A lot of people ask where do you charge. The answer is nearly for all EV drivers is at home. Some times the next question is do you need special equipment to which the answer is a powerpoint. (more specifically a 15amp powerpoint for the provide cable with the LEAF or I-miev). When out and about we have the following options.
There are two providers of commercial charging infrastructure in Australia, both are American Chargepoint and Blink, there was a 3rd Better place but unfortunately that company went broke. Blink is yet to setup an Australian office so they are a bit harder to contact.
Chargepoint have a office in every state of Australia and have around 167 charge stations in the country. The chargepoint model is a low risk for them, it requires the person or business that wants a charging station to pay for the capital costs of supply and install of the charger. It’s then up to the charging station owner if they want to charge the EV driver and chargepoint through the use of their RFID tags issued to drivers then take care of the payment system and charger driver accordingly, at present all the ones in Australia are free to use.
As you can see the blink network is much smaller, with only 5 sites and 7 chargers. blink doesn’t let the site owner choose the price but instead charge $1USD per hour. I’m still waiting to hear from blink sales on if they have plans to expand in Australia.
What if you don’t want to charge people or just provide a simple power point. Well for these site there is a great site that EV drivers and Charging spot owners can used to share information. http://www.recargo.com/search (you might have to pan to Australia) Allows you to sign up and add charge points to there map tell other EV drivers that a charging spot works by checking in (think foursquare and facebook), and upload pictures to help people find charge location. This has probably been the most useful tool so far when it comes to charging infrastructure, I highly recommend all EV drivers install the app on the iphone or android.
Currently there still isn’t enough charging infrastructure, not because the current EV drivers need it but mainly because it puts people off buying a EV.
In a small effort to make it easier for business to understand what’s required to provide a service to EV drivers I prepared a primer
Hopefully other EV drivers can use this when negotiating with companies about added a charging station to there site.