• Feb 6, 2011
EV charging for apartment dwellers is a challenge. Click above to watch video after the jump.

Recently, we got an email from a reader named Bernadine asking about apartment dwellers charging their plug-in cars. She wrote:
I would like to see Autoblog contact, address, and consider how would apartment dwellers fit in the scheme of things by the manufacturers of "green" vehicles. I am quite sure there are others, like myself, who would love to purchase or get in line to order such vehicles. However, we do not have garages or nearby outlets that we can access to charge our vehicles, once purchased. Are there any projects in place that will address the needs of apartment dwellers? Will our local gas stations be transformed into electric stations?
Turns out, Bernadine isn't the only one thinking about this particular issue. We covered it in some depth about a year ago in this Greenlings article, which noted that, in 2009, Mitsubishi helped develop an electric vehicle charging system for apartment buildings in Japan. More recently, our friend Paul Scott and Santa Monica Nissan did a presentation very subject at a local library. The panelists included people with deep knowledge of EVSEs, permitting and other related issues. You can watch a well-edited video of that event provided by Plug In America after the jump.

Lastly, we have some news about charging for people without a garage or a dedicated parking space. A company called 350Green is bringing a fast EV charging station network to the U.S. that is designed specifically for this type of plug-in driver. The network is made up of DC fast chargers that will be installed at "select, high-traffic retail locations" in six cities in the Bay Area. Find more details in the press release on the other side of the jump.

[Sources: Plug In America, 350Green]




Show full PR text
350Green Announces Plans for National Network of Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

Network will make EV ownership possible for residents who don't have home garage charging, and more convenient for those who do

SAN FRANCISCO (February 1, 2011) – 350Green (www.350green.com), announced its plans today for a national network of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. Starting with its first project in the San Francisco Bay Area, the company plans to install and operate stations across urban retail shopping centers and other places near where EV drivers live and work. This approach aims to address two of the most vexing challenges facing widespread adoption of EVs: range anxiety and access to a garage for overnight charging.

"Most of the early focus around EV infrastructure has been on putting charging stations in the home garages of customers, which is great if you have a garage. But since many residents in cities don't have access to a garage, this effectively limits the number of people who can participate in the EV revolution," said Mariana Gerzanych, 350Green's founder and CEO. "Because our public charging stations with fast chargers will be widely and conveniently located near where residents live and work, EV ownership will suddenly become an option for all, regardless of whether they have access to charging in a personal garage."

The Bay Area project is funded in part by a grant from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) as part of its "Spare the Air" program, which also aims to make owning an electric vehicle in the Bay Area a viable option for residents.

"As part of protecting the air quality in the Bay Area, we're committed to making electric vehicle technology available to all," said Jack Broadbent, executive officer of the Bay Area Air District. "Adding to our electric vehicle charging infrastructure will make it easier for Bay Area residents to Spare the Air every day by going electric."

350Green will build and operate fast charging station plazas in six cities around the area: Albany, Menlo Park, Milbrae, Palo Alto, San Francisco, and Sunnyvale. All of the plazas will be installed in the parking lots of select, high-traffic retail locations, at no cost to the host location.

According to the BAAQMD, the transportation sector accounts for more than 50 percent of air pollution in the Bay Area. Significant emission reductions from the transportation sector will help the Bay Area attain and maintain state and national air quality standards.

Production numbers from EV automakers project approximately one million EVs on US roads by 2015, and possibly 27 million (or 10 percent of all vehicles in the US) by 2020. In the Bay Area, the percentages are even higher: there may be almost 400,000 EVs on the road in the Bay Area by 2020 – or 12 percent of all the area's vehicles.

350Green will announce specific locations in the coming weeks, and construction, operation and management of its Bay Area network of direct-current (DC) fast chargers and Level 2 chargers will be complete by June 2012. Additional markets around the country in which 350Green will build networks will be determined in collaboration with the company's city and state partners, as well as stakeholders in the various communities.

350Green's innovative technology and strategic approach enables its municipal partners to meet the demand for regional EV charging by creating a private-public partnership. As a project developer, 350Green creates customized programs that feature best-of-class technology that meets the needs of each project.

About 350Green
350Green is a project developer that designs, builds and operates scalable networks of plug-in electric vehicle (EV) charging stations across the US. The company distributes its stations at select, high-traffic retail shopping centers and other places near where EV drivers live and work, to create the most expansive and convenient network of EV charging locations. More information on 350Green and its projects can be found at its website: www.350green.com.

PANEL ON ELECTRIC CAR CHARGING FOR MULTIFAMILY HOUSING

Industry Experts Offer Immediate Solutions & Suggestions for Progress

MEDIA: VIDEO OF THE PANEL WILL BE POSTED ON WWW.PLUGINAMERICA.ORG BY 2/1/2011, 8 A.M. PST

SANTA MONICA, CA, Jan. 14, 2011--How can condo and apartment dwellers charge their electric cars without a home garage? To answer the question, Santa Monica Nissan will present a free public panel about Electric Vehicle (EV) charging for multifamily housing residents on Monday, Jan. 31, 6:30-9 p.m., at Santa Monica Public Library, Main Branch.

Only last month, in a historic transformation of the transportation industry, Nissan began to deliver the first mass-marketed EV, its all-electric LEAF. Homeowners who purchased or leased the cars are having chargers installed in their garages. But policies and practices for installing these high voltage chargers in multi-family dwellings are just now evolving nationwide.

"I get questions about this almost daily," says Paul Scott, a national EV expert who sells the LEAF at Santa Monica Nissan. "Our panel will provide immediate solutions to some of the challenges surrounding charging options for multifamily housing residents and offer suggestions for progress going forward."

Panelists will include representatives from Southern California Edison, The City of Santa Monica Building and Safety Division, and Clean Fuel Connection, Inc., an EV charging-infrastructure company. Independent EV-charger installer William Korthof, who, like Scott, has driven an EV for years, will also participate. Scott, a co-founder of Plug In America, the nation's leading EV advocacy organization, will moderate.


Show full PR text
350Green Announces Plans for National Network of Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

Network will make EV ownership possible for residents who don't have home garage charging, and more convenient for those who do

SAN FRANCISCO (February 1, 2011) – 350Green (www.350green.com), announced its plans today for a national network of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. Starting with its first project in the San Francisco Bay Area, the company plans to install and operate stations across urban retail shopping centers and other places near where EV drivers live and work. This approach aims to address two of the most vexing challenges facing widespread adoption of EVs: range anxiety and access to a garage for overnight charging.

"Most of the early focus around EV infrastructure has been on putting charging stations in the home garages of customers, which is great if you have a garage. But since many residents in cities don't have access to a garage, this effectively limits the number of people who can participate in the EV revolution," said Mariana Gerzanych, 350Green's founder and CEO. "Because our public charging stations with fast chargers will be widely and conveniently located near where residents live and work, EV ownership will suddenly become an option for all, regardless of whether they have access to charging in a personal garage."

The Bay Area project is funded in part by a grant from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) as part of its "Spare the Air" program, which also aims to make owning an electric vehicle in the Bay Area a viable option for residents.

"As part of protecting the air quality in the Bay Area, we're committed to making electric vehicle technology available to all," said Jack Broadbent, executive officer of the Bay Area Air District. "Adding to our electric vehicle charging infrastructure will make it easier for Bay Area residents to Spare the Air every day by going electric."

350Green will build and operate fast charging station plazas in six cities around the area: Albany, Menlo Park, Milbrae, Palo Alto, San Francisco, and Sunnyvale. All of the plazas will be installed in the parking lots of select, high-traffic retail locations, at no cost to the host location.

According to the BAAQMD, the transportation sector accounts for more than 50 percent of air pollution in the Bay Area. Significant emission reductions from the transportation sector will help the Bay Area attain and maintain state and national air quality standards.

Production numbers from EV automakers project approximately one million EVs on US roads by 2015, and possibly 27 million (or 10 percent of all vehicles in the US) by 2020. In the Bay Area, the percentages are even higher: there may be almost 400,000 EVs on the road in the Bay Area by 2020 – or 12 percent of all the area's vehicles.

350Green will announce specific locations in the coming weeks, and construction, operation and management of its Bay Area network of direct-current (DC) fast chargers and Level 2 chargers will be complete by June 2012. Additional markets around the country in which 350Green will build networks will be determined in collaboration with the company's city and state partners, as well as stakeholders in the various communities.

350Green's innovative technology and strategic approach enables its municipal partners to meet the demand for regional EV charging by creating a private-public partnership. As a project developer, 350Green creates customized programs that feature best-of-class technology that meets the needs of each project.

About 350Green
350Green is a project developer that designs, builds and operates scalable networks of plug-in electric vehicle (EV) charging stations across the US. The company distributes its stations at select, high-traffic retail shopping centers and other places near where EV drivers live and work, to create the most expansive and convenient network of EV charging locations. More information on 350Green and its projects can be found at its website: www.350green.com.


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  • 28 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      From strictly a business-risk perspective, apartment dwellers are not a key target of these companies. Why?

      Renting normally indicates a lower credit score, lower income, and other non-desirable attributes of the individual renting.

      For electric vehicles, the manufacturers want the highest-quality owners - those who will pay their bills for the period of the purchase or lease - as to not have Chevy Volts re-possessed mid-stream.

      With that said, creating a public charging point is a potential recipe for disaster (vandalism, etc.).
        • 3 Years Ago
        In NYC, to rent an apartment, typically you have to earn 40x the monthly per year. For a average two bedroom (less than 800 sq. ft.) you are looking at over $3000. in Manhattan per month That's comes out to $120K per year and from multiple applicants per apartment, the owner usually goes for the one with the highest credit score. There is usually no reliable parking spot waiting for you, so sometimes you pay for a garage on the days you don't find. At $20 or more a pop that adds up. And if you do have a monthly garage in a "quality" area, that's $400 or $500 a month. There are apartments in Manhattan that rent for over $10,000 a month. Theses are not complaints, just the conditions. Hardly a customer that car manufacturers don't want. From a business perspective, ev's are an evolving product that for now has a narrow buyers profile. A public charging point is the only way ev sales will go past a certain point. If not, than ev owners can only travel within the range of the home charger and ev's will only be sold to buyers who can charge it themselves. That means that not everyone can buy one, regardless of income or "quality" of person. A little less prejudice and a little more awareness, please.
      • 3 Years Ago
      this was also a problem with my old '83 240D. It needed to be plugged in during the colder months to keep the block heater going and stop the diesel from turning to gelatin. It just wasn't practical once I took an apartment rather than a house.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Would it surprise you to know that every apartment I've ever lived in (there have been too many to count) has come with plug-in parking? Just got back from my bank...plug-in parking available. At work...you guessed it, plug-in parking there too. Virtually every motel, hotel in my area (there are many as I live in a tourist town) has plug-in parking. As a matter of course, outdoor parking plug-ins (albeit 110V) have been designed into most buildings around here for probably a 1/2 century.
      So do I live in some utopian EV universe?...possibly. I live in Western Canada, producers of excess power, existing plug-in infrastructure and possibly the last place EV's will be rolled out by the manufacturers. If they only knew the future is now (well maybe not in winter)…here.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Electric vehicles are not for everyone. Period. That is the message that Nissan and Ford have stated over and over again.

      However, this issue is more simple than the media is making it out to be, by focusing on small number of 'street parkers' instead of the vast majority of home, apartment/condo dwellers who have a designated parking space, garage or parking lot.

      Installing charging stations in designated areas for EV drivers in both apartment parking lots/structures and condo lots/structures, resolves the issue for the vast majority of potential EV drivers.

      Companies installing charging stations for EV driving employees in their parking lots/parking structures, will benefit both the EV driver with home charging, along with those street parkers who can charge while at work for 8+hours a day. Companies can offer weekend charging for employees also. The benefit for the employer is that if the employee is charging at work on a daily basis, they are more likely to show up for work.

      For the remaining lower number of street parkers without charging at home/apartment, and without charging at work, a EV is just not practical for them. Buy a Hybrid instead.

      This ongoing conversation is like constantly complaining that you can't ride your bike to work because the office is too far away, instead of realizing that you either need to move closer, or drive to work.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Love the technology and the possibility that I might take advantage of it. But, building the infrastructure to accomodate electric vehicles is not going to occur overnight. It's all well and good that major cities are putting charging stations in locations to accomodate these types of car. But for those of us who live in locations that will be last-on-the-list, it will be literally y-e-a-r-s before any of us should even consider an electric car. I'm guessing ten at the earliest (I live in a small town in northern Mississippi).
        • 3 Years Ago
        If you drive less than 100 miles a day,(which would be the qualification that makes an EV a practical purchase no matter how many charging stations there are on the planet), couldn't you just install a charger at home and charge there?
      • 3 Years Ago
      I live in Canada. It's cold enough here in Calgary that most outdoor residential parking lots have electrical outlets at each spot so you can plug in a block heater when it gets too cold.

      On the downside, I wonder how the batteries are going to perform in winter. I know hybrids lose most of their MPG advantage in cold weather.
      • 3 Years Ago
      You sound like a pretty agreeable person, so you'll probably have tons of friends at your house every night trying to bum a charge...

      But more seriously, it doesn't seem that hard to install charging stations with micro-payments, either a credit card swiper or even a cell-phone text-based charging system (have a pin number on the charger, it verifies it's hooked up and locked, and then you tell it to GO and it starts charging your vehicle). I don't know why you're so worried about freeloaders.

      And fuel cell vehicles require hydrogen...which is 99% sourced from natural gas...making it less efficient than just running cars on natural gas (and I have no idea why we don't run more cars on natural gas given that we have huge domestic reserves and are now exporting it to other countries as LNG).
        • 3 Years Ago
        supposed to be @wasabi. Autoblog fail.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I guess a 100 years back when people were transitioning from horse carriages to automobiles there were similar concerns about gasoline stations and refueling.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Open your window an inch, place a 2x4 in the track (to prevent outsiders from opening the window), feed the extension cord out the window, and plug it in your car.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Sorry Miss, you can't afford an EV if you live in an Apt. = P
      • 3 Years Ago
      I have a better suggestion. Buy a Jetta TDI. Screw Hybrids plug in or otherwise!

      Thank you, have a nice day, please come again.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Fine if you drive mostly on the highway. Those of us who spend all day in bumper-to-bumper moving 5mph would probably do better with electrons.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Ford showed at the Detroit Auto Show how the C-Max Energi and C-Max Hybrid address this issue... if you have a garage (protected charging device), get the C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid... if you live in a city with street-side type parking - get the C-Max Hybrid - both very hi-mileage vehicles...

      I would predict that any "unprotected" charging device is going to be a "prime" rip-off target for thieves based on the price and potential black market resale value.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Ford rocks and is a very forward thinking company... Thanks for the mention of the plug-in and hybrid choices...

        Will other companies please step forward like Ford?
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