is with a small sample of data: the street in front of my house was being repaved, so I could not park in my garage, and plug it in, and I could not plug it in at work those two days. Also there are other minor reasons, I believe that the voice navigation system and audio systems are better on the Plug-in Prius than the previous Prius.

     
  15. Rebound

    Rebound
    Expand Collapse
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2010
    1,936
    589
    0
    SF Bay Area, California
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    Gas stations have very high costs, too, but they're profitable to operate. If you're refurbishing a parking lot, running a lot of 12-gauge cable isn't very expensive. The chargers are expensive, but that's hopefully a temporary condition. Once done, if there are enough EV's and PHEV's out there, you can charge an extra fifty cents an hour for electricity, depending on local rates, etc.
     
  16. ProximalSuns

    ProximalSuns
    Expand Collapse
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2012
    1,882
    16
    27
    PNW
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius
    Model:
    Three
    Cost is installation of electric lines, meter and the down stream equipment, maintenance of equipment. Hard to see who they can stay in business at $5 per charge. The six hours is costing them customers. Four customers a day at $20 is not going to pay for building charging stations.

    It's all completely impractical. EV car will be limited to its round trip range until some fast charging technology comes along.

    Best thing that could be done now would be a truck with a mobile fuel cell that could respond to emergencies by showing up for usual road service fee ($50-100) and charge the vehicle. But having some public charging stations is never going to work.
     
  17. seilerts

    seilerts
    Expand Collapse
    Battery Curmudgeon

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2010
    3,325
    1,444
    38
    Santa Fe, NM
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    This thread is about the "high" cost of charging, and the PiP driver attitudes towards it. Looking at it one way, using a public charger may cost another $3 over what the equivalent amount of gas would cost, so from a purely financial standpoint, it doesn't make sense. From a personal utility standpoint, that extra $3 ought to be worth it to most people who want high MPG, if it makes the difference between having 100 MPG as opposed 75 MPG. Since the PiP costs several thousand more than than a GIII (no way that 48 vs. 58 MPG would pay the difference, even if that were true in the long run), it makes more sense that personal utility would trump pure finance, since having paid a premium to get the PiP for the purpose of better fuel economy, why not spend a couple more bucks a day to maximize your MPG?
     
  18. ultraseven

    ultraseven
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2012
    47
    2
    0
    SF Bay Area
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    If the whole point is to maximize MPG, then the ideal situation will be the following:

    - Said owner have a 11 - 12 mile 1 way commute
    - Said owner works near or at a FREE public charging stn, and will charge at home at late nights
    - Said owner will also use the car dedicated for commute purpose

    Then from that standpoint that will make the most economic sense. But to not plug in the car when that feature alone costs 4K (after Fed tax credit + CA rebate) just doesn't make sense to me. Certainly the fact that Chargepoint charges $2 per hr will mean the station will be best as a pissing pole for dogs.
     
  19. evfinder

    evfinder
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    288
    67
    0
    Los Angeles, CA
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    Part of the problem is that these companies don't really know how much to charge. I've seen several of them asking questions like "how much would you pay for charging?" and "Would you pay $15 for am 80% charge in 20 minutes?"

    There are people out there who would pay whatever the price is and there are those, and I list myself amoungst them, that will not pay exhorbitant fees just get get a few miles of extra EV range.

    In the end the market will decide. The price will depend on the amount of chargers in a given location, the demand for those chargers, and the willingness of drivers to pay.

    One example I sited in an article I wrote a while ago for EV World was the chargers in Temecula. There is a blink charger at Paula Casino listed as $4 an hour and one at the Town Hall in Temecula that is free. Now, would you charge at the free charger at the town hall and spend some time in Old Town, or would you spend $4 an hour at the casino and hit the slots.

    Personally I think most people would top up at the free charger but those that are there to gamble might go straight to the casino. That means more business for Old Town less for the casino.

    If I was driving the PIP there is no way I would top up at $4 a gallon (equivalent to about $20 a gallon of gas).

    So, people are going to use the cheapest chargers and are going to do buiness with the stores, restraunts etc near those chargers. This will drive business away from those located near the more expensive chargers and encourage them to drop their price. In the end prices will drop down to get close to standard electric rates.

    With the cost of charger infrastructure there is no way that a business can recoupe their costs from charging fees. The reason to have them is to attract EV drivers who tend to be more affluent than average so have more disposable income; in short the kind of person you want to bring into your store.
     
  20. CharlesH

    CharlesH
    Expand Collapse
    CA HOV Decal #00005

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2005
    1,714
    385
    0
    Milpitas CA
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Advanced
    Just thinking about hotels/motels providing charging. On one hand, you would think that they would consider it an amenity to draw in customers, but on the other hand, the hospitality industry has seemed to really jump on making everything a revenue center, like phone calls, parking, WiFi, etc. So they would probably charge big $$ for chargers.