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2012 Fisker Karma #1030
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My company has moved to a new swanky building and interestingly has ChargePoint stations right there, which got me excited. However, my excitement diminished when I found that the charge is $1/hour.

For my Chevrolet Volt, I found that in one hour (with a 3.3kW Onboard Charger (OC)) I could add 8 miles of range. That means for my 30 mile commute, I will need to charge for 4 hours to get home on electricity. Given that gas is currently $3.11 at my local Valero, and I can drive 37 miles in gas/hybrid mode in my Volt, that is not economically viable - when gas is over $5/gallon, it will b e another story for my Volt. The 30 miles would be $2.50 of gas (prorated), so I'd save $1.50 per day by going non-green (or roughly $360 per year).

Turning to the Karma, it also has a 3.3kW OC. How many miles of range have folks been able to get on an hour of charge (from a 240 Volt ChargePoint)? The Fisker OC is not able to use the available 6.6kW of the ChargePoint and I have not conducted the experiment myself yet. Given the Karma does around 20 mpg, I will require 1.5 gallons to get home on gas/hybrid mode. This would be around $5 of gas. So if I can charge 30 miles of battery range in under 5 hours, it might be an economic proposition in the Karma.

Thoughts?

Simon
 

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2012 Fisker Karma #1030
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375 Posts
By the way, I didn't realize there was a separate area especially for charging topics (the answer to my query did not come up in a search though).

If the admin can move my post to the charging area, that'd be great!

Apologies.

[Moderator's note: The thread was moved to the correct forum]
 

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Deep Ocean in ATL
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Don't use the charge point, but I get about 9 miles of charge an hour on a 30 amp 220 Level II charger at home. At $1 and hour or 8 miles, it is more economical to use the gas generator. If you go to "SPORT" mode and turn on the ICE, at 26 miles of battery, you will still have 26 miles of battery when you leave work. Most likely with a 30 mile one-way commute, you may only use 1/2 gallon of gas for the round trip. Assuming gas is $3.00/gallon that would only cost you $1.50 a day. Much less than using the Charge Point. Just a consideration.
 

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I agree that purely looking through the lens of a break-even analysis you are better off using the range extender than charging at work for $1/hr. I'm a big proponent of charging stations not being free however; free stations incent the wrong behavior which reduces the usefulness for everyone because people plug in and camp out at a charger all day. Having the meter running financially disincents this behavior. I especially like the model where charging is free or a nominal cost for the first 3 or 4 hours then jumps to something punative like $20/hour thereafter. It's also true that with a 3.3KV onboard charger a pay-by-the-time model is especially disadvantageous for us but I understand that there are political and legal issues for third parties to charge by the KWh.

For me, the least-cost-analysis is only part of the equation. I'm perfectly content to pay the $1/hr for two reasons: One, it's 'worth' more to me to drive purely electrically and not burn petrol if I don't have to, and two, I want to support the idea of workplace charging so I vote with my dollars. If workplaces don't see use or a return then they will stop installing them. It's worth it to me to spend a little to encourage a behavior I want to see continue.

I live 10 miles from my office, which also has L2 chargers at $1/hr. Although I almost never *need* to charge to get back and forth to the office, lunch and errands every once in a while I charge anyway because I can, and for the reasons stated above. It's also amazing how many people don't realize the Karma is electric which leads to a lot of fun conversations.

Brent
 

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My company has moved to a new swanky building and interestingly has ChargePoint stations right there, which got me excited. However, my excitement diminished when I found that the charge is $1/hour.

For my Chevrolet Volt, I found that in one hour (with a 3.3kW Onboard Charger (OC)) I could add 8 miles of range. ...
My building does not have any charging (argh) but there is a fee-based Chargepoint in a complex about a mile away, which runs $.75/hr. At home it takes just a bit over 5 hours for a full 50-mile charge so I was figuring the charge rate was "10 mph", but observing it at this complex it looks closer to "9 mph".

This comes to $0.08333 (8 1/3 cents) per mile. Petrol at Costco is currently a bit over $3/gal and when using the range extender I get about 24 mpg in the Karma, so that's about $.125/mile. So charging there makes sense, and still would even at $1/hr (11 and 1/9th cents per mile) though it's obviously more marginal at that point.

There's one big thing that makes the mile-away Chargepoint annoying: it's $.75/hr for the first 4 hours, but then jumps to $3/hr. This means I can't just leave it there all day (or even the 5 hours it takes to full-charge from empty, at least not economically). Plus of course the mile walk each way, when I'm always low on time... :s So for now I mostly just plug in there for lunch.
 

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I use ChargePoint every day (at work). I think I get just about 9 (Karma) miles per hour of charge.
Charging is free and I cannot agree more with Brent. People do camp out and it creates a very "interesting dynamic" at the workplace. We now have 12 charging stations installed and I see new EVs showing up every week. It used to be mostly Leafs, a few Testlas but we seem to be getting a lot more variety nowadays.... Only one Karma :)
My commute is about 23 miles (mostly freeway) and I have to charge at home every day as well. I like driving the car in stealth mode.
Patrick
 

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I agree that purely looking through the lens of a break-even analysis you are better off using the range extender than charging at work for $1/hr. I'm a big proponent of charging stations not being free however; free stations incent the wrong behavior which reduces the usefulness for everyone because people plug in and camp out at a charger all day. Having the meter running financially disincents this behavior. I especially like the model where charging is free or a nominal cost for the first 3 or 4 hours then jumps to something punative like $20/hour thereafter. It's also true that with a 3.3KV onboard charger a pay-by-the-time model is especially disadvantageous for us but I understand that there are political and legal issues for third parties to charge by the KWh.

For me, the least-cost-analysis is only part of the equation. I'm perfectly content to pay the $1/hr for two reasons: One, it's 'worth' more to me to drive purely electrically and not burn petrol if I don't have to, and two, I want to support the idea of workplace charging so I vote with my dollars. If workplaces don't see use or a return then they will stop installing them. It's worth it to me to spend a little to encourage a behavior I want to see continue.

I live 10 miles from my office, which also has L2 chargers at $1/hr. Although I almost never *need* to charge to get back and forth to the office, lunch and errands every once in a while I charge anyway because I can, and for the reasons stated above. It's also amazing how many people don't realize the Karma is electric which leads to a lot of fun conversations.

Brent
Well said! For those of us who can afford to do so, spending a little extra is a time honored way of making new inventions economically viable for the masses. There are ever more electric vehicles on the road in my neighborhood, think of the possibilities, engineering muscle and creative thinking that are made possible as more adopt!

My city, Bellevue Washington, just installed a charger on the street outside my office, as part of a street side parking space. Although I installed level 2 charging at my office, my spouse regularly plugs in at that spot, whether he needs a boost or not, just to give it use. I haven't parked the Karma there yet, I prefer my covered garage, but after reading this maybe I will. As Brent says, admirers are usually surprised my Karma is electric, and surprised it is a 4-door....
 

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This is definitely a decision based on dollars and stealth driving. I typically drive stealth at all times and normally only charge at night at home. Some days I need to drive to a few meetings or run another errand that will extend my daily driving beyond the 50 mile range. That is when I will use the charger near my work for a mid day charge. I typically get about 10 miles per hour of charge at a L2 charger. Not as cheap as charging at home but a little better than gas as noted above.
 

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2012 Fisker Karma #1030
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have a 60 mile round-trip commute and find that by the time i have driven my 30 miles to work (which I only do in the Karma once a week for fun by commuting very early to avoid the hideous SF Bay Area traffic), I have 11 miles of electric range left. To recharge the battery at work takes 4.25 hours and costs $4.25 (!). So given the fact that the Karma is a 20 mpg vehicle and gas is costing $3.20+ per gallon, I save $1 or $2 a day with the Karma driving electrically (plus the environment)! As mentioned elsewhere in the forum, I called the CA Air Resources Board and they confirmed that the Karma will not be getting a green Clean Air decal to allow use of the HOV lane, even though I drive 100% electric, as the ICE does not meet their emission requirements... Dang...

Of course with my Chevy Volt, it's a wash price-wise (but at least in that car I get to use the HOV lane).
 
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