A Debate

I read in an article about electric cars describing level 1 chargers as emergency trickle chargers. This is not the case.  In many cases it is and should be the main charger for your vehicle. I would rather have multiple level one chargers than only one level two charger. Three level 1 chargers are less than the cost of one level 2 charger installed. Remember, your car sits idle over 90% of the time, this is charging time. If your employer balks at the thought of installing a $1300 level 2 charger consider just having access to a secure 120V outlet; however, if you are at the outer limit of your car’s range this is not an option because 8 hours of charging will only return about 25 miles to your range. In every case, give thoughtful consideration to your situation and environment.

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No charger here yet but maybe someday charging at every stop will be possible.

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The Pros.2

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Free power is available in many places now. Even Concord has 2 charging stations for electric vehicles in the parking deck downtown for no fee. You can go out to eat while all the range you used to get there, gets added back to your car. Most locations are level II chargers but more Level III superchargers(CHadeMo) are being added to the area every day.  There is still a deadzone between Salisbury and Chapel Hill, where there are no superchargers, so travel out of the area for short range cars like the Imiev is inconvenient. One day, I do hope to be able to make it all the way to Oxford NC in my Miev using the chademo chargers.
Many offices are offering charging stations at work, making commuting to work a business expense. Most locations are very friendly to EV drivers. Level II chargers are available at most hospitals, airports and car dealerships.

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I like having reserved parking at the deck also.

The Pros

Right now I am sitting in my car waiting for my wife. The car is on but since I am not moving I am using almost no power. If you are not moving, stuck in a traffic jam, waiting at a stop light, or just coasting down a hill, no power is being used. In fact, coasting down a hill will recharge your battery due to regenerative braking. It is an odd and wonderful thing to be going down hill and see your milage calculator increase. Everyone else driving gassers are stuck in traffic burning money.

The Downs

There are a few downsides to having an electric car, not many, but a few. In my case, the Miev does not have a charging indicator that can be seen from outside the car other than the indicator on the charge cable control box. I have plugged my car in at night only to realize the next morning that the plug was not pushed in all the way. Its very frustrating to lose 10 plus hours of charge time. Most owners also agree that not being able to tow an electic car with any wheels down is a detraction because they would be the perfect dingy to tow behind an RV. I am still trying to find a way around that one. Range is not a problem unless you make it a problem. These vehicles are not for cross country trips, don’t try. Thats pretty much it. The list of pros; however is much longer.

The twins

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These are our twin babies referred to as Raz and Blue, charging at our office. Blue came with the ChadeMo supercharger, which has only been used once  because the’re just aren’t enough superchargers around. We typically charge at work as much as possible with 16 amp chargers and top off at home using the 8 amp chargers that came with the cars. Typical gross charging is 3 miles back per hour at level one charging, high powered level
one charging at 6 miles back per hour charging. I suspect level two charging would give 10 miles per hour charge and the level 3 chademo charger approx 10 times that. It is actually scary when the car is charging on the super charger and you see the hundreds of amps being dumped into the battery. Unless you are a power company lineman, you have probably never seen anything pull 80 amps. I was impressed.

Electric Vehicles of Greater Charlotte Area

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Who am I ? What I am cannot be contained. I am an electric car owner, not a hybrid, not a plug-in hybrid, but a full fearless, range anxiety accepting, full blown, no reserve electric car owner. As such, I need you. I need infrastructure. I need understanding and acceptance. I need community, and in the small North Carolina town of Concord, I need to build that community, thus this blog and linked facebook page.

I drive a 2012 Mitsubishi I-Miev, which is one of the smaller electric cars on the market. I chose this particular car because of its utility and price. The argument that for $10,000 dollars more, I could get a leaf or other car with better performance is mute, because I did not have $10,000 more, but I wanted to be free. I wanted to be free of having to fill up the tank 3 times a week in order to pick up my kids from school, take them to their extracurricular activities, have lunch out, or go shopping around town. I calculated this car has a five year payback which coincides with a predicted 20% drop in range capacity. It has a predicted 50% range drop after 10 years, so one has to be aware that starting at a max range of 75 miles, will you still be able to use this car in 10 years with a range of only about 35 miles. I have a 3 mile commute so most days I put less than 30 miles on the car.  I love my car, I love my car and you love my car too. I take up less space on the road. I am not in your way at the gas pump, I am gone from a stop light while your car revs up to think about moving. You love parallel parking behind me because you have an extra half car length to park your car. Its all good and there is more to come later.
Check my page at http://www.facebook.com/evcharlotte