Chevy Spark EV Forum

It is currently Mon Oct 22, 2018 2:32 pm

All times are UTC - 8 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 10 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Gotta love my backwater state!
PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 5:24 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2017 5:20 pm
Posts: 106
Location: Idaho
So Idaho is so far behind the times that the only charging spot at the mall is free. The power company has two free public plugs by the park downtown. The airport has four free plugs in the LONG TERM PARKING LOT WITH NO QUALIFICATIONS!!!! I had to go to the airport admin office for a few hours yesterday morning and one of the spots was vacant. Parked there for two hours and topped off the car. My boss gave me crap about it and I said that if it had a free gas pump with no limit you'd be parked in there too!!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Gotta love my backwater state!
PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 6:37 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:37 am
Posts: 77
I'm lost. You have FREE power plug-in spots? We don't have that here in the Chicago area (at least not that I'm aware of). ...especially NOT at the airport. How is this backwards?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Gotta love my backwater state!
PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 11:37 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2016 1:18 am
Posts: 248
Lots of places have free charging. Use plugshare, set the option to only show free charging, and voilĂ  !!

For example, Walgreens at 111 S. Halsted in Chicago, is free. And "The Shops at North Bridge Center", 520 N Michigan Ave, Chicago as well.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Gotta love my backwater state!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 4:17 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:37 am
Posts: 77
I live in the NorthWest burbs of Chicago and do not venture into the city (certainly have no interest in driving into the heart of the congested city just to get to a 'free' charger).. but I'm 15 minutes away from ORD (O'Hare) airport and unfortunately free chargers do not exist there (would have been nice though).


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Gotta love my backwater state!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 10:04 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2016 1:18 am
Posts: 248
plugshare shows free plugs (but pay parking) at ORD.

There's also about 50-70 free L2 charging spots listed in plugshare in about a 10 miles circle around ORD.

https://www.plugshare.com/


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Gotta love my backwater state!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 10:28 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:37 am
Posts: 77
^ unless I'm missing something, there is a monthly fee to become a member of those shareable plugs that offer 'free' charging.. so you still pay to be a member translating to ultimately NOT free. At least as I understand it, there are monthly membership fees in various groups (I forget what they are called)... and you can't use a 'free' plug unless you are properly registered and a paying member.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Gotta love my backwater state!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 10:39 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri May 01, 2015 5:52 am
Posts: 1110
Location: KC,MO
Around here all the public sites are administered by ChargePoint.
You have to pay $5 to register and get the ID card that starts the L2's and DCFC sites, and, as they say, voilĂ  !!

It was a free network city wide until this year. Now it varies by site and which side of the state line you are on.
Still, at the most it's 2 to 6 cents more per kWh than at home.
I now have to link a debit card to the my acct. But it's nice having my usage online. I can see TMS kicking on and off during the day when I am on the network.
You should register and have the card in the car just in case....

_________________
Used '14 2LT w/ DCFC.
+56k miles.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Gotta love my backwater state!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:07 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:37 am
Posts: 77
^ If I ever get dumb enough to get myself stranded somewhere, I'll have to use my AAA but so far I've never gone far enough to warrant a concern. (thus the reason for getting this little around town commuter in the 1st place) ;)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Gotta love my backwater state!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:48 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2016 1:18 am
Posts: 248
Chris101 wrote:
^ unless I'm missing something, there is a monthly fee to become a member of those shareable plugs that offer 'free' charging.. so you still pay to be a member translating to ultimately NOT free. At least as I understand it, there are monthly membership fees in various groups (I forget what they are called)... and you can't use a 'free' plug unless you are properly registered and a paying member.


Yes, you are missing something.

While EVgo *does* charge a monthly fee, many (?most?) other networks do not. I have accounts for SemaCharge, Greenlots, ChargePoint, GE, Blink, and others. I pay NO monthly fees - I only pay for my consumption of electricity (if there is a charge).

Some networks will charge you to get a card (GreenLots used to - that's why I don't have a card : I just have their app on my smartphone). You may be able to get a free ChargePoint account, without a card, and just use your phone. Heck, you may be able to use a free chargepoint charger without an account, just using their app (I know that I have started a charge from the app - but I also have an account with them).

Also there are quite a few "no network" chargers : just stand-alone chargers that you pull up to and use for free.

Examples:

- The Volta charge spots at Village Crossing in Skokie are 100% free - just pull up and plug in - no account needed.
- The R Place bar & Grill in Forest Park has 4 free non-networked (ClipperCreek) level-2 plugs

At any rate, you should sign up for any network where you can do so for free.

Use plugshare.com, set the prefs for free only (uncheck the "payment required locations" box), turn off all networks (including "Other"), and have the map show a 30-mile circle around your house/work/shopping.

One by one, turn on ONE "network" to see if it is worthwhile for you to sign up for them. Do they have free charging where you drive/park/shop/work? Then, toggle off the "free" pref - are there a LOT of stations near where you drive? (i.e., might it get you out of trouble one day - giving you that extra 5-10 miles to get home?).

Then, turn "free" back on, toggle OFF the network you were just looking at, an toggle ON the next network in the list - repeat step above.

After about 3-6 minutes, you should have figured out :
- which networks can provide you with free charging in a convenient manner - near where you go (so if you can get a free account, it's worth the hassle of signing up)
- which networks have a LOT of charging stations around where you drive - even if they are pay stations. That can help you get to where you are going.

Personally, I avoid EVgo (I find them way too expensive) as well as Blink (too expensive and also often broken). ChargePoint tends to have a LOT of stations, they don't charge a monthly fee, and the stations might be fairly inexpensive (sometimes less than at home). Each ChargePoint station is different - the owner of the location sets the price, not "ChargePoint" (the company). A quick look around Chicago and some were free, some were .50/hr (so about 16 cents/kWh) and I even saw one for .08/kWh. I don't know how much you pay for electricity at home, but that doesn't sound too expensive to me (especially "free").



Lastly, look at free "other" network (that is generally all of the "non-networked" stand-alone chargers where no network card is needed). A *lot* of these spots are in pay parking lots, or at hotels - you probably won't be able to use them. It will also generate a LOT of possibilities, so do this one last.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Gotta love my backwater state!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:08 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2016 1:18 am
Posts: 248
Oh, it can REALLY be worth it to find those *convenient* free charging spots. In the past 24 months I have spent a total of $150 on electricity for my car - and I've driven a little over 15,000 miles in that time. That's 1 cent a mile (and electricity here is 0.20/kWh, so normally it should have cost me about 4 cents/mile). About 3/4s of my electricity has been free, because I found the 4 or 8 most convenient free spots around where I drive/shop/work. I go there anyways, and I can leave my vehicle there for a while (possibly getting a bit of my daily exercise by walking a 1/4 mile). Of course, I live in California, and it isn't 10F outside.

About HALF of the electricity that I paid for was at fast charge locations, mainly because I was driving outside of the normal round-trip range of the Spark, or sometimes because I hadn't filled up the night before and in the morning my wife said "let's go to ...". The other half was charging at home (I don't like to let the Spark get much below 50 miles of range - I want to be able to jump in the car and drive for 30 minutes if I get the urge).

$150 used to be about 2 months worth of gas for me ...


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 10 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 8 hours


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
© Chevy Spark EV Forum - part of the MyElectricCarForums.com Group