Saturday, November 29, 2014

Level-2 chargers arrive at work

When my company moved me to its consolidated location, I was no longer one of the only electric cars on site.  It would seem that there were nearly a dozen of us.  To accommodate the need to recharge our electric vehicles, the company allowed the electric cars to make use of the various landscaping outlets that could be found around the campus.  These few 110-volt plugs were in high demand and provided very little distance to anyone who connected late in the day.  In my case, six hours of charging would give me about fifteen miles of range, so most of the time it was not worth the effort to hunt down an open outlet.  My employer even made an effort to install three new 110-volt outlets by the main entrance to the facility (which was over ½ mile from my desk), and these three outlets quickly became the most popular on campus.

Then, Tesla released its Model-S sedan and electric cars became fashionable accessories for the executive set.  Two level-2 (220-volt) charges were installed in close proximity to the executive offices, allowing four cars to get a reasonable charge.  One was installed in the small parking lot just outside the executive offices, and the other was installed in the guest parking outside of the new executive reception center.  Neither of these level-2 chargers was convenient for the rest of the workers.  Still, I was able to walk the ten minutes and climb the four levels of terraced buildings to be able to plug in my car.  Even after 4:00 (when the early chargers would rush home), I could still get in about 2.5 hours of charging giving me an extra 25 miles of range.

Luckily for the environment, electric car popularity in Silicon Valley boomed and more electric cars were showing up at work.  Unfortunately for me, that meant fewer opportunities to charge.  At about the same time that my office was moved closer to the original level-2 charges, four new level-2 charge points were added to the campus, bringing the capacity to twelve electric cars charging at the same time.  They also installed solar panels on all the roofs to generate clean electricity.  And, to ensure greater access to all EV drivers, they imposed a limit of four free hours of charging, with subsequent hours being charged a fee (fine?) of $10.00 per hour.  The idea is that the company would help you complete your trip, not provide all of your driving electricity.  Now there are more access points on campus, two of which are fairly convenient, and I am usually able to find a vacant spot after 4:00 for when I could use the extra comfort-zone for my drive home.

No comments:

Post a Comment