• Mar 18, 2010

SemaConnect charger - Click above for high-res gallery

Right now, most producers of electric vehicle chargers have concentrated their efforts on charging systems that can be utilized by commercial fleets, gas station franchises and city agencies. Market demands for charging systems in high-use areas such as those mentioned above have preceded demands for home users and apartment locations, but a Maryland-based company called SemaConnect is focusing on a new charging approach.

The company was founded two years ago and is employing an approach that targets both home and small business users by offering a charging system that allows owners to collect payment and profit through the use of its charger. The charger is a small, wall-mounted unit that utilizes a smart card reader to charge for access to electricity. Those who wish to use the system will secure a smart card from the owner of the system. The smart card is swiped for access and the user is assessed a predetermined monthly fee. The owner of the charging unit will be able to grant or deny access to the system.

SemaConnect estimates that owners of its charging system can easily collect $125 to $150 per month if the unit is utilized in high volume areas such as apartment dwellings. The charge for the system, including installation, will ring in around $2,500 to $3,000. The initial investment could result in a break-even time of two years with profit expected every year thereafter. Let's hope there aren't any legal issues.


[Source: Green Car Advisor]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 12 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Did some quick math on this, and if you are charging 20 cents/kwh on a 15 amp 110V circuit, you would need about 50% occupancy rate to just charge for the $125 a month. So if the charger was actually used 100% of the time, and the electricity cost 10 cents/kwn you would get the $125 month. Not a very realistic expectation that there will be an EV charging 100% of the time. I think this thing needs to be a Level 2 at a miniumum to try and recover a profit from it. Otherwise the parking spot owner is actually money ahead to just put in a free outlet and not charge for the electricity.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I think you're misreading the business model:

        "the user is assessed a predetermined monthly fee"

        So if you give away $150 worth of electricity each month (50 kWh/day), to clear $150, you need $300 in subscription fees, which might be $50/month for 6 vehicle owners, suggesting each owner uses on average 8kWh, for about 33 miles of travel each day, which is pretty reasonable. Of course the question remains whether 6 users will get an adequate level of service sharing one charge port.
      • 2 Years Ago
      For those of you interested in the economics, make sure to account for permit costs, installation and incremental demand charges (a fee some utilities charge for incremental load/kW - not kWh). Also, when estimating expected usage, it's important to consider that cars like the plug-in Toyota Prius get roughly 48MPG when running on gasoline alone, and they consume roughly 333 Watt-hours per mile when running in all-electric mode.
      • 2 Years Ago
      For those of you interested in the economics, make sure to account for permit costs, installation and incremental demand charges (a fee some utilities charge for incremental load/kW - not kWh). Also, when estimating expected usage, it's important to consider that cars like the plug-in Toyota Prius get roughly 48MPG when running on gasoline alone, and they consume roughly 333 Watt-hours per mile when running in all-electric mode.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Their website is a little light on info but it looks like these are Level 1 chargers. For the price you can get a Level 2 charger from ClipperCreek or some of the other providers.

      The market will vote on which charger is the best and how much it should cost. I wish SemaConnect good luck in that competition.
        • 4 Years Ago
        These are not chargers really... they are charge management systems. They are essentially meters that monitor the watts, allow smart card access to the outlet, provide a circuit breaker, and communicate to the server via a cellular connection.

        they can be connected to either existing 110v or 220v AC power connections.

        Remember, a EV charger is something that is internal to the car. The "charger" provides regulation of electricity to the battery to make sure it doesn't over charge.
      • 2 Years Ago
      For those of you interested in the economics, make sure to account for permit costs, installation and incremental demand charges (a fee some utilities charge for incremental load/kW - not kWh)
      • 2 Years Ago
      For those of you interested in the economics, make sure to account for permit costs, installation and incremental demand charges (a fee some utilities charge for incremental load/kW - not kWh). Also, when estimating expected usage, it's important to consider that cars like the plug-in Toyota Prius get roughly 48MPG when running on gasoline alone, and they consume roughly 333 Watt-hours per mile when running in all-electric mode.
      • 2 Years Ago
      For those of you interested in the economics, make sure to account for permit costs, installation and incremental demand charges (a fee some utilities charge for incremental load/kW - not kWh)
      • 4 Years Ago
      Using only the money we spent on foreign oil in the month of January alone ($27.5 Billion) we can have 68,500 EV fast charging stations each capable of charging 16 cars at a time. We're talking the top of the line Coloumb Technology $50,000 chargers that can recharge an electric vehicle in 15 minutes from 0 to 80 percent. 68,500 stations, that's one every 3 miles over the entire interstate and national highway system.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Oops! Each Coloumb Tech charger can recharge 2 electric vehicles at a time. They are Level 3 fast chargers.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Look David Martin, they found a way to make a profit from a charger. Of course I have not looked at the numbers, the article says you can make a profit. Quit ruining it by running the numbers, you guys above.