You don't have to own an electric vehicle of any kind to be a part of the network. All you have to do is be willing to let others use the electric outlet of your home. Even if you are an apartment renter, as I am, you still might be able to let EV owners plug into an outlet of your apartment.

Electric Vehicle Recharging Network

Gavin Young | Electric Automobile Alliance

EarthToys Article - Electric Vehicle Recharging Network

You don't have to own an electric vehicle of any kind to be a part of the network. All you have to do is be willing to let others use the electric outlet of your home. Even if you are an apartment renter, as I am, you still might be able to let EV owners plug into an outlet of your apartment.

We can create an electric vehicle charging infrastructure easily!

One of the big arguments against the viability of electric cars is that there are few charging stations available. It is true that are few official charging stations in the country. In fact I'm only aware of 3 charging stations in the Portland, OR metro area and I'm not aware of any in the rest of the state. However there are hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses with electrical outlets. Many of these can instantly become charging stations! Here is how.

All we have to do is approach people who are willing to support electric vehicles. We need to approach the owners of businesses and residences who are willing to let electric vehicles make use of their outlets. Here is how we go about it.

We create a database of locations where people have decided to let electric vehicles plug into their 120 Volt or 240 Volt electric outlet. The names, addresses, and phone numbers of these location will be in the database. The database will be in print form (so that the EV owner can carry a copy while driving) and on the website. People who own an electric vehicle (whether an electric car, bicycle, scooter, or whatever) are obligated to call the listed phone number before using the outlet. The EV owner must obtain approval from the business/home owner before using the outlet.

The business/home owner has the option of charging a fee for access to the electrical outlet. The database will attempt to include an up to date listing of any fee associated with all listed locations. If the business/home owner decides to charge a fee, he/she is advised to collect the fee before the EV is plugged into the outlet. He/she is advised to state how many hours the outlet may be used at that fee rate. This way the business/home owner maintains full control of their electrical outlet and does not have to worry about people taking advantage of the outlet.

Since few people own an electric car, or even an electric scooter or electric bicycle, it will be rare for an EV to make use of any these specific outlets in the near future. However after many people have decided to join the "Electric Vehicle Charging Network", more people will be inclined to purchase/make an electric vehicle. Also automakers will no longer be able to say there are few outlets available, though they could still say there are few fast-charge outlets available.

Since business/home owners retain the right to charge fees, they could actually make money on the service (much like electric companies and gasoline stations). As the idea catches on and the number of electric vehicles increases, eventually electric vehicle recharging station businesses will appear. The model I'm proposing is similar to the history of gasoline stations coming into being. I learned how the gasoline car industry solved its chicken and egg problem, and I've adapted their solution to electric cars!

In the early days of the gasoline car there were no official refueling stations. However hardware stores and other stores sold containers of gasoline, much like buying propane and kerosene (and even biodiesel in some European grocery stores) today. As the number of gasoline cars increased, businesses started installing gasoline tanks to dispense the fuel via gravity. Later pumps were added and the stations of today came into being.

The secret is being aware that the infrastructure of refueling gasoline cars started out small before actual gas stations existed! We can do the same with electric vehicle charging infrastructure! Help me to achieve this!

We can begin the network from the Portland, OR metro area. Will can network with people in other areas, such as California. All groups can share their database in order to create a national database.

Another thing I learned from the gas station model, is that signage is important. All people participating in the network, especially businesses will be urged to place a sign on their property announcing that they are part of the "Electric Vehicle Charging Network". This will make it easy for EV owners to find the available outlet, and it will enable them to not rely on a map/list when looking for an outlet at businesses once the network is large. However if they go to a residence it would be best to call first so as not the disturb the home owner nearly as much. The signage would also serve the purpose of educating the public and the media about the "Electric Vehicle Charging Network"!

For easy identification, the signs should be identical. They must also state that permission must first be granted from the owner of the business/residence before the outlet is used on each occasion. We must insist that outlets only be used when their is specific approval by the business/homeowner!

You don't have to own an electric vehicle of any kind to be a part of the network. All you have to do is be willing to let others use the electric outlet of your home. Even if you are an apartment renter, as I am, you still might be able to let EV owners plug into an outlet of your apartment.

Most of the people of the network will be those who don't even own an EV, however they will be people who are in favor of EVs. I suspect that many environmentally conscious people will be willing to allow EV users to plug-in, especially if they get paid for providing the electricity.

You may be able to make a profit on providing the electricity and thus improve your budget.

Response to questions:

I thought about having meters installed at homes, however having a separate meter is an additional cost that most homeowners would not be willing to pay. Coin operated meters would be even more expensive. To get around this extra expense I proposed that the homeowner calculate the fee based upon the maximum capacity of the electric circuit going to that outlet and the number of hours that the outlet will be used. That way there is no danger of undercharging though the EV owner might be overcharged.

My idea is not that radical. Various issues of Home Power magazine indicate that many EV owners ask the home/business/church building owner if he/she can plug in. In many cases people say yes after the cost of the electrical usage is explained to them. All that I'm proposing is that these accommodating people be on a public list and that signs be provided.

The increased traffic at a specific home is not likely to be large. That is because less than 100 pure electric cars likely exist in Oregon, whereas the state population is over 1,000,000. The likelihood of someone's outlet (especially the outlet of someone in a residential area) being used even once, is slim.

However concerns about zoning laws pertaining to commercial activity in residential areas are a good point. However it could only be considered a commercial activity if the homeowner charged for the access. Also, the amount of traffic (and time at the location) would be no different than a friend coming by to visit. Still focusing on business/church locations for the network (especially where signage is used) may be best.

Electric cars using fast charge equipment would likely take 2 to four hours. Some experimental equipment does it in about 30 minutes or less, but that equipment is VERY expensive and it requires a high power electric circuit. Homes and most businesses don't have the such a high powered circuit. On regular household 120 or 240 volt circuits, charging times can be 4 to 12 hours for a full recharge. However people wanting to use a 120 volt outlet in a residential area would likely only want a 1 or 2 hour charge to partially recharge their batteries. It would be used an emergency recharge.

Electric charging refueling stations would be great, but such stations are expensive to build in comparison to what this website is proposing. For example California only has about 300 stations (many in parking lots and free to use), despite the California government working very hard to promote electric cars.

The content & opinions in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of AltEnergyMag

Comments (0)

This post does not have any comments. Be the first to leave a comment below.

Post A Comment

You must be logged in before you can post a comment. Login now.

Featured Product

S-5!® PVKIT™ 2.0 Solar Rooftop Solutions

S-5!® PVKIT™ 2.0 Solar Rooftop Solutions

The concept of combining PV arrays with standing seam metal roofing is growing-for good reasons. Metal roofs have a life expectancy of more than 40 years. Shouldn't the mounting system last as long? With S-5! zero-penetration attachment technology and PVKIT 2.0, the solarized metal roof is the most sustainable system available -and without compromising roof warranties! PVKIT 2.0 is the also the best solution for attaching PV modules directly to any exposed fastener metal roof.