Where are the charging stations?

Where are the charging stations?

It seems a good time, since the Model S is being released, to comminicate about new charging station. There are only level 2 's around Chicago, but not many. By Gurnee Mills Mall, and some of our Walgreens and Walgreens corporate here. There are more popping up in some garages in the city. It has begun....

Sudre_ | 10. August 2012

In the General topic forum there is a topic about the charging apps for smart phones. I use Recargo . It shows all the charging locations. Plugshare is another good one.

electricblue0303 | 10. August 2012

Recargo, plugshare, blink, 350green,, etc. I'll give you that there are not many charging stations near Gurnee Mills, but in the entire Chicago metro area I think there are a couple hundred. Anyway, the vast majority of charging will be done in your garage. There are also RV parks, most of which have 50-amp service.

Schlermie | 10. August 2012

For a quick & dirty map, type "EV charging stations" in google maps.

Jason S | 10. August 2012

My perspective on the Model S is that I'll only need to know about charging stations in areas nowhere near home and therefore unfamiliar.

So I downloaded and tried out Recargo and Plugshare to check out places I might need to charge. They are solid apps and surprised me re: how many charging areas are available.

Michael23 | 11. August 2012

Thanks! Plug share is great! So many stations. I see 100 around sf area alone.

Andrew18 | 11. August 2012

I downloaded recargo last night.

Sudre_ | 11. August 2012

IT still makes me sad to select the Tesla charger only in Recargo and see none within 300 miles of me. Can't wait to see the exciting updates on that.

jbunn | 11. August 2012

Charging stations will change my shopping and entertainment habits. For example, near where I live, there is a place where my wife and I take music lessons, a resturant across the street, and a stage theater next door. On the other side of that is a commercial building that uses its lot for paid parking, but has installed two level 2 chargers. Free parking for EVs, and free charging. So every week as we dine and play or see a play, we'll plug in. We liked the places anyway, but the deal is sealed now for sure. We'll be doing a large part of our selection of where we go based on those options in the future, I expect.

Timo | 11. August 2012

Any good app that can be run on ordinary PC? Could use it to plan future trips (and see if there is any in Finland).

Brian H | 11. August 2012

That's the "hook" that will entice more and more places to install them. I believe the industry buzz phrase is "customer loyalty incentives".

Andrew18 | 11. August 2012

Our Walgreens in Highland Park charged $3.00 for one hour of charge for my Volt. I got 10 miles for that; I hope they lower the price or I won't use them anymore. That is like $9.00 a gallon for the same energy of gasoline at 30 miles per gallon.

Sudre_ | 11. August 2012

Not trying to sound obnoxious but that's why I don't think plug in hybrids are going to work. Charging stations are going to add cost to cover overhead so you have to buy gas and electricity. It just doesn't add up to me. Once you get your S you can skip those annoying high charge prices and only have to spend it on long road trips when you can't find a free charger.

Sudre_ | 11. August 2012

Oh. . .. if you use one of the apps mentioned above please comment on the annoying high cost so others know without having to stop. I know Recargo has a comment sections.

BYT | 11. August 2012

Plug share also encourages comments

Etographer | 11. August 2012

I have installed two level 2 chargers and one level 3 chargers in my parking lot. They should be live on Monday 8/13/12. It was a joint effort between my company, PGE, Ecotality (Blink) and myself. Charging is not free. Blink charges to use the terminals. They charge by the kw. I am a small business owner and I can tell you that it took all parties involved to get these installed. They are very expensive (approx 100k) and the electricity while at only .11/ kw it will add up over time. While everyone loves something for free, I ask you to not forget that someone has to pay for everything. Try to think of it as an ATM. You can use your banks ATM for free, or you can use any other for a small fee. What you are paying for is convenience.

Brian H | 12. August 2012

I take it you are not a "retail" company, so have little or no incentive to get reasonably flush random public to saunter and hang about the premises. This is not the case for shopping malls, restaurants, hotels, etc. It is readily justifiable for them to make the charging "free", either as part of their marketing budgets or better described as "included" in room charges, etc.

If you have no promotional or other indirect or direct benefit from having the stations there, perhaps you are not really a suitable location. Certainly, the likelihood of your paying off those $100K costs in the foreseeable future seems to be a vain expectation.

As for "Blink", I don't think they're going to see many Tesla owners as subscribers. A very poor fit, actually.

Sudre_ | 12. August 2012

Billing more per mile than gas is my only complaint. I know they are expensive but people will not use electric if they can buy gas cheaper. It also depends on the charge rate. 99% of the chargers I have looked at are 208 volt 30amp that is WAY to low and at the price Andrew was billed per hour was way too expensive.
At that low voltage it is a useless charger for road trip travelers.
At that high price it is useless for local top offs.

Why spend the money to install when people are going to learn not to use them?

On another note. I think the networks gives discounts if you join their service. I would rather just see these chargers go away and vendors install 14-50 outlets. Get these car manufacturers to start selling something like Tesla's setup, easy and can be used on existing infrastructure. There is no reason for these special chargers except for the DC quick chargers (~480 volt 50 to 100 amp)

pilotSteve | 12. August 2012

@BrianH - in previous posts, @Etographer posted details about his restaurant and why that location was chosen by PGE. In fact I've been a customer at his restaurant and agree it is a good location when heading to Central Oregon from Portland.

In fact I buy gas for my ICE a block from his restaurant. As I recall that is not free either.

You are welcome to your opinion but there are other views. Perhaps tone down your voice a bit.

Mel. | 12. August 2012

Sundre, you hit it out of the park...

stephen.kamichik | 12. August 2012

ATTENTION CANADIANS: has a map showing current charging stations throughout Canada. I wonder if a cross Canada trip is possible with the 85kw battery pack.

Brian H | 12. August 2012

pilotSteve | August 12, 2012
@BrianH - in previous posts, @Etographer posted details about his restaurant and why that location was chosen by PGE. In fact I've been a customer at his restaurant and agree it is a good location when heading to Central Oregon from Portland.

Ah, yes. Restaurant. I all comes back to me now! ... Sorry.

But -- it could/should be a more or less self-financing attraction once the slope of EV buyers picks up. It's common for retail establishments to, e.g., offer parking vouchers for customers at nearby lots with whom they have an arrangement. Something similar should be possible here.
Note Sudre's response to being charged more than a gasser would require on a mileage equivalent basis. That's galling to an EV-er!! Not a big promotional positive, IOW. People may well end up going elsewhere to avoid such "convenience" charges ...

Brian H | 12. August 2012

typo: It all comes back...

jbunn | 12. August 2012

Etographer gave a description of his place once. I think I ate there about 3 years ago, driving to CA from WA. Good lunch, thanks.

Bellevue Square chargers are 90 cents per hour. That would recover about 20 miles, which is worth plugging. About 1/4th price of gas for my ice. Wifes work is 50 cents. Thats a good deal, and coveres their power cost and is close to residental pricing. 3 bucks per hour is still cheaper than gas, but I would pass if possible.

pilotSteve | 12. August 2012

Looked at Blink. Sounds like maybe $1.50/hr or so to for Level 3 (DC) charge. Not too bad. I wholeheartedly agree that $3/hr for 30 miles charge is too expensive.

As a late-night home appliance retailer (Tom Perterson's, who ended up in bankruptcy) used to advertise: "Free is a VERY good price" :)

Brian H | 12. August 2012

Free is of course impossible, in the big picture. I much prefer "included" where appropriate, which is usually. "No extra charge" comes close.

jerry3 | 12. August 2012

Just bear in mind that most of the charging stations being built are really not-applicable to the Tesla owner. Not because the Model S can't use them, but because in most cases the Model S won't need to as a day's city driving can easily be done without needing a charge away from home.

The only times you should need to do an outside charge (in most cases) are on trips. So the chargers in hotels and B&Bs are applicable along with RV parks with 50 amp plugs (which aren't shown on the charging station apps, but are shown on the RV apps), and superchargers.

pilotSteve | 12. August 2012

@jerry3: per you comment "The only times you should need to do an outside charge (in most cases) are on trips. So the chargers in hotels and B&Bs are applicable..." -- that is exactly what @etographer's site will serve for me when I drive to Bend Oregon (170 miles each way). So stoping for a nice meal on the way back and gaining 60 miles is just right.

The bigger issue is how these various charging standards (CHAdMO, Level2, Level3) will be best used with the Model S. Early standards are just "a nail in the wall" of available possibilities. Unless Tesla puts Superchargers in almost every Walmart [a possibility IMO] we will need 3rd party or Tesla solutions to make the best use out of these first generation standards.

"Standards: I love 'em. There are so many to choose from"!

jerry3 | 12. August 2012

-- that is exactly what @etographer's site will serve for me when I drive to Bend Oregon

Quite right. I was referring to the 30 amp ones in office buildings and most retail stores. I'm assuming that the typical trip is of the "drive somewhere and stay overnight" variety. In that case the most convenient place for charging is at the place where you are staying.

Superchargers are most useful in between destinations. For example, if you are driving from Dallas to Lincoln the most useful supercharger locations would be in Stillwater, OK and Junction City, KS. At the destination, the RV plug at the B&B would be fine.

Brian H | 12. August 2012

pilotSteve | August 12, 2012
The bigger issue is how these various charging standards (CHAdMO, Level2, Level3) will be best used with the Model S. Early standards are just "a nail in the wall" of available possibilities. Unless Tesla puts Superchargers in almost every Walmart [a possibility IMO] we will need 3rd party or Tesla solutions to make the best use out of these first generation standards.
"Standards: I love 'em. There are so many to choose from"!

Elon's summary. 'Yes there are new industry standards (for fast charging). They suck.'

So TM Superchargers are way more potent! And the connectors are smaller and cuter.

electricblue0303 | 12. August 2012

Andrew18 - the fee from Walgreens seems unreasonable. There are a few Walgreens and other charging station sponsors around me that don't cost a penny to charge. I'm in Riverside.

pilotSteve | 17. August 2012

The future of public charging stations: "SAE DC Level 3 charging has not been determined but the standard as it now exists has the potential 200–600 V DC at a maximum of 400 A (240 kW)". Now we are cooking.... 100+ miles of range (50% charge of 85KW at 85% efficiency) takes 25 minutes. Only

See this wiki for details on J1772:

Since Tesla is on the SAE J1772 committee and DC Level 3 is a new standard, perhaps this is the SuperCharge, or at least a subset of it? At high DC voltage/amperage the connector physical design becomes non-trivial.

Brian H | 17. August 2012

TM claims 160 miles in ½ hr, IIRC. And Elon called the SAE standards "crap". Hence its own crapless version.

Amped OC | 17. August 2012

I downloaded Recargo on my iPhone and filtered out all charging stations except Tesla (under Settings). It shows around 25 stations between Orange County and San Francisco, but I'm not sure what a Tesla charging station means in this context. Can anyone enlighten the group?

Some of the ones shown are Tesla dealers, some are private residences, and some are hotels or parking structures. I didn't see any Tesla Superchargers listed on first glance.

Andrew18 | 17. August 2012


Our Walgreens were free at first as well. I wonder who sets these prices and if they are raising the price because it is in Highland Park? That's not cool, if they are.

pilotSteve | 17. August 2012

@BrianH - yes I heard Elon's comments. Agreed. My point is: for the non-Tesla world, how are their standards evolving (perhaps influenced to integrate some or all of Tesla'a arguably better ideas, and how can we best use the older standards to charge using existing or soon to be installed public infrastructure?

Are there opportunities for 3rd party adapters etc. to get the best out of public infrastructure charges that are worth buying?

For example, downtown Portland OR has quite a few Level1 and 2 public (Free) chargers. I would hope that as battery capacities grow they might upgrade to the Level 3 DC fast charger and at least give us a usable dose of power if parked for 45-60 minutes. Not as good as a Supercharger, but hey.... the are free and in a nearby shopping area with free parking and free charging!

TINO F | 17. August 2012

This is probably not exactly what people are looking for, but stay tuned as more of these free apps will pop up. Tesla mentioned that their stations are going to be FREE for Tesla Owners.

Smart Phone app for charging ideas is:

There are more, but these have ratings, and lots of information about the particular location.

Etographer | 17. August 2012

Apparently even Teslas superchargers are "Next Level" Chargers as well. The Level 3 charger (Blink/Ecotality) just installed draws about 120 amps. The Tesla Superchargers draw 250 amps. That is crazy. I also heard that when hooked up to TM's DC Charger, it bi-passes the onboard converters.

@PilotSteve just to give you an update, Ecotality had their Nissan Leaf hooked up to the level 3 today. I believe that was the final test. The level 2's seem to be functional, but non of the chargers have been officially commissioned. I will keep you posted.

Sudre_ | 17. August 2012

As far as upgrading the level 1 and 2s to 3s.... I don't think it will be all that easy. The ones I looked at on the drive to Chicago were are 208 volt 30 amp single phase. They did not run a conduit large enough to feed the charger for the wire to be upgraded (size and count) and it is out of a 120/208 volt source. To upgrade they would have to completely rerun the feeder from a 277/480 volt 3 phase source with larger pipe and more larger wires.

Sudre_ | 17. August 2012

are = all

Etographer | 17. August 2012

@Sudre That is correct.

CarlE_P439 | 17. August 2012

Does anyone know about/ have an opinion about ChargePoint charging stations (for which you apparently must have a prepaid card to use)?

Sudre_ | 17. August 2012

You have to have a card to use any system. There is a number on the charger you can call to use them. I don't know how it works since I have not used any of them yet but I did drive by a bunch and look.

Teoatawki | 17. August 2012


You didn't see any Tesla superchargers in the app because there are none. The first one will be at Harris Ranch. I believe that one going live is part of the announcement Elon expects to make next month.

jbunn | 17. August 2012

Chargepoint requires a free account. You can unlock the charger with the card, or your smart phone. Pricing is up to the owner. Some free, some paid. Mapping is great, and you get realtime status on smarphone or desktop. Plenty of consumption history reports. Good stuff.

sergiyz | 17. August 2012

While superchargers have a benefit of a faster "refill" they also wear out the battery because of high current used to change the battery.
Tesla clearly states that superchargers are not for everyday use.

Etographer | 18. August 2012

This is debated amongst the people I talk to. Some say unless you are doing it 3 or more times a day it will not be a problem. I think both sides of the argument have valid points. I guess we will find out over time.

Cue Brian H and Volker...

bsimoes | 18. August 2012

I'm guessing this is where the twin chargers come into their own. If there is not a need for full recharge, but you are stopping for lunch, and in that hour, you can gain 62 miles back vs. 31 without the twin charger, being most chargers available won't be Tesla Superchargers. Is that right?

Brian H | 18. August 2012

Note that there are NO other cars on the road with more than 100 mi. range, so their needs are very different. I don't know how much future-proofing the SAE standards include. What max battery size do they contemplate.

Also I note that the ½ hr fill rate is actually a percentage of total capacity. So the 60kWh battery would take in about 110 miles worth in that time. If a 40kWh battery could handle Supercharging, it would take in only a 70 miles charge. Not significantly different from the Dual Charge rate.

Yes, that sounds right. It allow max use of any AC source you encounter, I think.

Brian H | 18. August 2012

typo: It allows ...

Butch | 18. August 2012

I have had a Roadster for more than 3 years. The only times that I have charged it outside of my house are on long road trips.

My two homes are 287 miles apart in Boulder and Pagosa Springs, CO. To do this trip in the Roadster, I just plan a lunch, dinner, or white-water rafting trip at one of the RV Parks along the way with a 50 Amp NEMA 14-50 outlet. So far, they just ask how much electricity I will use, I tell them about a $1 per hour and I will stay 2-3 hours, and then they charge me their day use fee of $5 or so. A few times, I have visited friends a 100 miles away or so. There, I have used a heavy duty extension cord, and an adapter for their dryer outler. A 30 Amp dryer outlet, giving me 24 Amps of charging is not great, but overnight, I get a full charge and can drive in fun mode home instead of in eco mode.

I will be taking delivery of my Model S on 8/28 in Denver. My plan is to drive it to Pagosa a few days later. Given the 287 miles and the 265-300 miles range of the Model S, I could probably make it in one charge if I drive in eco mode at 45-50 MPH the whole way. That would be the fastest, but not fun. I will drive in fun mode, stop about 1/2 way, charge up for a few hours on a 50 Amp RV outlet, and have lunch with a friend in the area. More total travel time, but much more enjoyment!