Need Advice: Wanting to get EV charging station on place of business

Need Advice: Wanting to get EV charging station on place of business

Hello Everyone, I need advice!

At my place of business, we have three Hybrid/EV spots reserved; however, there is NO charging capabilities at those spots.

I want to recommend to my employer (in Maryland) that we need to consider placing possibly a Level 2 charging capability or any other type that is most doable and realistic (and affordable).

However, I need expertise in what specifications should I compile/consider (e.g., DC-DC, AC-DC, Company to do the work, etc., etc., etc.). I want to consolidate whatever advice I can get from this forum.

Can anyone help me with the type of specification (and estimated costs) AND what type of questions should we ask or be prepared to answer when considering how to convenience my bosses the value in establishing three charging outlets or means???

By the way, my spouse and I are finalizing our wishlist in order to place our order for the Model S 85 next week.

Thanks everyone.

Brian H | March 1, 2014

DC-DC requires big power. Got 480V? AC-DC is standard charging tech. For a Tesla, the best option is the HPWC. About 80A effective (nominal 100A), and about $1200.

Earl and Nagin ... | March 2, 2014

Workplaces charging options
Recommendation A) Cheapest option for the company is to install NEMA 6-20 outlets. This will enable any EV drivers (Teslas, Leafs, Volts, etc) to charge at 240 volts, 16 amps using AeroVironment's new "Turbocord" ( or Clipper Creek's LCS-25 ( The company can put a standard power meter on each outlet to measure consumption if desired as well. Covered outlets can usually be locked
, enabling a specific employee, who has paid for the service to put a padlock on it. A benefit of this approach to an employers apartment/condo complex is that it place much of the cost onto the user so they don't have to absorb as much themselves.
Recommendation B) install an EVSE ( normal charging station ). This will also support Teslas, Leafs, Volts, etc. my recommended suppliers are Clipper Creek's CS-40, Clipper Creek HCS-40 (cheapest, but very good EVSE), or AeroVironment's J-1772 charging stations.
Recommendation C) install a Tesla HPWC. This is a great product but will only support the Tesla Model S.
Option D) not-particularly recommended though is to install NEMA 5-20 120 volt, 16 amp outlets. These cost just as much to install as option A but will only charge about 1/3 as fast. It's a reasonable option for the Chevy Volt but Tesla and Leaf drivers won't be happy.
Not -recommended: don't use a charging service provider such as Chargepoint or Car Charging, Inc as their middle man take will be very unpalatable for whomever has to bear the costs. Generally it will cost 3 to 5 times the cost of electricity for the charging service provider's service. Nobody will be happy

Any manufacturer can arrange for installation or any licensed electrician can do the installations. Assume ~$2500 per installation, however, costs will vary depending on how far and where the cable has to run.

I hope this helps a bit.

Canary2014 | March 2, 2014

@Earl and Nagin

WOW!!! Thank you both so so so very much!!! This information will genuinely help tremendously!!! We sincerely appreciate your insight and technical recommendations!

Just curious. If I recall correctly, someone recently mentioned a company by the name of I checked out their website and they seem to be actively engaged in developing charging stations.

Do either of you or anyone else know anything about them with respect to their experience?

Thanks again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Brian H | March 2, 2014

Impressive site. Connector compatibility will determine how useful they are, I think.

Earl and Nagin ... | March 2, 2014

Semaconnect, is just another charging service provider like Chargepoint, hence, IMHO, not worth the extra cost for regular usage. It may be useful for shopping malls, city downtown parking lots, or amusement parks where usage is intermittent.

JPPTM | March 2, 2014

Sema makes EVSE. My hospital installed 4 of them (already had 3 dual ChargePoint). Fairly standard J1772 220V 30A with RFID card and iPhone app (like ChargePoint). Apparently priced cheaper than ChargePoint. Work fine-no issues.

Canary2014 | March 2, 2014

@Brian -- Thanks! It kinda looks the same way to me as well. Visually, that is what was in my mind. Thanks!!!!

@Earl and Nagin -- Thank you for the clarification. I was not sure. If our place of business was to install a SemaConnect charger, do you suspect it is a one-time upfront costs or is there an annual or monthly fee that our business will have to pay? I guess I should contact them as well....Thank you!!!

@JPPTM -- Thanks! Is the RFID card used for billing? I'm searching for an option that can be installed and not result in a monthly or annual fee for our employer. Thank you also!!!

Everyone, we genuinely and sincerely appreciate it!!! Thanks again!

66manoj11 | March 2, 2014

I did not have any Idea in my mind, Thanks for giving me a new idea

Rocky_H | March 3, 2014

Huh. Interesting idea Earl and Nagin. I hadn't thought of a 6-20. I think there is a balance issue about power/cost/charge time. If you put in nicer higher power charging stations, yes, they can charge cars faster, but how do you handle that with the number of charging stations versus the number of cars that need to charge? Is someone supposed to leave work in the middle of the day to go unplug and move their car so someone else can get in there? So that is expensive and more inconvenient all around. I like the idea of lower power general purpose outlets, because they are much cheaper to install, so the place can put in more of them, and then everyone's car can just stay plugged in for the full 8 hour shift. Putting in a lot of regular NEMA 5-20 outlets is even a good option, although yes, the 110V versus the 220V would be slower. I don't remember the charging rate on a 5-20. I think it's about 5 miles per hour? That would put 40 miles back in during a full workday, which would be fairly useful at a very cheap installation cost.

Canary2014 | March 3, 2014

@Rocky -- Thanks! This is also very, very helpful. I'm trying to obtain as much great advice as possible. Thanks!

@66manoj11 -- I'm assuming (maybe wrongly) that you are considering the same thing, possibly.


JPPTM | March 3, 2014

Canary2014--you still probably want some kind of access card to keep track of usage, and also give alerts (e-mail/SMS) when charging is complete. You do not have to charge $$ to anyone--or you can provide free charging to some folks and charge a nominal fee to others. Both Sema and ChargePoint offer such account and usage management.

Dwdnjck@ca | March 3, 2014

For tesla owners,charging at work is not that important. That is not saying that they won't plug in if plugs are available.

Dwdnjck@ca | March 3, 2014

Charging at local businesses is not that big a deal either, unless the business is a hotel.

Rocky_H | March 3, 2014

By the way, this is my go-to page for understanding what all of the NEMA outlet types are. Almost no one knows what 5-15, 5-20, 14-50, etc. are unless they have a place to look it up. This is handy for bookmarking.

Canary2014 | March 3, 2014

@jpptm -- I did not think about that...I feared it might cost but that's actually a very good idea. I just know that our place of business the key word is "simple". No time to think. No new procedures. :-) :-) Thanks!!!

@dwdnjck -- Yes, I concur. But, you are right. If it's there, I want to keep the MS plugged.... :-) (Thankfully, not a hotel....) Thanks!

@rocky_h -- Thank you!!! A great website at wiki. I bookmarked.

Earl and Nagin ... | March 3, 2014

I don't know how Semaconnect works their billing.
I have a hard time wrapping my head around paying ~$3,000 more for a networked EVSE like Chargepoint, Semaconnect, AeroVironment's networked EVNet, PEPstations, etc. for workplace when a NEMA 6-20 only costs about $30, a lockable watertight enclosure is ~$50, and a cheap luggage padlock costs $15. Both the AeroVironment Turbocord and the Clipper Creek LCS-40 cost less than $500 and the driver can pick up that cost, not the company.
From personal experience with a 37 mile (each way) commute and over 130,000 EV miles under my belt including an EV1, Tesla Roadster, and Nissan Leaf, I've found that 240 volt, 16 amps is nearly always sufficient. It charges at between 12 and 14 miles per hour, filling my car up after the 37 mile drive in to work in about 3 hours - easily. This is plenty fast enough most of the time to enable me to drag in to work a bit late and be charged in time to get home or to be fully charged before super-peak commercial rates kick in in summer at 1:00 pm.
With a lot of these 16 amp 6-20 stations instead of a few expensive EVSEs, nobody has to stop work to unplug or plug-in in the middle of the day. This helps to maintain productivity and harmony at minimum cost to the company. My company has had EVSEs for a while but recently put in the 6-20 outlets as the number of EVs started to increase and the other options came out. The EVSEs are a bit more convenient as you don't have to pull your Turbocord out of your trunk but that isn't really much of a problem as the Turbocord is so small and convenient.
120 volt charging will barely get me charged by the end of the day, assuming I don't have to run errands and get to work on time. This, of course isn't a problem for Teslas but is for Leafs and more minimal EVs. I'll reiterate that the cost of installing a NEMA 6-20 is about the same as installing a standard NEMA 5-20, 120 volt outlet - it just charges faster(before the rates go up in the afternoon).
I hope this helps.

Canary2014 | March 3, 2014

@Earl and Nagin -- Wow! GREAT, GREAT advice. I'm starting to check more into your recommendations! Thank you! I genuinely appreciate it. And, you are right. The key is it keep it cheap!
Thanks again!