kirkhilles
Posts: 44
Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2017 10:53 am
Delivery Date: 19 Aug 2017
Leaf Number: 022214

Charging at Work - Your Experience/Setup

Tue Oct 03, 2017 4:53 am

Hi, I've had my Leaf about a month now and have enough range during warmer weather to go to and from work with 11 miles remaining. Its crazy that my car sits near power for 8 hours while it slowly drains and winter time will likely push it to where I don't have enough power to get to and from home.

What is everyone's work charging situation? What happened the first time? Did you ask your boss? What did he/she say? Were dedicated L2 stations setup? Are you hooking up to an outside outlet?

I asked my boss about it the other day and given the fact that while he acts all nice and is "just one of the guys", he really has zero interest in anything that doesn't benefit HIM. Since there's no tax breaks or bragging factor for him, he pretty much dismissed me and said things like:

"Don't you have enough range to get to and from work???"

I also suggested that there's a parking deck (where we used to park) where for $60/month (would be thrilled if he could even be willing to chip in $20/month just as a goodwill gesture). I could park there and there's a Chargepoint station there. Well, again, he not only didn't care but had to show off his "boss" skills and so said "there's nothing we can do". Thanks Boss. How much money am I generating for the company again?

Well, you know what? This is IMPORTANT to me, so this morning I'm going to do things MY way. I bought a 10 gauge, quality 50 foot extension cord and I'm going to hook up to one of our outlets and drop the cord out the window to some parking spots in the garage beneath and charge it on my own. I'll offer to pay any extra power costs. He won't be happy about it, but you know what? This is important to me and its not like I'm demanding that he setup a $10k+ charging station.

What's your story and/or situation?
2012 Leaf SV w/ 35k miles
MyEVStats.com

pyromancy5
Posts: 71
Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2017 6:17 pm
Delivery Date: 01 Apr 2017

Re: Charging at Work - Your Experience/Setup

Tue Oct 03, 2017 5:25 am

I work for a research institute that is part of and shares a campus with a children's hospital. We have 12,000 employees in the organization, but only 1,200 in research. We have only a handful of EV drivers and a few more plug-in hybrids. We have one Eaton charger in a research parking lot and an outlook calendar for users to book a slot for 4 up to hours at a time. The problem is that other parking is so remote, and the lot with the charger is close. EV drivers have access to this lot, but ONLY for the time they are charging. This makes charging at work a pain because you have to move your car in the middle of the day on or off the charger, then go park elsewhere and walk back. It has been here for 5 years now, and is pretty unreliable. It errors out a lot, but it's free.

We have a new garage, but they did not install chargers. Adding this infrastructure after the fact has been determined too expensive. Another garage is being built next year, and it will have 6 chargers with the ability to expand to 10 chargers as demand grows. I see this trend continuing for all future garages on our campus. I'm hoping they will be free. 8 hours of usage on 10 chargers would add up to less than $13,000 a year in electricity. The don't like "giving away free gas". These will probably be ChargePoint, and will have some sort of charge-back to the company. When they sign the contract, I expect that Eaton charger to be swapped out too. No more free charging at work.

If I want to charge at work now, I park in front of a wall outlet in the garage at work and trickle charge throughout the day. Over the course of an 8 hour work day, I get about 40 miles. - I have not asked about this, though I don't do it frequently enough that it bothers me. Once a month maybe. Its about 40 cents in electricity. If an when they establish a pay system, I would stop. At this point, I'd rather not open that flood gate for fear the answer would be no. :?

Do you have outlets in the garage?

SageBrush
Posts: 1241
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 2:28 am
Delivery Date: 13 Feb 2017
Location: Colorado

Re: Charging at Work - Your Experience/Setup

Tue Oct 03, 2017 6:35 am

I am not a fan of extension cords. Too much risk of someone tripping on it and hurting themselves, or pulling the cord enough to cause problems at the connection and causing a fire risk. There is also the problem of repetitive use of the connector and socket, and water entering the connector outside.
2013 Model 'S' with QC & rear-view camera
Bought off-lease Jan 2017 from N. California with 63.9 Ahr after 22k miles
Car is now enjoying an easy life in Colorado

kirkhilles
Posts: 44
Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2017 10:53 am
Delivery Date: 19 Aug 2017
Leaf Number: 022214

Re: Charging at Work - Your Experience/Setup

Tue Oct 03, 2017 7:18 am

SageBrush wrote:I am not a fan of extension cords. Too much risk of someone tripping on it and hurting themselves, or pulling the cord enough to cause problems at the connection and causing a fire risk. There is also the problem of repetitive use of the connector and socket, and water entering the connector outside.


Well, honestly, there's always going to be some form of a risk especially when you look at all Leaf owners many of whom charge in extreme heat as well as others that are in extreme cold. Doing the "ideal" situation of having an L2 charger at home and keeping it charged up to 80%, etc, etc isn't always feasible and definitely IS NOT for older Leafs like mine.

I'm certainly no electrician, but from my understanding, it's completely safe to have a 15 amp breaker at home running 100 feet to an outlet using 14 gauge Romex wire, so having a huge insulated 10 gauge extension cord at 50 feet should be reasonable. For me, it'll be plugged on one end inside and the other will go down along a wall in between 2 buildings and under cover going around the back and won't be in any walking areas.

That's about all I/we can do.
2012 Leaf SV w/ 35k miles
MyEVStats.com

seonachan
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2017 9:06 pm
Leaf Number: 314779
Location: Western Mass

Re: Charging at Work - Your Experience/Setup

Tue Oct 03, 2017 7:37 am

I work at a small college and we have a free charging station with 2 L2 chargers, which is pretty great. When I got my Leaf this summer I was the primary user; once in a while I'd see another car, always a PHEV (Volt, etc).

Now that the semester has started, there's real competition. There's another Leaf, and 3 or 4 PHEVs. Both chargers are occupied most of the time. The campus green initiative folks made up some signs for people to leave on the dash, saying when they'll be done charging, and inviting EV owners to unplug them after that. Ideally, those who are plugged in should move their cars after 2-3 hours but the realities of a full teaching schedule often make that difficult. There is room on either side of both charging spots, but neither of them are "legal" (one is on pavement with yellow zebra stripes, the other is on grass). I've already pulled up on the grass to plug in a couple times - no ticket but I don't know how far I could push my luck. We are currently asking the college to make those spots legit, but even then I can see the need for more chargers in the future.

Still, it's hard to complain about free L2 charging at work. In a pinch there's also a supermarket down the road with both L2 and CHAdeMO.
2015 S w/QC

kirkhilles
Posts: 44
Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2017 10:53 am
Delivery Date: 19 Aug 2017
Leaf Number: 022214

Re: Charging at Work - Your Experience/Setup

Tue Oct 03, 2017 8:06 am

seonachan wrote:I work at a small college and we have a free charging station with 2 L2 chargers, which is pretty great. When I got my Leaf this summer I was the primary user; once in a while I'd see another car, always a PHEV (Volt, etc).

Now that the semester has started, there's real competition. There's another Leaf, and 3 or 4 PHEVs. Both chargers are occupied most of the time. The campus green initiative folks made up some signs for people to leave on the dash, saying when they'll be done charging, and inviting EV owners to unplug them after that. Ideally, those who are plugged in should move their cars after 2-3 hours but the realities of a full teaching schedule often make that difficult. There is room on either side of both charging spots, but neither of them are "legal" (one is on pavement with yellow zebra stripes, the other is on grass). I've already pulled up on the grass to plug in a couple times - no ticket but I don't know how far I could push my luck. We are currently asking the college to make those spots legit, but even then I can see the need for more chargers in the future.

Still, it's hard to complain about free L2 charging at work. In a pinch there's also a supermarket down the road with both L2 and CHAdeMO.


It'd be cool if they had secondary charging cables, so that 4 people could connect to a charger (presuming there's room) and have the charging station split the power evenly or rotate after X number of hours.

My problem here in Chattanooga, TN is this. You go to ChargePoint and see like 30 chargers around and it's like "oh wow, awesome", but then you break down into it and see:

1) Stations at Hotels for Hotel Guests only
2) Stations at Parking Garages where it might cost you $7 to park there to get your "free" power
3) Stations at Restaurants where they unofficially require it to be customers only
4) Stations where EV spaces aren't enforced and taken up by ICE vehicles

And then, to top it all off, you have the "initiatives" that absorb a number of spots. So, for instance, there's "6 spots" available in a public parking area. Sweet, right? Except that 4 of them are reserved for some Sharing program. In a parking garage there's 2 spots, but only one for public use.

There's only a few truly free spots and not even many Blink pay charging spots available for public use. Grr.
2012 Leaf SV w/ 35k miles
MyEVStats.com

jim0266
Posts: 38
Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2017 10:14 am
Delivery Date: 17 Mar 2017
Leaf Number: 330446
Location: Akron, Oh

Re: Charging at Work - Your Experience/Setup

Tue Oct 03, 2017 8:20 am

I work at a hospital with about $7K employees. In a newer parking garage they installed 3 L2 GE WattStations. They are in an area not open to the public. Forward thinking on our orgs part to be green.

Currently only three of us charging. A few months ago there were 5 of us. We installed a dry erase board to leave notes about charging status, when okay to unplug, etc and we left our cell #'s to text if needed.

It costs $11.50 a week to park in the garage. Work is only 4 miles from home, so it's hard to make back that $11.50 a week in free electricity. That the same cost for any employee who parks in one of our garages. Our company seems open to adding more chargers should more people request them and the need arises. I would argue that even if they provided L1 outlets that would be good over 8 hours and cheap to provide. Most days I only charge for an hour or so to get back 25-30 miles of range, which I would get back over 8 hours on L1.

RonDawg
Posts: 2686
Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2013 3:46 am
Delivery Date: 11 Jan 2013
Leaf Number: 027089
Location: SoCal

Re: Charging at Work - Your Experience/Setup

Tue Oct 03, 2017 8:23 am

kirkhilles wrote:Well, you know what? This is IMPORTANT to me, so this morning I'm going to do things MY way. I bought a 10 gauge, quality 50 foot extension cord and I'm going to hook up to one of our outlets and drop the cord out the window to some parking spots in the garage beneath and charge it on my own. I'll offer to pay any extra power costs. He won't be happy about it, but you know what? This is important to me and its not like I'm demanding that he setup a $10k+ charging station.


Unless you're in a kind of job where it's difficult to fire you, I would be VERY careful about doing this. It's been a few years, but someone here posted that they were FIRED for plugging into the work outlets without permission....and that's without using an extension cord, which presents hazards of its own (trip hazard, overheating, etc.). Others have gotten nasty-grams from their supervisors/bosses.

$60/month to use a parking lot with a charging station seems like cheap employment insurance to me.
Blue Ocean 2012 Leaf SV, lost that 1st bar on 11/21/2015 at 26,435 miles.
Lease returned on 12/23/2015. Final LeafStat figures: 225 Gids, 17.44 kWH, SOC 91.89%, SOH 82.36%, 69.49% HX, 54.57 Ahr, battery temp 61.8 F
Now driving a 2015 VW eGolf SEL

SageBrush
Posts: 1241
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 2:28 am
Delivery Date: 13 Feb 2017
Location: Colorado

Re: Charging at Work - Your Experience/Setup

Tue Oct 03, 2017 9:19 am

kirkhilles wrote:I'm certainly no electrician, but from my understanding, it's completely safe to have a 15 amp breaker at home running 100 feet to an outlet using 14 gauge Romex wire, so having a huge insulated 10 gauge extension cord at 50 feet should be reasonable. For me, it'll be plugged on one end inside and the other will go down along a wall in between 2 buildings and under cover going around the back and won't be in any walking areas.

That's about all I/we can do.

A couple of 'gotchas' to be aware of:

1. wire ratings may not be for continuous use
2. the weak link in extension cords is not usually the wire but the connectors ... which can have quite variable quality and are not rated for frequent use.

fwiw ... I am obviously a fan of plug-ins, but if I was your boss I would not let you use your extension cord setup. My workplace has also refused to let me use a 120v socket with my mobile EVSE so I feel your pain. Co-workers who live nearby offered me the option of running an extension cord into their homes but I thanked them and declined. I'm just not willing to take a fire risk.

My advice: find another solution
2013 Model 'S' with QC & rear-view camera
Bought off-lease Jan 2017 from N. California with 63.9 Ahr after 22k miles
Car is now enjoying an easy life in Colorado

alozzy
Posts: 627
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2017 4:25 pm
Delivery Date: 18 Jan 2017
Location: Vancouver, BC
Contact: Website

Re: Charging at Work - Your Experience/Setup

Tue Oct 03, 2017 11:10 am

Vancouver, CA owner of a 2013 Ocean Blue SV + QC, purchased 01/2017 in WA
Zencar 12/20/24/30A L1/L2 portable EVSE
1-1/4" Curt #11396 hitch
After market, DIY LED DRLs
LeafSpy Pro + Konnwei KW902 ELM327 BT OBDII dongle
Loving my first BEV :D

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