Today was the first club meetup for the new year. We had it at a new venue this time: the Tesla Merritt Island service center. Every make and model is always welcome to our club and meetups. We had a Ford Mustang Mach-E, two Chevy Bolts, a Mitsubishi Outlander plug in hybrid, and all 4 models of Tesla: Model S, 3, X, Y. There were even a couple of electric bicycles that dropped in! Everyone got to see the new steering wheel in one of the Model S called the yoke. It looks like the yoke you would see in an airplane and allows perfect view of the instrument cluster. Some like it and some people don’t. After driving with it for a while most people change their minds and become used to it and turn out to love it. Several non EV drivers showed up to have their questions answered to help them shop around for their next car. Everyone determined the next month meet up for February would be at the same place. So watch our upcoming events page to get the day and time.
WOW “MARSHALL FIELD & CO Give Up Horse Delivery! They have sounded the death knell of the horse. Electric Delivery Wagons can do the work of horses better, quicker and cheaper.”
“Electric Delivery Pays Best – Saves 10% to 25%”
“You are looking for an automobile that will give you ease and dignity with economy”
What am I talking about? Well EV pros and newbies settle in for a fun read!
A man who used to work for International Harvester came to our EV showcase event yesterday and brought with him a book titled The Electric Vehicle Handbook… copyright 1913! So to all who think #electricvehicles are new let’s look at some History!
The handbook was authored by H.C. Cushing Jr. a Fellow of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (Now IEEE) and co-authored by Frank W. Smith who was at the time the VP Electric Vehicle Association of America and VP of the United Electric Light and Power Company, NY.
United Electric Power and Light was mentioned so many times that I wanted to know more about them so googling led me down a rabbit hole to a 2013 IEEE article which talking about AC vs DC and I discovered that UEP&L through a few acquisitions and mergers is now Con Edison.
Check out the photos of the EV ads, #electricity pricing, #TOU and more that will delight any #EV nerd among us.
See below from some excerpts from that article.
“…Thirty-five years after the celebrated events at the Chicago Exposition of 1893 and the subsequent installation at Niagara Falls, ac had become the dominant system foreseen by Westinghouse, Smith, and the others. That victory came about…through the ingenious application of relays hidden in underground vaults and manholes.”
“Ironically, the very name United Electric Light and Power Company, the pioneer that achieved the success some believed to be impossible, has been long forgotten. The changeover at New York Edison was long, and the last dc utility entrance and meter were retired on 14 November 2007. Sloan had projected a period of 35–45 years to complete the changeover of all customers as the estimate of installed investment in dc customers’ property was US$100 million in 1928 dollars. To assist the changeover, United and New York Edison merged their technical departments in 1932. Three years later United was merged into New York Edison by transfer of stock, and the 46-year-old company ceased to exist. The merged corporation, New York Edison Company, Inc. merged with parent Consolidated Gas Company in 1936 to become Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. (Con Ed) Later authors referred to the innovation as “the New York Edison network,” apparently unaware of the role of United. More recent technical papers, however, give credit where it is due, to that small company that defied conventional wisdom to turn a goal into a reality.” https://lnkd.in/enn82DGn Please share! #electricvehicle#innovation#utilities#powergrid#historyfacts
In September 2021 we had a very small gathering for this year’s National Drive Electric Week (NDEW) for obvious reasons. Instead of inviting all the vendors and exhibitors we only sent invites to the local dealerships to bring an EV or two so they could do the test rides. Our personal EVs were there mostly for show and tell – which is one of the main ideas for the NDEW event around the country! Where else can you see all the different makes and models of electric vehicles in one place? How else can you get your questions answered from “the horse’s mouth” of the people that live with and drive these cars every day to work, school, and the grocery store? The big news this year is just how serious other automakers have gotten with making EVs with over 200 and 300 miles of range. Thanks to all the new fast chargers that are getting installed every single day on our highways, road trips are getting easier and faster thanks to new EVs with faster charging speeds (measured in kilowatts: kW) to fill the larger batteries (capacity measured in kilowatt-hours: kWh). We noticed again this year just like we do every year we have these public events that the cars tend to sell themselves as soon as you mention it only takes about 9$ to “fill up”. And when we show how little we pay for maintenance (a jug of windshield washer fluid, a cabin air filter, and tire rotation as an example of routine maintenance) it becomes a no-brainer that everyone is saving money by driving electric. It just so happens to clean the air as well – especially when you install solar panels on your house to charge the car on pure sunlight for fuel! About 20% of our Space Coast EV Drivers club have done this and talk about how they did it, how much it cost, and how much they are saving every month. Our next monthly meet up in November will be on Saturday Nov 13, at the David R Schechter Community Center in Satellite Beach from 1030 am to 12 and will be a food drive for the Basket Brigade. More information can be found on our Upcoming EVents page.
Upon delivery of our EVs we all face the dual concerns of how and where we can charge when away from home. For some it can be as simple as pulling into a charging station and connecting — for example Tesla drivers using Superchargers with “miles” debited to an account set up when the EV was purchased. For all EVs (including Tesla drivers using anything other than Superchargers) it will depend on who owns/provides the charging station, how that station has been equipped to support a variety of EVs, and the EV driver having an associated account configured to allow filling the battery.
Where can I charge the battery?
Every EV will have a display showing chargers in the local area or along the route if navigating. Depending on the brand of EV the display can be comprehensive or a bit sparse. Some will display frequently updated information on how many charging stalls are in a location, and of those how many are available at that moment. Also displayed might be the expected charging power, the costs if any to use the station, and some nearby amenities. But as to detailed user experiences for a station there may be little or no information displayed by the EV. And so many EV owners use one or more programs as support or even as their primary source for charging station information. Some well-know programs include: Plugshare www.plugshare.com ChargePoint www.chargepoint.com EVgo www.evgo.com Electrify America www.electrifyamerica.com A Better Route Planner abetterrouteplanner.com
These and others are available for download in cellphone app stores. Each offers a variety of useful information for making the EV experience more enjoyable. For example, some will assist by locating and displaying a course to the nearest public charging stations regardless of the network. Some offer access to helpful EV resources and allow the sharing with other EV drivers of experiences at given locations.
Some apps allow filtering to display only those charging stations that work with a specific vehicle. And typically while using an app the driver can initiate charging and pay with a tap of the cellphone on the charging station, and then receive real-time updates
I’ve identified a nearby charger, or one on my route. Can I use it with my EV?
Here is where an app can make life much easier. Let’s say you have a Tesla but there are no Superchargers in the vicinity. Your cellphone app shows a nearby Electrify America charger. Can you charge your battery there? Maybe yes, maybe no. If you went directly to that Electrify America charger without first considering some issues typically displayed in an app you could be disappointed with a wasted journey. Electrify America stations connect via the CCS and CHAdeMO plug. There are usually several CCS plugs and only a single CHAdeMO. But Tesla cannot connect to CCS or CHAdeMO directly even using the little adapter that comes with all new Tesla vehicles (that is for the standard J1772 plug – or J plug – for home and destination charging). One would need a CHAdeMO adapter — cost approximately $400 from Tesla. https://shop.tesla.com/product/chademo-adapter. Note that no matter the brand of EV in order to use an Electrify America station (for example) you’ll need to have created an EA account and associated a credit card to the account on the EA website or app. For EA it usually works best to install the app on your phone and use that to start the charger after you’ve plugged in. It is also possible to use a credit card directly on EA chargers but some may find this a bit of a hassle as you can’t just plug in and walk away (like you can with Tesla superchargers).
What about using a J1772 adapter? Who needs it, and where can it be used?
Every EV other than Tesla has a J1772 inlet on the car that allows it to use Level 1 and 2 chargers both at home and at public stations. The little plastic adapter that comes with a new Tesla is used for both of these levels of J plug standard chargers. The level 2 chargers are faster than Level 1 but both use the same J1772 plug. Level 1 is a regular 120V outlet. Level 2 uses 240V “dryer outlet” level power. Here in Brevard County if you go to Kohl’s at Hammock Landing or the Eau Gallie Library you’ll find some Level 2 chargers that use the J1772 plug, and that’s where Tesla owners only would need the little plastic adapter. These chargers are similar to Tesla’s “destination” chargers where you can plug in and charge while parked for a few hours doing shopping, eating, or maybe watching a movie. A good example of a Tesla destination charger can be found at the Kennedy Space Center visitor complex right up front by the entrance. There’s also a J1772 level 2 charger there for non-Tesla EVs.
And CHAdeMO and CSS? What about those when away from home?
Electrify America only makes Level 3 fast chargers at 50 kW, 150 kW, and up to around 300 kW. Non-Tesla EVs have either CHAdeMO (Nissan Leaf and a few others) or CCS/Combined Charging System (GM, BMW, and most of the others). CHAdeMO is a separate, much larger diameter inlet on the car for a giant-sized plug. CCS is called combined because it adds two bigger ports right under the J1772 inlet for the + and – wires for the very high power direct current so that owners can use the upper inlet for their daily home charging or the slightly larger CCS plug for Level 3 fast charging. Learn more about plugs here: https://www.quora.com/Can-other-electric-vehicles-use-Tesla-chargers/answer/Joshua-Pritt
First, use your in-car display or favorite app to locate those that are free! Tesla “destination” chargers have the same connector as their Superchargers and your home charger. These are usually hooked to a 240V circuit (Level 2). The power typically is given away for free as the charger equipment is normally given at no charge to the destination (hotel, zoo, vineyard, etc.) by Tesla. These chargers don’t have any “smarts” that will talk to the car for billing purposes as do the Superchargers. Tesla “destination” chargers are basically the same higher power wall charger you’d install at home, just installed somewhere else where you would park for an hour or more to charge while you’re parked there anyway. The “plus” for the business that has set up such chargers is the anticipated additional revenue that more than pays for the little bit of free power given away. But for those times when the on-board or in-app information indicates that there will be charges, what then? Let’s say you’re using Plugshare and want to access the charger at Kohl’s. The app says that at Kohls you must get an RFID card at customer service, and there is a $1.25/hour charge. How does one pay for the RFID card? In advance? After charging? The app does not say. Plugshare shows the charger is a ChargePoint brand network so if you had your own ChargePoint account and app on your phone then you can activate and pay for the charge yourself without bothering with Kohl’s RFID card. All non-Tesla chargers are run by third-party networks and manufacturers each of which require user/password accounts on their websites, the storing on file of a credit card to register each month’s total charges, and a free sign-up to get RFID cards in your mailbox. Thus non-Tesla EV drivers will have a glove box or key ring full of these RFID cards, and have to shuffle through them when using a destination charger like that at Kohl’s. Then after locating the appropriate RFID one can tap on the charger to set up billing and start the charge. Today more charging stations are simply using your smartphone to start the charge instead of the old RFID cards.
Clearly it’s much better to have all of this set up many weeks/months ahead of any road trip. It’s much harder while on a trip and sitting at a charger to set up an account over the phone, or use the website to set up on your cellphone. One very experienced non-Tesla EV owner had accounts with ChargePoint, Blink, SemaConnect, EVGo, and Greenlots. There are others, but those were the ones along this driver’s usual routes. Each third-party, non-Tesla charger host site can set whatever price it wants for charging. Some will set the price at zero and give the power away for free because they know that the extra dwell time while customers wait for a charge will drive new business, and those customers might stick around for an extra coffee or dessert at a restaurant. One owner recently reported that he had “topped-up” at The Avenues Viera Level 2 charger. After getting a cup of coffee his ChargePoint app reported “20 miles, 53 minutes, 5 kWh $0.” Other locations will try to recoup the costs of the charger by adding a few pennies over what they are paying for power. But it would take years to pay off going by that alone, so it’s probably not the wave of the future. Most people can’t think of a charger as anything but a gas station pump that happens to pump out electrons instead of gas. “Pay with Plugshare” was a new feature added recently trying to make it easier to pay for the charges without the need for setting up all those separate accounts. But not all third-party networks have signed on so it’s yet just another confusing way to pay for it all.
How do “destination” chargers differ?
Tesla “destination” chargers are built to use a wide range of input amps. So it will be different for each host depending on how the electrician wired it up vs how much capacity there was in the host’s breaker box. For example, a small bed and breakfast might have at most a 30 or 40 amp breaker. But a large hotel might have 80 amp service making it almost twice as fast as the “bnb,” but still much slower than the Superchargers yet at the same time much faster than Level 1 charging on a 120V outlet.
Remember, if you have any questions about EVs, owning and driving EVs, and charging EVs, you can email us and ask real EV owners that have been driving almost every make and model since 2011.
Do you see the shirt Josh is wearing? He bought it in 2008 and was finally able to wear it when he took delivery of our 2021 Long Range Tesla Model Y. He joked that the shirt was almost old enough to drive. I joked that there was no way this shirt was ever grey.
As many of you know we have been driving PHEVs and EVs since 2011 starting with the first Volt and then moving on to the Gen 2 Volt, then the 2018 150 mi range Nissan Leaf and then when 150 miles was just not enough for us we decided it was time for a Tesla so we sold the Leaf to a repeat Leaf buyer and decided on the Model Y long range and WOW it was worth the wait. You can check out our Orlando delivery day experience here.
Our Journey to Tesla Ownership
Way back in 2018 we had a reservation for a model 3 but unfortunately their delivery dates were slipping and we needed a second car ASAP. Torn between the Bolt for more range but the Leaf for the price we decided to get the Leaf to go along with our 2017 Volt. When the Pandemic hit we realized we did not need two cars and we sold the Volt to Carvana with an offer we couldn’t refuse. This meant we had to rely on the Leaf for all of our driving including many trips to Orlando and back which is around 60 miles each way, mostly highway. We also were basically stuck using the few and far between, slow charging “fast charging” CHAdeMO chargers from EVgo and Electrify America.
SometimesMore is Better
Soon the 150 mile range just was not enough for a single car household. Luckily some club members were in the market for a used Leaf and ours fit the need so we sold it off. Then it was time to pick our Tesla. We ordered the Long Range Tesla Model Y due to its larger size, range, and cargo space. Less than a week later it was time to pick it up and the first time we saw over 300 miles of range displayed Josh joked “It might as well be infinity compared to the Leaf”. Not only that it charges so incredibly fast that we did not have time to eat our food before we were done supercharging. We always knew Tesla was ahead of the game but now that we have experienced it as owners it feels different. We absolutely love our model Y even with the window issue which should be fixed soon.
Hey, drivers! It’s been a while! This year has been a little crazy, as we all know and we haven’t been able to host our normal monthly luncheon meetings. We know everyone was getting a bit restless so we decided to host a driver meet up to close out National Drive Electric Week. This is in addition to the content we’ve been putting out on YouTube which we launched during National Drive Electric Week. We had 13 EVs join us for our BYO coffee and donut socially distant drive in. We’re also happy to report that everybody brought their mask to ensure that we could have a safe event. One of the biggest suprises of the morning was a driver who joined us his brand new Porsche Taycan. As most EV drivers know whenever a new model or make shows up it’s a big deal. They are an instant celebrity. Everyone was very excited to check out the new ride. All in all our first event for 2020 was a success. Thanks to everyone who made it out and we hope to be brining you more outdoor events throughout the rest of the year.
We’ve created a playlist of videos specifically for National Drive Electric Week (NDEW) 2020. You can also search social media for hashtag #NDEW2020 to see more from around the nation (and the world). Since we couldn’t come out in person with our personal electric vehicles to show to the public and give test rides like we normally do every year, we decided to create a few videos instead. We always get the same set of questions from the public so one of the videos explains answers to our top five frequently asked questions. We also made a few personal videos from the founders about their adventures in public charging and fast charging as well as a video about the different EVs they have owned and driven over the past 9 years. You can go to the official NDEW website and see all the virtual event recordings and learn even more about EVs, charging stations, infrastructure expansion, solar power and renewable energy like solar and wind to charge EVs, and more. Stay tuned to our YouTube channel and subscribe to learn more about driving on electricity as we post more videos throughout the year. We’re aiming for a weekly video so make sure you subscribe to the channel and share with everyone you know. See you at Drive Electric Earth Day in April 2021!
For our First Sunday of the Month meetup this time we met again at the Crafty Crab at Hammock Landing in Palm Bay. This is one of the restaurants that has a space big enough for our growing club and is near the charging stations there at Hammock Landing. So once again we were able to show the manager how much extra business the charging stations have brought in. It shows how the charging stations act like advertisements to have customers choose your business over a competitor’s if you have a charging station. This makes it easy to say that the cost of a charging station can come out of your marketing budget. See our charging station info page if you want to learn more about getting a charging station for your business.
We talked about a few things about our electric cars and the new software updates from Tesla that gave Youtube and Netflix and other great features like smart summon that lets you call the car from the parking lot and it drives itself to you standing at the door to the mall. There’s also Caraoke that lets you see the lyrics on the giant screen in the middle of the dash so you can sing karaoke in your car.
Dischord! We use this for chats and planning so we don’t spam everyone’s email. And for sharing news.
We were invited to Earth Day at KSC. Ford might bring their prototype mustang inspired EV! This is a big if though so let’s not give our hopes up.
Check out prices on MyEV.com and tell everyone you know! This is the best place to learn about EVs while you shop for used electric vehicles without having to filter out gasoline powered cars. You can find a used EV on there for around $7000 for the older models. Did you know the original Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt are already 10 years old!? We’ve had production EVs for a decade already and people still think they are something brand new! Take a look and see if there’s a used EV in your future.
Fully Charged Live will be in Austin, TX on Feb 1 and 2. Get your tickets now to attend if you want to go. We won’t be setting anything up but just want everyone to know this is happening. www.fullycharged.show
EV News Daily podcast. 15 or so minutes a day to listen to all the EV and clean energy related news for the day so you don’t have to go read the articles yourself. A great time saver!
If you need a blue polo you can order it from Florida Boy in 5th ave Indialantic. Tell them it’s for the Space Coast EV Drivers electric car club. Say Men’s or Women’s style (men’s has a button in the V-neck) and size S, M, L, XL, or XXL and if you want your name embroidered on the opposite chest from our logo. We have magnetic name tags if you don’t since it costs extra.
This month we met at the cafe in the lobby of the Courtyard by Marriott in Cocoa Beach. We came back here because of the free EV chargers right outside in the parking lot. We make sure to let the manager and staff know that all of this business was brought in because of those chargers and that they are paying for themselves. If you want to know more about the different kinds of charging stations, how they work, and how to get them installed at your business to bring in more customers, visit our charging station info page here.
We went over the last event that was just held at FIT, Camp Epic. Children ages 11-14 got to see a few EVs up close, ask questions about them, and learn about them with Mars and space themed activities.
Everyone requested another order of window decals that stick inside the glass for our members. This is because we keep sticking business cards on cars that are already in the club. If we had a window decal we would know they were already in the club. These stickers have been ordered using club funds and ready to give out. to members.
We also said hello to our newest member, Adam. He already has been driving a Chevy Volt for some time and found our group. That brings up our total membership to 120 EVs and 131 members.
The main focus of the meetup was to make sure everyone had tasks for getting ready for National Drive Electric Week (NDEW). This is the last full month we have for planning it and getting the word out. Our flyer is ready and we are contacting newspapers, radio stations, and news outlets to really get the word out. We’ll be recording a Coastal Connections with WFIT a few weeks before the event as well. If you haven’t signed up to attend the Satellite Beach NDEW for Saturday Sept 14 please go to our official event page and do so here. The Space Coast EV Drivers will be doing the work for setting up and planning that event. There will be a second NDEW event the following Saturday Sept 21 in Cape Canaveral at the Manatee Sanctuary Park. The city will be planning and preparing that event so the Space Coast EV Drivers will only need to bring our cars for the Q&A and ride and drives. Sign up for that event on the Cape Canaveral NDEW official event page here. We hope to break more than 70 EVs in one place this year so if you want to see many different makes and models of EVs in one place at one time this is the event you’ve been waiting for. We’ll see you in September!
For our first Sunday of the month electric vehicle meetup we met at the Pizza Gallery at the Avenue in Viera. We had a full room with 22 people at the table including a few new members. We added some more EVs to the club including more Tesla Model 3 cars. We’ve noticed over the years no other make/model has grown this fast as the Tesla Model 3. We talked to the manager and let them know that all of this business was brought in because of the new charging station the Avenue recently installed.
We talked about the next upcoming event for our club to bring our personal vehicles to for answering questions. It will be the Camp EPIC at Florida Tech on July 19 from 1-3 pm. If you want to see any of our events and get more details please visit our upcoming events page.
The main event that needs the most attention and planning and help with tasks is the National Drive Electric Week coming up in September. We have it planned for Saturday September 14 from 10 am to 4 pm at the Schechter Center in Satellite Beach. We are going to try to have more than 60 EVs all in the one parking lot from all different makes and models for the public to see and take ride and drives around the block. It’s also the best time to ask questions because they are our personal cars that we drive every day so we’ll have all the best answers from experience of living with them.