Tesla owner charging network

Tesla owner charging network

With 20000+ cars delivered this year, we are creating the bigest network of charging stations in US. Most of us will have at least 240/40A plugs. I think, with an average $1000 spend for instalation, we are investing 20 millions almost the same amount the Elon will invest in supercharging stations. The question is how to use this network...

Pasadena-S | 17 February, 2013

Excellent point. I hope you don't mind if I build upon your idea with a modest proposal.

Although the distribution of Model-S home chargers is not ideal for supplying road-trip charging, it is likely to be quite workable. For example, surely there will soon be a few dozen HPWC chargers along the Pacific Coast Highway in California. We just need to (1) find them, and (2) find a way to make it "worth the hassle" to the owners of those HPWCs.

While there are already several smartphone apps and websites for finding chargers, they don't quite fit the bill for this purpose, because they don't have an easy way for users to "request a charge" and "respond to a request for charge". Perhaps one of those sites could be extended with the following features:

1. I would sign up to offer my charger to other Model S owners. I would provide my email and/or cell number. So far, similar to PlugShare. But the system I propose is a bit more interactive.

2. If I am in need of an emergency charge in a foreign land, or on a road trip beyond the range of Superchargers, I would like a way to "broadcast" my request for help to a number of Model S owners within a certain geographic boundary (perhaps select a list from a map?). My broadcast would include the date and time I'll need the charge (maybe "right now!"), and how many miles I need.

3. The system would then email/page charger owners in that list and provide a very easy way for them to respond if they are able and willing to help me out. Most likely they would just reply to the page, and the system would collect the response.

4. I would then select one of the offers, and the system would send a confirmation to that person and send a "Thanks for the offer, but I chose someone else" message to the other folks who offered.

5. We could do this on a pure Good Samaritan basis: "Pay it forward."

Another idea is that we might set up a barter system of S-miles (pronounced "smiles") as a credit/debit system: provide a charge, get a S-miles credit. Spend that credit at other S-miles charging stations. Again, this is an idea that one of the existing smartphone apps would be willing to include as an enhancement.

I realize this seems like a bit of a socialist utopian vision. But before anyone gets too worked up about the potential for economic disfunction, I would make a few points:

1. Even if you sign up as a potential HPWC provider, you don't need to respond to any particular request. You may not like the idea of someone using your HPWC if you aren't at home, or for four full hours. If so, don't respond. But at other times it might be convenient, or you may want to chat with another Model S owners, so you would respond to those requests.

2. Some folks are definitely going to be net "takers" and others "net givers", if for no other reason than simply by the realities of geography. Folks who live a few miles from superchargers will never be bothered for a charge, while those who live 200 miles from a supercharger and outside a city will be more likely to be called upon to charge. So those who offer more charges will collect more S-miles. They can either "spend" those S-miles, or just glory in their position on a web page listing "S-mile heros".

3. I suppose we could just set up a way to pay each other, but I suspect we would all be required to obtain business licenses, include our charging income and expenses in our tax returns, and do a bunch of other un-fun stuff. It seems to me to be easier to make this a non-financial system and see what happens.


jat | 17 February, 2013

Plugshare allows you to report your home charging stations and share the information.

noel.smyth | 17 February, 2013

I love the idea. the smiles currency is very creative and it could catch on. My outlet in my driveway is published on plugshare. Would love to see a tesla app for this purpose as described above...

portia | 17 February, 2013

you can also list your charger to share on REcargo, which has an app. on iOS

July10Models | 17 February, 2013

How about a national club membership where a small due is collected from each participating owner. Using the Smiles model above, owners can collect smiles and use them like points on a credit card or even issued a charge card that get replenish with smiles. For owners who are cheap, we would let them join in real time if they are ever in trouble.

diegoPasadena | 17 February, 2013

Good idea, Pasadena-S (neighbor). I like the "Smiles" idea, too, (love the name!), but perhaps that *is* a bit utopian. I think if it were just a flat hourly convenience fee that need not even be discussed (say one or two dollars per hour, or whatever it may be), you'd bypass having to establish a whole new ecosystem. Keep everything about the system as you envisioned it, but when someone responds, just send them a couple of bucks by PayPal before they send you the exact address. I can't see that this would run us afoul of any tax rules. Presumably, it wouldn't happen too frequently, and if we help fellow S drivers out of a bind and let somebody recharge for a couple of hours once a month, we can always add $20 or $30 to our declared yearly income. It won't push us into the next tax bracket.
Thanks for that excellent idea! (What color is your car? I want to see if I recognize you driving down Pasadena streets. Mine is pearl white, in East Pasadena.)

Superliner | 17 February, 2013

Can you as an individual even "resell" electricity for profit on a residential rate legally? I'm no accountant but I'd say probably not.

You CAN give it away but collecting $$$ seems like a nightmare from a business standpoint not to mention an IRS problem.

Looking with someone with MUCH more expertise than myself here .. Thoughts?

Pungoteague_Dave | 17 February, 2013

Superliner, as a private individual you can re-sell electricity for whatever you can get. I am in the mall development business and we often buy electricity wholesale and redistribute it to tenants with markup. There are specific regulations in some states, but it has not been a problem.

We have posted our homes near Arnold, MD, and Pungoteague, VA to PlugShare for people with EV's who need emergency power. Others may want to do the same - this is a small club for now.

We would not charge for electricity and might throw in a cup of coffee, but are way off the highway, so don't expect many calls.

Superliner | 17 February, 2013

@ Pungoteague_Dave

I was talking about reselling a "residential" rate. not a business or industrial rate scale such as a mall or something which is what I'm thinking you are describing. The residential rate is an "end user" rate is it not? And I apologize in advance if I seem dense, It is because I probably am lol!! But to be on the up and up I'd have to either declare it as income? charitable? loss?

Selling it would make me a business by default yes / no? I better talk to my tax prep. folks. I'm not saying you are incorrect, quite the contrary I just need to be sure I'm correct in my state and municipality. I had already pondered this some time ago when I was thinking of listing my home on "PlugShare" wondering if I could collect $$ per charge if at some point my electric bill began biting me in the butt providing opportunity charges to passers by.
(I know "dream on") But I can hope there will be enough BEV's cruising around for that to happen Haha!

My location near AZ, NM line and proximity to El Paso would be prime for east west S drivers running low on electrons. Sans any nearby Superchargers for the foreseeable future?

drp | 17 February, 2013

Plugshare really already does this and you can indicate "Tesla compatible" only if you like. It is nice to have one source to check. It's already too much with recargo/plug share/Chargepoint.

trydesky | 17 February, 2013

Anyone nervous about posting their address on plugshare, etc? I don't want to be saying...Here's an address where a $100K car is parked.

Superliner | 17 February, 2013

@ trydesky

Or a $700 - $1500 Charging unit? One's got to believe as EV's get more popular, charger thefts might begin to occur. Sad but it is the world we live in.

I've yet to list "publicly" on plug share but have exchanged addresses with a few on here "in private" that they or I might opportunity charge if in each others wheel house.

diegoPasadena | 17 February, 2013

The system wouldn't need to have the exact address. It could be by zip code, and the exact address would only be given after authentication of the requester.
The benefit of having it a Model S only system is that verification might be relatively easy (registration of VIN, verification with the help of Tesla). And somehow, the thought of a fellow Tesla owner knowing where mine is doesn't scare me much.

dstiavnicky | 18 February, 2013

Plug share is a good start, I've registered.
Secondly, I'm not at all worried about theft. Between tracking and insurance... I've owned dozens of very desirable cars, more worried when driving in a bad neighborhood...

Instead of s-miles, let's just settle in cash or beer ;)

Pungoteague_Dave | 18 February, 2013

I post my address and phone number, no worries about security or theft. I have a dozen hi-res cameras on my property and farm employees coming and going regularly, with a caretaker near the entrance. The driveway is a mile long and we have about 10,000 223 rounds pre-loaded into hi-capacity mags, with cary permits all around.

Although our Plugshare posting does have the address and my cell phone number, it is visible only to members. My posting says to call ahead. If someone really wants to rip us off, come ahead. There's lots of theft-bait here, most of it not tied down, but you will be seen and won't get far.

My expectation is that we EV owners need to stick together and no one would troll PlugShare to try to find out where to steal these cars. There is NO WAY to steal an EV successfully. Think about how they work - no key fob, no dice. Tow it away? Really? Where will you get a key or service? These cars have embedded electronics identifying the owner and can be tracked ANYWHERE. Like a cell phone, these machines have no utility if stolen.

Pungoteague_Dave | 18 February, 2013

Superliner - you can't steal an S charger. The chargers are onboard the car. Someone could steal an unattended cord that isn't locked into a charging port (they are locked into the S when the car is locked), but that isn't alot of money.

jat | 18 February, 2013

@Pungoteague_Dave - not to mention thieves want easily fencable goods. There is a reason the Civic is the most stolen vehicle (or at least it was a few years ago), and it isn't because it is the most valuable car. Stolen cars are generally taken apart and sold for parts, which means you need a lot of them on the road so there is demand for it.

GLO | 18 February, 2013

One wrinkle is that our rates are high during the day and don't lower until 8pm...would have to find a way to allow charging for others at a reasonable time. I like the idea just haveto make it feasible.

jat | 18 February, 2013

I still don't think it will be of much use outside of emergencies -- even the HPWC will take 2.5-3 hours to achieve half charge, twice that for 14-50 outlets, and even longer for most J1772 chargers or dryer outlets.

kent | 18 February, 2013

Just added a new Plug Share location outside Englewood, OH. This could be a crossroads for those traveling on Interstate 75 or 70. We are only 5 miles from Interstate 70 and maybe 10+ miles from Interstate 75. HPWC available with 80 Amps / 240 Volts.

Call if interested in charging or email me.

Dr. Bob Reinke | 18 February, 2013

I have installed a 240vac 50amp receptical with an assortment of other form recepticals outside my garage. I also fashioned a steel lock box with a slot in the face. The box was an old 6x6x6 electrical junction box with a lock lip on it. I carriage bolted it outside the garage wall with a steel plate inside the wall. On the face I cut a slot large enough to pass change and bills. On a sheet of yellow paper I used my printer to print the message, "THANK YOU FOR MAKING A GENEROUS CONTRIBUTION SO ALL EV TRAVLERS CAN CONTINUE TO STOP HERE TO RECHARGE," and mounted it behind a sheet of Plexi. So far the contributions have far exceded the increase in my electric bill. Give people a chance to be nice and contribute and a majority do!

Brian H | 18 February, 2013


defmonk | 19 February, 2013

@ Brian H: Please stop. The incessant grammar and spelling corrections do nothing to enhance this community.

Mark Z | 19 February, 2013

Just use a zip code or nearby street intersection when entering a PlugShare address. Check the PlugShare website to view where your location appears. Most likely it will be near, but not pointing to your exact address. Now you can sleep better at night.

Since there are plenty of free public chargers in my area near restaurants and movie theaters, there are better alternatives than using my outlet.. Having a TOU meter, I know the per KWh rate. By taking a before and after meter reading, the visitor will know the exact cost to charge. the price is highest from noon to 9 PM.

jat | 19 February, 2013

The cost of even a max-range charge is so small it doesn't seem worth bothering to charge for unless there are going to be a lot of people making use of it, which I wouldn't want anyway.

NOPetrol | 19 February, 2013

I would love to list amongst fellow Tesla owners but no way send to plug and share. Volt, Leaf or similar not risking Oscar Pistorius showing up...

Brian H | 19 February, 2013

Just hoping he didn't misprint the sign. MYOB.

mal42north | 19 February, 2013

Don't know about your rates jat, but here in PGE land peak summer rates are about 54c/kWhr (Tier 4 E9A), so range charging a 85kW battery could cost up to $45. That's a couple of cases of good beer, not insignificant by definition. If you live on the north CA coast, the Tesla alone will get you up to Tier level 4 pricing, so your marginal rate will be 20c, 34c or 54c depending on the time.

jat | 19 February, 2013

My current marginal rates are $.044/kWh, and in the summery they will be about 9 cents/kWh (too lazy to look them up). So under $8 regardless for a 0-100% charge.

Superliner | 19 February, 2013

@ jat

Well,.. The contributions Dr. Reinke gets could eventually offset the installation costs! sounds like a winner to me. Perhaps I should do something similar?? Hmmmm. Might "over time" pay for my own installation inside my garage.

djp | 19 February, 2013


Brian H | 20 February, 2013

or even your MS? ;p

derek | 20 February, 2013

I'm not into this idea at all. I will do almost all my charging at home. I've had electric bicycles for two years, and never charged them anywhere but here, and I see the car as similar...but with 270+ mile range :-)

I never bought a Leaf because of limited range, and I dropped an extra $20k on the 85KWh so that I wouldn't have to waste brainpower on this very issue.

However, for those of you so inclined, you should have a look at the FON network of WiFi sharers, mostly in the EU. FON allows people to share out a portion of their broadband connection. For "FONeros" that put their hotspot up to share, they can use other hotspots for free. For FONeros that don't want to share their hotspot, they can pay to use other FONeros' WiFi. It must work...they have 8 million hotspots participating.

jat | 20 February, 2013

@derek - I don't expect to every charge my Model S anywhere besides home, except on long-distance travels. Until the Supercharger network is built out, you need to charge elsewhere for any trip over 100mi away or if you plan to drive much at the destination.

The problem is that even with HPWCs the charge rate is still slow for a stop on the way to somewhere -- maybe if I only need 50 miles to get to my destination it might be reasonable, but realistically if I have to wait 3 hours to charge on the way I am probably going to take a different car.

I'm planning a trip later this year that will require a recharge, but I only need about 20 miles extra to make it there, and then I can charge over a weekend at the friend's house I will be visiting. So, there is a restaurant on the path that has a charger, and I plan to charge there while eating and maybe another 30 minutes of charging (it is a L2 30A charger, so about 14mi/hr). But that's really about the limit I am willing to do, so until the Supercharger network is built out near me I won't be going any further than that. Having a Tesla owner along the path willing to let me use their HPWC might extend that another 30 miles or so, but that's about it.

Certainly there is utility in knowing where charging is available in the case of emergency, but to me that just shows that you planned poorly.

DFibRL8R | 20 February, 2013

I just took a 2 day 480 mile round trip journey in Virginia (very poor EV infrastructure) in my 60kWh. I mostly used J 1772s which are SLOW and having NEMA 14-50s to use would have been nice (50% faster charging). There's also the problem that public chargers are often blocked by ICE vehicles or sometimes out of service in which case you could be screwed if low on charge. The nice thing about public chargers is they are usually in a place where you actually want to hang out for a few hours as opposed to killing several hours at someone's well fortified farmhouse (no offense Pungoteague Dave).

Pungoteague_Dave | 20 February, 2013

Hey, it's only fortified if you are a bad guy. Come on by - you can kill the hours eating oysters, riding an ATV, or in better weather, hop on a Hobie Cat or jet ski. There are a bunch of good reasons we still have an underground petrol tank here.

DFibRL8R | 20 February, 2013

Thanks for the offer, I am looking forward to Tesla's ATV and Jet Ski models though :)

Brian H | 20 February, 2013

I think I've seen video of electric snowmobiles ...

FLsportscarenth... | 20 February, 2013

I have added my place on plugshare, seems pretty ok... You can specify to call ahead and I did put a small fee but it is good for an emergency choice if you are running low in a BEV and I or my employees are around... I would of course waive the fee for Tesla drivers...