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Cards, Tokens and Keyfobs for public charging stations
June 1, 2014
1:06 pm
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Marc
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Though a credit card works for most stations (except Greenlots I think), for those interested here is a list of what is available and where to obtain cards, tokens and keyfobs for public charging stations (alternatively, I've been told that you can phone the individual companies and they will dial in and allow you to use their charger):

 

Greenlots (1-888-751-8560): 

I believe all fast chargers in BC to this point are from Greenlots.  You can use these by downloading a Greenlots app to your iOS or Android phone.  Alternatively you can get their RFID token by going to this site:

https://charge.greenlots.com/greenlots/login.jsf

Then once at the site, register, click on profile, then click on "order RFID" and confirm your mailing address.  When I ordered one, they cost $5 and normally take about 5 business days to arrive.  After this login into your profile and link your RFID token (use the last eight digits of the serial number printed on the token).  Then, from your profile as well,  add a small amount of money to have a small prepaid balance in order to use it.

 

Chargepoint (1-888-758-4389):

The world's largest charging network with several hundred charging stations in British Columbia (Mayfair mall has a couple for instance). The cards are free, but I believe you need to add a positive balance to your account to use them (or at least I did).  To get a couple of cards go to this site and it will explain the process:

http://www.chargepoint.com/activate/

 

Flo (formerly known as AddEnergie) (1-877-505-2674):

Have quite a few level 2 chargers.  In greater Victoria, they are generally located at municipal government buildings, parks and parkades.  It costs $10 to buy a card and I believe that you need to add a positive balance to your account to use them (or at least I did).  Go to the following link to register and get a card:

http://www.reseauver.com/abonn.....fs.en.html

 

Sun Country Highway (1-866-467-6920):

They are located all over the place in Canada (and some in the US) and are free to charge at without cards, tokens, keyfobs, smartphones or even phoning them. Their EV charger map is at the following link:

http://suncountryhighway.ca/ev.....4uHaYb2Xt5

 

For those new to EV charging at public stations in BC,  the charging to this point is free everywhere, though parking fees do sometimes apply.  The Fairmont Empress charges a $20 facilities access fee (which is the only place I know of that does this). 

 

Across the border when traveling in the US it seems that these are two groups one should consider joining:

 

Aerovironment (1-888-833-2148):

They have a network of fast chargers and level 2 chargers in Washington State and Oregon.  When I was in Bellingham in December/13 their fast charger was free.  Now however they charge $7.50/level 3 session and $4.00/level 2 session (or alternatively you can join their network for unlimited charging for $19.99/month).  You can get their keyfob (for $15) at this site:   

https://evnet.avinc.com/evportal/SignIn.aspx

I just logged in and it seems that my keyfob is no longer active.  To be active one must subscribe to their monthly plan now.  The per session charging is only available by calling them at the number above.

 

Blink (1-888-998-2546):

They have a network of over 4000 chargers including over 800 in Washington State and Oregon.  Members pay $1/hr for level 2 charges or $5/charge for level 3 charges.  Non-members pay $2/hr for level 2 charges or $8/charge for level 3 charges.  It is free to become a member (I just joined).  You can sign up for a membership and order their free Blink InCard (you give them a credit card but they don't bill you til the end of each month or immediately if you bill is greater than $100) at the following link:

https://prod.blinknetwork.com/membership.html#page=1

July 6, 2014
7:33 pm
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Marc
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November 22, 2013
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Hi Everyone:

I just received the following e-mail from Greenlots outlining their pricing structure as of July 21/14:

 

Dear Greenlots user,

Beginning July 21, 2014 some DC Fast Charging (DCFC) stations in British Columbia, Canada will begin a pilot-pricing program. After consultation, the DCFC hosts and EV drivers have agreed that a fair rate of charge will be $0.35/kWh. This rate is well below the equivalent cost with gas (assuming $1.40/litre).

The DCFC Pilot Program is part of the Clean Energy Vehicle Program (launched in May 2012) designed to provide British Columbians with more affordable clean transportation options. By March 31, 2016, there will be a total of 30 DCFC stations added to BC’s charging network.
This will help encourage EV adoption and reduce range anxiety of EV drivers.

Although most charging will be done at home, DC fast charging ensures drivers can efficiently top up when they need to away from home and on longer trips.

Adding a small fee for DC fast charging ensures:

  • DCFC stations are well utilized (drivers will have an incentive to unplug when they have met their charging needs);
  • Charging data is collected for analysis and incorporated into future planning decisions;
  • DCFC users are knowledgeable about the decreasing charge rate of batteries. This means drivers won’t stay plugged into a fast charge station long after the “fast” part of the charge has finished; and
  • A sustainable business model for current & future DCFC site hosts.

More information can be found at Plug In BC.

REMINDER: Funding your account:

There are two ways to pay for charging fees with Greenlots. You may use the Greenlots mobile app or order an RFID card from Greenlots. On the mobile app, you have the option to save your credit card and use it to pay each time you need to charge. From the mobile app menu, click on ‘Payments’ and add your credit card.

If you don’t have access to the app you may choose to use an RFID card. Each time you use your RFID card to charge, if there are any charging fees, it will be debited from your Greenlots account. Thus you will need to add value to your account to use a paid charger.

There are two ways to fund your account.

  1. You can manually add value to your account, or
  2. You can link a credit card to your account.

When your account balance is zero, you will not be able to charge at a paid station. For that reason, we recommend you link your credit card so when your balance is low, it will automatically charge your card and add $25 to your account.

To do this:

  1. From the Profile page, click on ADD CARD
  2. Enter your credit card information in the pop-up screen and click SUBMIT
  3. A button ENABLE AUTO TOP-UP should appear next to your prepaid balance - click on this button. It will change to DISABLE AUTO TOP-UP and this means the auto top-up facility is activated.

You are all set!

Best Regards,
Greenlots Customer Support

July 7, 2014
6:30 am
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Fred Wissemann
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I am more than happy to stop and pay $6 for a fast charge. We are very fortunate to have these chargers and

I wish BC Hydro gets on with their job and install the rest. Especially the one in Victoria. :(

Soon we will be able to upgrade our battery pack and get the range close to that of a TESLA. 

The LEAF is a perfect city car and very enjoyable on long trips too. 

VLC's  used electric car page make the LEAF affordable at about $20,000, plus the $6 for charging on road trips,

unless you bought an $80,000 TESLA :) Well, why not. You only live once. :)

July 7, 2014
3:13 pm
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Fred Wissemann
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By James Strickland

It's funny to see "$0.35/kWh" and "small fee" in the same announcement.  I'm not suggesting that there aren't costs to cover, but calling a rate which is quadruple the step 1 residential rate and triple the step 2 residential rate "small" is ridiculous marketing-speak.  $0.35/kWh for a Nissan Leaf is almost as expensive as gasoline or diesel for an efficient small car (6 cents per km vs 7-10).

 It's great that they enable longer-distance travel, but no one is going to buy a Leaf or other "short-range" EV for long-distance travel.  How many of you would pay $6 every 100 km or so, stopping for half an hour each time, rather than just driving an ICE car?
July 7, 2014
7:13 pm
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H n T Slater
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We all knew it was only a matter of time before fees were attached to these public stations. I was in the taxi business when propane conversions were a hot item and as now with electric, once a market was generated the increased pricing began. As a commuter my leaf can't be beat. Since getting my leaf Jan 2013, up until the end of May 2014, I drove a total of 17331 K., and used $ $278.93 in electricity. Thats $0.53 a day!!! OMG! Almost 100% of my charging is done at home. I do feel that $.35 is very stiff for the charge and will cause many to use their ICE cars for any traveling.

Howard

July 8, 2014
11:45 pm
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Marc
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AddEnergy announced today, July 8/14, that you can now download the VERnetwork app to your iOS or Android phone.  The app will allow remote start without using the access card.  The app also gives you a real time display of the energy transferred to the vehicle and cost (which should in my opinion remain zero for the foreseeable future in British Columbia as they are located on municipal properties).  The announcement is at the following link:

 

http://blog.addenergietechnolo.....ork-users/

 

As far as the Greenlots announcement goes.  I haven't used fast chargers often, but the availability of fast chargers (hopefully there will be 30 in BC by Mar 2016 as announced) will allow me to use our Leaf for short road trips (ie a few days) which otherwise wouldn't be practical.  Paying $6/charge a few times a year (I've only used one twice since owning our vehicle since Nov 13) in order to be able to use our Leaf seems preferable to driving an ICE car (we have an older one) and others who only want to own one vehicle (there are it seems a number of people who claim that  a Leaf or other non-Tesla electric car could only be owned as a 2nd car due to range limitations), the proposed 30 fast chargers in BC seems to go a ways to making it possible to have a  Leaf as one's only vehicle (seeing that when fast charging is needed the costs are still less, albeit slightly, than the fuel cost for an ICE car). 

With all the level 2 chargers in Greater Vancouver, the 8 or so times I've been there with our Leaf, I've generally found no need for the level 3 chargers (and they are currently located out of the area I would normally go to); however with family there, I must admit I usually top up residentially the night before leaving and returning home, but if I planned better, even that probably wouldn't be necessary. 

It was mentioned that BC Hydro has no competition in this being a monopoly, but that may turn out to not be entirely true.  BCIT (which is a location that would be more convenient for myself personally) was to have 2 level 3 fast chargers up and running by Apr 2014 (that hasn't happened, but delays don't seem unusual when it comes to fast chargers).  They are working on solar powered fast chargers that, well to quote a news release from May 2013:

 

BCIT is developing the required technologies which would facilitate the transition to Green Transportation in Canada. An essential component of Canada’s future transportation system is Electric Cars. Given our country’s size, and the distances we have to travel, an intelligent system has to be designed to provide Electric Cars the energy they need to move people and goods across this vast geography without jeopardizing the reliability of our Electric Grid. BCIT’s Network of Fast Charging Stations enables Electric Cars to be charged in minutes (rather than hours) without adverse impact on our already stressed Electricity Grid system.

see link at:

http://www.bcit.ca/microgrid/e.....vent.shtml

 

The plan is for (at least at BCIT): "Charging will be free, no card required, kiosk to assist you, and web interface to make a reservation".

see link at mynissanleaf.com:

http://www.mynissanleaf.com/vi.....38;t=14048

 

Competition is always a good thing, but even at $6/charge, I'm ok with that.

 

 

July 11/14 edit:

I've just discovered that these BCIT level 3 chargers (that are still in the testing phase) are part of a joint research initiative with BC Hydro.  Thus my initial conclusion of these chargers being in competition to the other level 3 chargers in BC is not entirely correct from an ownership point of view, however being a joint project future pricing may or may not be in line with what is being done at other level 3 chargers in BC.  For more information on this project, please visit the following links:

 

http://www.bcit.ca/microgrid/e.....ergyoasis/

http://www.bcit.ca/files/appli.....banner.pdf

http://www.bcit.ca/files/appli.....banner.pdf

http://www.bcit.ca/facilities/.....ergy.shtml

September 10, 2014
9:13 pm
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Marc
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Chargepoint just sent out an e-mail today Sep 10/14 that they too now have a down-loadable Chargepoint app for your iOS or Android phone.  It'll show you nearby stations (satellite view of them), start the charge and show you real-time updates of your charging status.  See the link below for more info:

 

http://www.chargepoint.com/mob.....2bgEUhE%3D

 

The following link is a brief video regarding the app:

 

http://go.chargepoint.com/G1Y0.....0ka0000lO1

 

So now all Public Chargers in BC (that I know of) are accessible with either a smartphone or nothing at all (no need for cards, tokens, keyfobs or even credit cards if you so choose). 

May 18, 2017
1:50 am
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Horence
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May 18, 2017
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When I travel around, maybe it is hard for us to find charging stations on everywhere, so the way for me to charge anytime is to bring a power inverter with me. Bestek 1000w power inverter is such kind tool for me. I'd like to charge laptop, camera and phone with this tool in safe way. Maybe you want to get more information on here. Wish this point is helpful to you. Have a nice day. 

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