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Discussion Starter #1
I've had an interesting development in my EV driving life. My workplace is now starting construction to upgrade our parking lot and facilities, and one of the first casualties are the EV chargers. Starting Monday, I will no longer have access to L2 charging at work for at least three to four months. For many EV owners, this wouldn't be an issue because most people have access to charging at home. However, I live in an apartment, so I have no charging at home.

For many prospective (or existing) EV owners, this is a worst-case scenario. Now, for me, I'm looking at it as an opportunity to see just what the lifestyle impact is. People have already been asking on my video blog about how much time I have to waste charging because I don't have access to charging at home. With work charging, that number is actually zero. Now, however, things will change. I won't know exactly what the time impact will be yet, but I will be tracking the sacrifices I have to make.

I do expect to have to make some changes. Ironically, many of the changes I will have to make are to drive similarly to the way I did when I had my Volt. In particular:

  • I will have to start opportunity charging more. With the Bolt EV and work charging, I never even consider this. My grocery story has a nearby CCS charger, which I rarely use, but now I will likely be using it two or three days a week when I do my shopping.
  • I will start to plan my routes differently. With the Bolt EV and work charging, I was a bit more loose and free about the routes I drive (particularly to work). Now, I'll need to go back to driving the route that typically allowed me to drive back and forth to work on a single charge in the Volt.
  • I will likely need to make stops for no reason other than to refuel. I had to do this with my Volt at least weekly due to the number of miles I drive, but I only ever had to do so with my Bolt EV when I was away from home on long trips. Luckily, because I am recording my public charging events, I won't really be "wasting" too much of my time.
One thing to note is that (other than the distances I drive) this change would be doable in most EVs, but it would have significantly more impact on my lifestyle. To the point about distances I drive, really only Teslas and the Bolt EV can handle that, as I typically drive 600 miles or more a week. By route selection, I will be able to increase my efficiency (lifetime is only about 3.6 mi/kWh due to ~80% driving at ~70 mph), and I should be able to reduce my weekly miles driven to ~500 miles.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Wow. Sounds like you will need to get creative and maybe get some exercise. If there a public charger, preferably free, within 2 miles of work or home? If so, buy a $100 folding bicycle and keep it in your Bolt. https://www.amazon.com/GTM-Foldable-Bicycle-Folding-Shimano/dp/B01N2HJMG3/ref=sr_1_5?s=outdoor-recreation&ie=UTF8&qid=1491674728&sr=1-5&keywords=Folding+Bicycle
I'll be taking a slightly different strategy. Because of the number of long trips I take, I have a full EVgo membership and ChargePoint membership. I'll also be looking to get a GreenLots membership. All of my weekly driving was supported by five 4-5 hour charging sessions at work, so I should be able to offset all of those sessions with five 30-minute DCFC sessions. So worst-case scenario for me would be losing about one hour, but I don't know that even that would happen because I often stop for dinner at on nights following some of my longer drives.
 

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So are there no other PlugShare spots within walking distance from work or home? It seems that a dcfc charger near shopping might be your only option left. Either that to doing a car swap with someone until the EVSE situation gets resolved. Wanna trade a bolt for a volt?
 

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Can you get access to a good old fashioned 15A plug at work for the duration of the work on the existing charging hardware?

Yes, I know on a Bolt it's probably a slow arduous process charging at 12A, but hey, any miles are good miles, right?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
So are there no other PlugShare spots within walking distance from work or home? It seems that a dcfc charger near shopping might be your only option left. Either that to doing a car swap with someone until the EVSE situation gets resolved. Wanna trade a bolt for a volt?
Heh. I have a Volt that I could fall back on (I could let my mom use the Bolt EV for a few months), but I'll reserve that for a last resort.

Technically, I do have several charging spots that are walking distance (less than one mile) from home or work, but from a financial standpoint, that wouldn't be reasonable. The Bolt EV will take 8 to 9 hours to fully charge on L2, and most of those chargers cost $1 per hour. On DCFC, I'm paying $0.10 a minute, and I can recharge 22 kWh for $3. So I save both time and money.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Can you get access to a good old fashioned 15A plug at work for the duration of the work on the existing charging hardware?

Yes, I know on a Bolt it's probably a slow arduous process charging at 12A, but hey, any miles are good miles, right?
If I could, then others should be able to access it as well. I already feel bad for my coworkers with small-battery BEVs who are now no longer going to be able to drive them to work (e-Golf, Leaf, and 500e), so with limited plugs, I'd let them have access first.
 

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Heh. I have a Volt that I could fall back on (I could let my mom use the Bolt EV for a few months), but I'll reserve that for a last resort.

Technically, I do have several charging spots that are walking distance (less than one mile) from home or work, but from a financial standpoint, that wouldn't be reasonable. The Bolt EV will take 8 to 9 hours to fully charge on L2, and most of those chargers cost $1 per hour. On DCFC, I'm paying $0.10 a minute, and I can recharge 22 kWh for $3. So I save both time and money.
At some point I'll be paying $2 per hour to charge my volt battery at a pair of chargepoints near my office, and I'm not going to worry about the cost. But that's after the mortgage is paid off and I have no payments in the world. Until that point I'm taking that $160 per month and chucking it at the house.
 

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If I could, then others should be able to access it as well. I already feel bad for my coworkers with small-battery BEVs who are now no longer going to be able to drive them to work (e-Golf, Leaf, and 500e), so with limited plugs, I'd let them have access first.
If these other drivers have charging at home, I wouldn't worry about reserving them access unless their driving distance requires a full charge to get home.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Are the plugs gone for good, or are they coming back when the construction finishes?
Ultimately, they will be increasing the number of plugs from two to eight, but that will likely take at least four months. So not long term, but long enough to track the effects on a Bolt EV owner.

At some point I'll be paying $2 per hour to charge my volt battery at a pair of chargepoints near my office, and I'm not going to worry about the cost. But that's after the mortgage is paid off and I have no payments in the world. Until that point I'm taking that $160 per month and chucking it at the house.
For me, it's not so much the cost as it is the time and convenience.

If these other drivers have charging at home, I wouldn't worry about reserving them access unless their driving distance requires a full charge to get home.
I think they all struggle to make it back and forth to work. I know the Leaf owner for sure cannot because she has to leave her Leaf at home on cold or rainy days.
 

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Any chance of striking a deal with a local homeowner near your apartment to give you electrical access/parking there somehow? Even if it's just Level 1, can you get enough miles to sustain yourself, assuming the occasional faster charge elsewhere?

Obviously they'd probably want to be paid for the electricity, but hey, you never know.

There's absolutely positively no way of getting access to a 15a plug at your apartment? I know that not using an extension cord for the EVSE is one of those cardinal rules of EV's, but reality is....if you buy a big enough (IE, expensive enough) extension cord that will safely carry 12-13A continuous, could you work L1 at home somehow even if it meant running a cord from the building somehow?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I could try do some of those things, but I'm not sure they would be worth my time. And having 120 V charging wouldn't come close to meeting my driving needs. The amount I could charge over the course of two days (say 10 hours a night) would be roughly equivalent to what I could recharge in 30 minutes on DCFC.
 

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I would see it as a perfect opportunity to trade the Bolt in for a gas car. But hey, that's just me. Have fun!
Not for only a few months of this experiment. If the no charging issue was permanent, I'd see this as a perfect opportunity to trade in the apartment for one that allows charging or a house where you can install your own EVSE.. But the crazy high housing prices in California definitely makes this a much harder proposition.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Not for only a few months of this experiment. If the no charging issue was permanent, I'd see this as a perfect opportunity to trade in the apartment for one that allows charging or a house where you can install your own EVSE.. But the crazy high housing prices in California definitely makes this a much harder proposition.
Yeah. Part of what I am hoping to see is how this effects someone with no other options. Many EV drivers are already having to make a number of sacrifices in their daily lives, but issues like this can be a make-or-break for EV uptake.
 

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Technically, I do have several charging spots that are walking distance (less than one mile) from home or work, but from a financial standpoint, that wouldn't be reasonable. The Bolt EV will take 8 to 9 hours to fully charge on L2, and most of those chargers cost $1 per hour. On DCFC, I'm paying $0.10 a minute, and I can recharge 22 kWh for $3. So I save both time and money.
And even faster if the charger is big enough and the battery is low enough. The Bolt will take 45kw if you're starting from about a quarter charge or less, and 30 minutes of grocery run will add 60+ miles during that time. And you'll be able to pick what you want for dinner that day.
 

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I'm an impulsive buyer, but not having home charging would have been a deal breaker for me.

OTOH, I have free 110v charging in my garage every night in my apartment.

Seriously, no garages available in your apartment?
 

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Would be great if a DCFC was near a gym to get a workout in while charging...
 

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I'm an impulsive buyer, but not having home charging would have been a deal breaker for me.

OTOH, I have free 110v charging in my garage every night in my apartment.

Seriously, no garages available in your apartment?
Most apartment complexes here in CA have carports or just open parking lots. Generally garages, if available are limited to first come availability and may or may not have incoming power, which is generally paid for by the complex rather than connected to the tenants meter. I'm fortunate to have a 220 line and park directly in front of my door making charging a realistic option.
 
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