Creating public charge stations

edited November -1 in General
Hi everyone, I just recently placed my order for a 85w MS and had a few questions regarding charge stations.
Since I live in Austin and have a few restaurants scattered around Texas I plan on making charge stations at each location.

The first station would be in college station, about 115mi from where I live. Looking around online the best "universal" charge station seems to be the clipper creek cs-100 with the stand.

It seems like this is the best station to use since pretty much all EVs can use the J1772 and they fill at a 18kw rate which is pretty quick. Would anyone recommend an alternative to the clipper creek station?
If I decide to cheap out I would do just a 240w 40a plug in port, but it looks like only the teslas can use such a port. I don't want it to be exclusive to one type of EV.

Should I worry about making the station free? It would probably primarily just be me that uses the station, but maybe I should make a sign saying for customer use only. I'm not too worried, but I also don't want people abusing the station.

Has anyone here crated a public station before? What kind of installation costs should I expect? Who can install such a station, just a normal electrician?

Thanks for any help, i'm excited to be apart of the EV revolution. :)


  • edited November -1
    Congratulations on ordering your Model S. You are the perfect businessman that could benefit from having chargers at his business!

    1. Place the EV charging somewhere that staff can see easily to prevent freeloaders and ICE from using. Prime parking spots. When you park your Tesla there, it will be a huge draw.

    2. Paint the parking spot with green stripes and write in white "EV Parking Only".

    3. Use the Clipper Creek. It is faster and it will only cost you ~$2.00/hour while someone is parked in the spot charging. This is an incredibly cheap form of promotion/advertising. If someone decides to stay a bit longer to get extra charge, they are likely to buy more food and drinks.

    4. EV drivers are well educated and affluent. Having them connected to your business is good for business.

    5. Mention the charging on your website, promotions and make sure you submit them to all the "EV charge finder" websites.
  • edited November -1
    Hey tkenney14 I would recommend going through a company like Chargeport they give you a Charging pole (you likely buy it) with what ever level charging you want to provide, they can even make a solar powered one and then let you set the price. Most people start out having it be free and then if their needs change they can of course change the price of the charging station. Aside from this you would have your business listed with chargepoint and when someone inquired about a charging station on their site in your area it would point to your business as part of their network.
  • edited November -1
    What about putting in a Nema 14-50 along with a J1772 in one of the stalls? If you have a J1772 (Clipper creek or whatever), make sure there's a junction box with the 240 line leading to it. Then, in the junction box, divide the line. One side goes to the J1772, the other leads to a Nema 14-50 receptable. That adds about $20 in parts and an hour or two for the electrician.

    I know this works because that's what I have in my garage :) I had a Nissan Leaf for 21 months so I put in a J1772. Then when I got my Model S, I just put in a Nema 14-50.
  • edited November -1
    How about installing an HPWC and a Nema 14-50 so that you really encourage Teslas to come visit but you don't discriminate against other EV's. Should be lower cost than the Clipper Creek even with the additional outlet installation.
  • edited November -1
    Get 3 or 4 quotes from an electrician and DO NOT tell them you want four locations done. Electricians will do the trenching, but if you need any other work like concrete or pavement work, you will need other trades

    With any luck you can find an electrical company close, or close enough to all locations, and negotiate a deal on getting all 4 after getting the first price on the one installation.

    Its always hard to figure out your costs without a specific quote. The greater the distance from your electrical access to the spot you would like the charging station, the greater the price.

    Do not use junction boxes, they are illegal unless accessible and when messing with 240 junctions are really dangerous, especially in outdoor conditions!

    Perhaps you could put in a "lightly enforced" parking meter? They all pretty much run on a donation system anyway. Some people put money in, some don't. If someone abuses it, you can have them towed or leave a company invoice for violation. Who knows, people might actually enjoy the thought of putting in a dollar or 2 to fill up their car and pay for prime parking at the same time.

    Whatever you do, good luck! My niece and nephews thank you.

  • edited November -1
    Forgot to mention, up here Tim Hortons has run a pilot project with charge stations in a few locations. You might want to look into it and see what they've done. Or find some other big company that has done something similar. You could than call or email and get suggestions or challenges they have found in the project.

    Here is a link to a news article. You can find emails to tim hortons staff at the bottom.
  • edited November -1
    What a good idea to make restaurants EV friendly. And I wouldn't worry about freeloadeers, let's keep the EV community one big happy & considerate family as long as possible. You know the Harley Davidson wave each one gives the other? There should be a Tesla Gesture (a polite one!).

    The suggestions are great - put a standard high-wattage connector at one or two prime parking spots. Only meter the usage if it really becomes a problem. Eventually EV owners will stop thinking that all EV charging spots are free, but even then it will be a draw for your restaurants. And I like the green & white paint idea, be obvious about EV charging at your place. Maybe even give a free soda to someone charging (only at the table). It would certainly encourage the EV owner to sit down and buy something.
  • edited November -1
    If free loading becomes a problem, charge $10 but include a $10 gift certificate to the restaurant.
  • edited November -1
    Thanks for all the suggestions! I'm happy to see people are excited about charge stations. This new restaurant will be opening in a few weeks in college station, tx. I want EV clientele as they are honestly going to be people with money and having them wait in my restaurant drinking wine seems like a win for both parties. I think the eaton 70a stations are a good deal and provide ample charging performance for all the j1772 port. I won't set a price for the unit unless it becomes an issue, maybe a donation jar in the restaurant for EV chargers. Nothing to discourage it's usage though.

    I talked to a few people and it looks like 3000-3500 for the station, 2000-3000 for installing an outside station with some barriers installed too. Not too bad, a little more than I expected, but still manageable. This will be for my car the majority of the time most likely, but I want all EVs to be able to use it.

    I'll definitely make sure to paint the spots with green paint and have plenty of signage to prevent getting iced.
  • edited November -1
    What? You want to flood the roads with inebriated MS drivers? Not a good idea. Hi-end coffee might be a better "road beverage".
  • edited November -1
    @brian H,

    Or I have the iced tea and snacks while wife drinks the wine(s).
  • edited November -1
    I'll let people be the best judge of their alcoholic intake, we are all adults here.. A glass or two is not much of a risk for the driver or people on the roads. This is the car after all that allows Internet browsing while driving, tesla lets the driver use their best judgement on what's appropriate on whether to use it or not.

    Anyways it was just an example, maybe they'll get some pizza instead. :)
  • edited November -1
    Signage: "Can you get loaded before your car does? Free charging!"

    ;p LOL
  • edited November -1
    tkenney14 i still think even if you decide to go the route of installing the charging stations yourself and not going through say charge-point that you look at getting listed on som EV registrys.
  • edited November -1
    First of all, I'll highly endorse the Clipper Creek CS-100. I've been using one of these for about 3 years now to charge our Tesla Roadster and our Leaf.
    There are late 1990's vintage Clipper Creek charging stations still working in CA with over a decade of negligence and misuse so their reliability has real-world validation.
    I also don't know of anyone other than Clipper Creek that offers 90 amp charging. Please be aware that Tesla Roadsters can't handle the 90 amp protocol because they were sold before the SAE defined the 90 amp protocol. Therefore, if you want to enable Tesla Roadsters (I think there are a few around Austin), you'll need to have Clipper Creek limit your CS-100 to 70 amps which is still quite fast.

    Regarding charging money:
    - My recommendation is that you do like Harris Ranch, Coalinga, CA, the first public Tesla charger, did. They put a charge of $10 but refused to collect it from pretty much everyone. This avoids the cheapskate who works near your restaurant that abuses free charging by doing all of their charging at your expense and it makes your customers feel they are special. It also lets you get a feel for how much use your charger gets.
    - In order to handle the fee control: Talk with Clipper Creek. They have several options that will save you a lot of money compared to the network chargers by Blink NRG, and Chargepoint. Among Clipper Creek's offerings are a code box where you need to enter a code in order to charge. This will allow you to control who and when charging happens without a middle-man such as Chargepoint.
    - Regarding the suggestions of putting in a J-1772: I don't recommend that for a restaurant. Your customers want to be able to just plug in a connector, not get dirty wrestling their charging cable out of the trunk and plugging it in to both ends. I, personally, think the classiness warrants the price of a J-1772 charging station.
    - I think a big question is whether you'll allow charging after hours. This will make you popular among EV drivers desperate for a charge at bad times. It would leave you vulnerable to abuse by cheapskates that live near your restaurants and try to do all their charging at your station.
    Make sure to list on,, and so you'll be attracting EV drivers looking for EV friendly destinations.
  • edited November -1
    The second last point recommends against, and then for, the J1772. Pick one.
  • edited November -1
    Probably meant nema14-50, but you know what happens when we assume!
  • edited November -1
    I would like to thank the restaurant owner for looking into this, $5,000 to $6,000 is a lot to spend out of his own pocket to do this. I am also personally curious as to what the consensus is about a general plug type, as I would very much consider a secondary plug at my house for other EV owners.
  • edited November -1
    @Brian H,
    goneskiian assumed correctly. I meant that a NEMA 14-50 doesn't make much sense at a restaurant. Thanks for reading more carefully than I wrote.
    What can I say, I was off by 1772 - 1450 = 322
    Numbers never were my strong suite.
  • edited November -1
    Put in a full power J1772. Every car will be able to take what it needs up to the max.
  • edited November -1
    Things may change. If indeed Tesla puts in a bunch of Supercharging stations with some quick charge technology, then the allure of chargers at businesses won't be so great. It might remain attractive to owners of other brands of EVs.

    Just far away are your customers? If they are locals, would they normally require charging to go out to dinner and get back home?

    In any case, we hope to know about Tesla's plans in a few days.
  • edited November -1
    Fsster charge will result in higher traffic! The appeal will be greater, more cars will be sold, etc. The duration of the stop will be lessened, of course; perhaps a secondary parking area for completed chargers?
  • edited November -1
    Brian brings up a good point: all that wasted charger time before the EV owner moves car.

    How about a long row of back-in spaces with a few robots moving along the row, filling up a car and then moving on? A slot in the robot's aisle, like some trolleys, to access underground power?
Sign In or Register to comment.