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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello community,

I'm from India and EV's are just showing up here. We have 1 electric car on sale and lots of electric motorbikes.
I'm also the owner of my EV website - - which caters to our community.

I wanted to know, In the USA, do businesses support the EV community by installing EV charging points for their customers?
Or is it upto the community to approach businesses.

What i realized is that 'Businesses/Vacation Homes/Shops/Resorts/Hotels' are places that can easily install level 2 charging stations. All they need to do is install 15 Amps sockets and provide some parking space for electric vehicles.

Thus began my quest to work on a fun project - Setting up, what i call - Community Charging Stations.

The government and the automobile companies can only do so much. But the community can surely help by installing these normal points, right?
If this takes off, then no OIL company can stop us and people cannot have an excuse that EV's are limited, Because the beauty of an electric vehicle is that we already have the infrastructure to fuel these efficient and clean vehicles. So why not use that infra?

Here is my blog on what i went through in setting up 5 of these stations after talking to so many businesses!

Also how popular are Level 2 15 Amp sockets in America?
Can any businesses install it?

And are there such community clubs who are doing the same in America? I would love to get to know them and take tips.

· Registered
82 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Check out to see a map of the US with charging stations.

It's a noble idea to set up a charging network. But remember that businesses are open for the purpose of selling stuff and making some money(profit), it's hard work for them and they are not going to be interested to waste their time helping out folks with free electricity and bathroom facilities.

It would be a huge convenience for EV drivers if they added outlets and make them available, but what's in it for them--what's the return on investment, and why should they supply free electricity? i think if you can figure out some way for them to make some money, even if only just to cover the cost of electricity, then there may be some interest.

Tesla put up their supercharger network with some stations in dull, out of the way locations with no nearby facilities--just get a charge and go.

A restaurant or convenience shop that sells snacks, drinks and tobacco would seem to be an ideal location. This is more along the lines of Jack Rickard at and may be more of a win-win for both sides.

Good Luck to you, kb

Thanks for replying. Yeah, i agree businesses wont care about offering this service unless there is something in it for them.

That is why we have decided to let the business decide if they want to offer a community charging station as a free service or a paid station.
They can then decide the rate, if its paid.

Actually the idea is for the EV community to approach these businesses and ask them about setting up a Level 2 station. The community bands together and pays for the installation (which is not much), test the station and publish the station to the wider community via a group or a website (in my case)

Ultimately what matters is that the EV community will have connectivity to that spot, which was not there before. Or in other words, without that new community station many EV owners wont think of driving to that weekend spot, now will do with confidence.

But again, this will really help if more people are enthusiastic in approaching more businesses around cities and setup these stations.
Once we have Red dots on a google map around the city. Many people who wont buy an EV will gladly do, now that their range is increased dramatically due to these community charging stations!

I still feel its the community that can do more than corporations and government for this movement.

Anyway, i keep rambling! Thanks for reading!

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82 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Hi guys,

Yes. Most of these stations will be used to top off charge and head home.

I do understand that there is not much money is just selling electricity.

That is why, we let the business decide on an agreeable rate for the service, if its a paid station.

Here are 2 examples of community stations near my city of Pune

The first station (Smoky Mountains Charging Station (Khandala/Lonavala)) is setup by an owner of a garage. And he has set flat rates for various times, which is more than the electricity cost that would be consumed.
That is understandable as he is a small business and he would be making space for EVs to charge in his garage and he would like to make some money.

The second station (Lavasa Charging Station) is setup by a giant company, who are selling real estate in a mountain town.
They are offering this as a service and are charging a nominal fee for electricity. They dont care bout making money out of this.

Am sure there will be a third category of businesses, who can offer this as a free service.

Its a mix really.

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82 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have had an electric car for two years and I only charge 2 places:

2.) Work

What's the reason for charging places in other locations?
Yep me too!

That works beautifully :)

But then modern EV's go around 100-150 km on a single charge.
Which indicates that any trip with distance above 50-75 km would induce range anxiety.

There are cool weekend spots / day trips to be made within a range of 100-200 km outside cities. We cannot go there. We cannot showcase our wonderful, efficient vehicles on these trips.

This is where community charging stations come in.
What if we surround cities with these stations setup by the EV community by talking to businesses.

Thus a map with RED dots all around cities would help existing EV owners and would also tempt more people to go for EV's as these stations would increase the range of most production/conversions EV's and thus make them more useful.

I do feel a good EV community can do more than what government and auto companies do. Thus the idea of community charging stations.

After all we need to see more EV's on the road. That must be the goal.
Making a better tomorrow by avoiding OIL.

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82 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Without really fast high power charging stations, there is still the drawback of having to wait an hour to charge your vehicle to go maybe another 20 miles, which takes less than 1/2 hour unless you are sightseeing on back roads. So if you will be spending 2/3 of your time at charging stations, it severely limits their practicality except as an emergency measure.

I see a couple of options. One is to have on-site energy storage capable of high burst power, probably in the form of battery banks or pumped water. In this way grid power can be used continuously to keep a reserve energy that can provide at least 50 amps at 240V (10kW) which can give several times the charge in the same time. If you can go 1 hour on a half-hour charge, I think that would be sufficient. For such charging stations, a premium would need be charged, of course. But the capital cost would simply be that of a medium size solar installation, maybe $2/kW, and a 100kW facility would be plenty.

Another option is to equip EVs with an auxiliary battery pack that is easily removable and replaceable, perhaps about 3.5kW per module (240V @ 15A). Charging stations could keep these charged up by drawing grid power at a constant rate and utilizing peak demand optimization. A 3.5kW module is probably the size of a suitcase and may be 50 pounds or less so it can be fairly easily handled by one person, perhaps with a simple lifting crane, and could be switched out in 5 minutes and would give 10 miles range where an equivalent charge at that rate would take an hour. Multiple packs (or larger ones) could be used. Each pack would have its own metering system to monitor usage and SOH of its cells and you would pay a differential based on the relative condition of the packs that are switched.

You can still offer a free low power charging station, but consider that people will need something to do if their charging time is greater than about 15-20 minutes.
Wow! Making a home made quick charger!
That would be a fun project.

Pumping 50 Amps @ 240V would really speed things.
What is needed to setup such a 'home made quick charging station'?
Would a Tesla Powerwall act as the battery bank and how do we make it capable of high burst power?
Am just curious.

Also 50 Amp @ 240V also wont hurt the battery as much as these CHADemo stations that powers as much as 62.5 kW maximum power (at 125 A and 500 V). Right?

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82 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for the information.

So essentially this is what i understand (Sorry am an electric noob)

Input is a 240 V, 15 Amp socket which is found in all businesses
Current Output could be boosted to 30A at 360V or 12 kW or more
A Battery pack is used to draw in extra current which facilitates high burst power

Let me know if i understand this right so far and please correct me if am wrong. Also here are some Questions.

So power chord that goes into the DC quick charge port of the Electric car is from the battery pack and not the grid, right?

This battery pack could be Lead Acid too? Or Does not have to be Li-Ion?

The grid charges the battery pack overnight or in between customer visits.
Is that right?

I like this product - JuiceBox - an Open Source Level 2 EV charging station that can charge your car at up to 15kW / 60A.
Link here - This JuiceBox Level 2 charger

How would u rate this product? No battery needed just fast charging!
The caveat is that, this achieves the high burst power from a NEMA 14-50 outlet, which is a 50 Amp, 240 V socket.

By the way, The idea of using a Heavy duty drone to offer mobile charging is wicked! :D

The charging station just signals the maximum current it can supply, while the charger in the car actually limits the charge current. Just like a simple 6A battery charger can plug into a 20A 120V socket. The charging station could have a current limiter and certainly must have some sort of overcurrent and short circuit protection in case something goes awry once the negotiation has completed and power is supplied to the car's charging connector.

Most EV battery chargers that I am familiar with can accept a DC as well as an AC voltage source. The EMW charger has a PFC front end that regulates the incoming supply to about 350 VDC, and that is ideal for most battery packs of lesser voltage, since a buck switching supply is used. The charger is essentially a switching supply similar to those used almost everywhere, and they first rectify the AC, so plugging into DC is fine, and you don't need PFC.

So, a 350 VDC battery bank at the charging station would be all that is needed, and it can be sized for the expected duty cycle of people using it. A typical charge might be 30A at 360V or 12 kW for 15-20 minutes, for about 3-4 kWh or 10-15 miles of range. If customers come in once every hour, you may need a 5 kW charge from the line, or about 20 amps at 240 VAC, for the 40 minutes between visits, so a 6 kWh pack would be sufficient (just barely). If the proprietor had his own EV with a modest 24 kWh pack, it would be plenty for a single charging station in use continuously during busy times, and then could be fully recharged overnight when there are fewer customers.

You could also have a mobile charging station in a small truck and offer road service calls (for a reasonable fee). People would have much less range anxiety if they know that a charging truck could be a phone call and 15 minutes away, almost anywhere. And the ultimate would be a heavy duty drone that could fly into remote areas to give you a "hot shot".
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