[Oeva-list] PSU EV charging considerations

nscale7 at aol.com nscale7 at aol.com
Wed Jul 28 04:47:40 PDT 2010

Rick Durst wrote:

>I am involved with a PSU project that is aimed at establishing the best access and siting locations on [the PSU] campus for Electric Vehicle Service Equipment (EVSE) and plans are being finalized with the parties involved.
Yet it seems to me like the time to figure “best access and site” would have been when the EVSE for the RAV4 EVs was installed. Or if not then, certainly the time would have been when they installed EVSE for PSU’s new Xebras. The point I was making was that since they have already been installing EVSEs for other users they could have easily installed one more for the public, or made the ones they have already installed available for public use during the day when they are unoccupied. That they have done neither can easily be interpreted as a general unwillingness to provide public charging. Remember, I first requested EV charging two years ago, long before PSU’s RAV4 EVs arrived, long before PSU’s Xebras, and not only am I still waiting, I’ve graduated!
I am very surprised to hear that PSU is working with you to move forward with public charging when the director of Transportation And Parking Services (TAPS) said to me not three months ago that they would be “very unlikely to install charging stations when only one student actually has such a vehicle.” I doubt the number of PSU students and faculty with EVs has significantly increased in that time; In fact, the number has declined by one since I now have my bachelor’s degree. Ironic if TAPS installs it now that (to my knowledge) the only private EV that would have used it has left.
Which of course brings up another issue with workplace charging; how much use must the EVSE receive to reasonably amortize the cost of it’s installation? If a company has to spend ($5,000? $15,000?) to install charging equipment, how many times must it be used befor the fee paid per use recoups the equipment and installation costs? If a charger is likely to be lightly used, if for example a company has only one employee with an EV, than might the long payback period cause a host to decide to forgo EVSE altogether?
As an example, the AVCON at the Hillsdale Library has been used enough to fully recharge a Ranger EV less than three times; that’s $1000 per full charge just in the cost of the EVSE, more if installation costs are added. While with the EV Project the EVSE is free so amortization doesn’t matter, afterward when site hosts must bear the full cost of future installations (minus the tax credit) it becomes a major consideration, and yet I’ve found nothing in the literature that discusses this.
Note: For those who have never visited it, the Hillsdale Library’s AVCON can talk, and says that it has dispensed 84kWh. The Ranger EV has a battery capacity of 33kWH, so 84/33= less than three full charges. Of course, the number of individual uses is likely higher as most opportunity charges are only partial, not full charges. I like that the AVCONs talk about themselves; sort of like how the City Hall station has the meter bolted to it so you can see how much it’s been used, but with that one you have to factor out the Shorepower station’s nighttime lighting. But I digress.
>By this time next year, there will be over 1000 publicly available EVSE locations around Oregon.
>More than 1 for every 2 EVs on the road
More than one for every EV -currently- on the road, sure, but by then there will be 1000 Leafs and 500? iMievs, plus Smart EDs, Th!nk Cities, and Plug-In Priuses running around, just to name a few. The year after that there will be another 40,000 Leafs running around as Nissan gets into full production, and another 40,000 Leafs the year after that, and so on, although of course not all of those Leafs will be in Portland. 
I know 1000 stations sounds like a lot, but California already has over 300 and one need only review the EVCN “I was there” reports to know that arriving to find public charging stations in use by another EV is a common problem. Fortunately most locations there have at least two units (1 AVCON & 1 Inductive,) but still. I expect that this problem will be particularly acute at the level 3 fast chargers as that technology comes online because of their rarity (due to cost) and the typical motorist’s preference for them over the ‘slow’ chargers, but even level 2 stations will have overcrowding as the number of EVs increases year after year. Are there any plans to have the number of public charging stations keep pace with the number of EVs? Perhaps a long term measure like an electricity surcharge to fund new public charging stations? Or my previous suggestion of mandating EVSE in building codes like Vancouver, BC?
Oh, and sorry for the really long posts. *smiles apologetically*

-----Original Message-----
From: Rick Durst <Rick.Durst at pgn.com>
To: 'nscale7 at aol.com' <nscale7 at aol.com>; 'Oeva-list at oeva.org' <Oeva-list at oeva.org>
Sent: Tue, Jul 27, 2010 6:04 am
Subject: Re: PSU EV charging considerations

As far as PSU is concerned, this isn't true, I am involved with a PSU project that is aimed at establishing the best access and siting locations on campus for Electric Vehicle Service Equipment (EVSE) and plans are being finalized with the parties involved.

Many organizations are also reconsidering Public EV charging locations, as a result of ARRA grants. Payment mechanisms will be available from most manufacturers, so places won't be giving away electricity.

Many of these outdated concerns are going away, now that EVs are on a comeback.

By this time next year, there will be over 1000 publicly available EVSE locations around Oregon.
More than 1 for every 2 EVs on the road.


Rick Durst, Program Manager 
Portland General Electric 
Energy Information Services and Electric Vehicles 
503-464-7631 phone 
503-464-2284 fax 

From: oeva-list-bounces at oeva.org <oeva-list-bounces at oeva.org> 
To: Oeva-list at oeva.org <Oeva-list at oeva.org> 
Sent: Mon Jul 26 20:19:49 2010
Subject: Re: [Oeva-list] EV charging considerations 

stevel at fern.com writes:
>my employer has already decided that they aren't willing to install charging stations, due to liability concerns.
This is not an uncommon problem. In fact, it seems to be standard operating procedure. I think that the expectation that charging can be done at workplaces is wildly over optimistic as long as it is optional; from what I’ve seen most employers are highly resistant to workplace charging. PCC refuses to install chargers, PSU refuses to install chargers, even the BPA, which stands to gain from EVs, refuses to install charging stations. If employers that stand to gain from EVs, like the BPA, or that are nationally renowned for their sustainability, like PSU, won’t allow workplace charging stations, what does that tell us about the rest of the employers in the city?
Portland State University, nationally renowned for their sustainability and actively researching EVs, refuses to install charging stations for faculty and students, because they claim the reserved spaces would be used less often than the rest of the spaces in the garage, causing them to lose money, as much as $300 a month per EV space. For an institution whose annual budget is in the hundreds of millions, and that just spent nearly half a million dollars to plant twelve trees in the urban center plaza, $300 a month is a pretty poor excuse. Further, that the spaces they’ve already reserved for PSU’s Xebras, Plug-In Prius, and RAV4 EVs sit empty half the time, and so could theoretically be made available to students during the day, is apparently irrelevant.
The Bonneville Power Administration refuses to install charging stations because they claim it would be an illegal use of government resources, akin to using public money to buy gas for a private car (although BPA does exactly that all the time, in addition to giving away free bus passes.) Portland Community College, which offers EV technician training in their automotive program, basically said the same thing. That other government entities like ODOT, OHSU, Multnomah County, and the Cities of Portland, Hillsboro, Gresham, etc. have established legal precedent to the contrary is apparently irrelevant.
I suspect the bottom line is not that employers are unable to provide charging for legal or liability reasons, it’s simply that they don’t want to, no way, no how; Thus my belief that the expectation that charging can be done at workplaces is wildly over optimistic so long as it is optional. In this case, perhaps what is needed is a change to the building codes to require EV charging for buildings over a certain size, much as handicapped and bicycle parking are required, not optional. The city of Vancouver, BC now requires 10% of spaces in new residential parking garages to support EV charging; perhaps we could convince the City of Portland to adopt similar codes.
The Portland city council recently passed a resolution to support electric vehicles, (Available here: http://www.portlandonline.com/shared/cfm/image.cfm?id=309915 ) and an amendment to the building codes requiring EV charging on new construction would be a straightforward way for the council to put that resolution into action. Of course, lobbying for code changes might conflict with our non-profit status, so it may require some creativity.
>I wonder.. Will AAA tow a EV with a dead battery to a charging station?
 Yes. If AAA will tow a bicycle with a flat tire, why wouldn’t they tow an EV? Remember, AAA wants to make money, and providing customers with needed services is the way you make money. They may even eventually develop an emergency charge (EmergiCharge?) truck with a built in fast-charger, running off of batteries or a gas generator. It wouldn’t have to recharge you fully, or even to 80%; just enough to get to a real charging station under your own power, and two or three minutes of fast-charge would give you several miles of range with which to do so. Sort of like how they don’t fill the tank if you run out of gas, just a gallon or two to get you to a gas station. Of course, ultimately the plan is to populate the entire world with charging stations, so you’d never be more than, say, a half-mile from one, but that won’t be realized for a while yet, and in the meantime AAA can make some money.

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