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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Unlikely to be consensus on this, but I though was interesting. Something I've noticed in one of our public charging locations in Santa Cruz; An Uber driver with a Tesla parking in one of the spots while waiting for his next gig.

This guy is there quite a bit. There are only so many Tesla in the area, and this is the only one with an Uber sticker on the front windshield, and an odd collection of toy animals cluttering the dash. Pretty recognizable.

I've looked into the rules in a cursory fashion, and I don't see anything that prevents this, but it seems odd that the fellow (I know he's a fellow because he sleeps in his car too) is using the public charger to subsidize his ride business. Somehow seems a little outside of the spirit of the entitlement.
 

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If the Model 3 production ever ramps up, this problem will go away. Everyone will want to use these free chargers and it will be hard to use one. People that depend on uber for $$$ will not have time to wait to charge their car. Trying to charge at one of these charging stations in 2019 will be near impossible.
 

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I've looked into the rules in a cursory fashion, and I don't see anything that prevents this, but it seems odd that the fellow (I know he's a fellow because he sleeps in his car too) is using the public charger to subsidize his ride business. Somehow seems a little outside of the spirit of the entitlement.
Model S or X? The price of those include free Tesla charging for life, so it's curious that he uses a free public charger. That said, free charging is a temporary thing. In the future it's likely that most free public charging spots will convert to paid service. Might as well take advantage of it while it lasts. I respect the spirit of frugality he displays.

I've considered buying a Model S as an Uber/Lift vehicle and using the "free" Tesla chargers and low maintenance costs to maximize profit, but then again if I can afford a Tesla, my time is probably more valuable than ride sharing services are willing to pay me.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Model S or X? The price of those include free Tesla charging for life, so it's curious that he uses a free public charger. That said, free charging is a temporary thing. In the future it's likely that most free public charging spots will convert to paid service. Might as well take advantage of it while it lasts. I respect the spirit of frugality he displays.

I've considered buying a Model S as an Uber/Lift vehicle and using the "free" Tesla chargers and low maintenance costs to maximize profit, but then again if I can afford a Tesla, my time is probably more valuable than ride sharing services are willing to pay me.
It's an older S, but in our area that's irrelevant. The closest supercharger is Salinas or Gilroy (35-40 miles away - several hours away during commute time). If his business is lurking around the north Monterey Bay area to pick up fares, the superchargers are too far away to be practical. It would make more sense on the other side of the Santa Cruz mountains.

There have been more than a few times in the last year when a Tesla driver who appeared to have poor planning skills has accosted me at one of our local charging stations wondering if there were any more free ones around. We don't even have many Tesla destination chargers. Never mind that there are plenty of for-cost stations to be found on plugshare.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
If the Model 3 production ever ramps up, this problem will go away. Everyone will want to use these free chargers and it will be hard to use one. People that depend on uber for $$$ will not have time to wait to charge their car. Trying to charge at one of these charging stations in 2019 will be near impossible.
In the end, I hope you're right, because that will mean the technology is successful and will have outstripped the need for subsidies of this sort. It's belaboring the obvious, but nobody should take a trip that depends on the availability of one of these free chargers. It's a nice perk if you happen on one, but even these days (unless it's early, or late in the day), they are all occupied more often that not. In my area, primarily with Volt and Bolt, followed by Tesla.
 

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It's belaboring the obvious, but nobody should take a trip that depends on the availability of one of these free chargers. It's a nice perk if you happen on one, but even these days (unless it's early, or late in the day), they are all occupied more often that not.
This underscores the absurdity of it all. If you're on a long trip, you shouldn't expect immediate use of a free charger. In fact, it's entirely possible that the for-cost chargers could be broken. Either way, you should expect the trip to take much more time than anticipated in case you have to L2 charge, or wait absurd amounts of time to DCFC. At that point, it's too much of a hassle and you should have just taken a gassomobile. So, that means free chargers are only useful for local people since they don't depend on getting a charge to make it home. In that case they are pointless because people can/should charge from home.

So, "free" charging is mostly pointless regardless. Businesses have the right to install them to attract customers, but EV drivers should have no expectation of being able to utilize them.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
This underscores the absurdity of it all. If you're on a long trip, you shouldn't expect immediate use of a free charger. In fact, it's entirely possible that the for-cost chargers could be broken. Either way, you should expect the trip to take much more time than anticipated in case you have to L2 charge, or wait absurd amounts of time to DCFC. At that point, it's too much of a hassle and you should have just taken a gassomobile. So, that means free chargers are only useful for local people since they don't depend on getting a charge to make it home. In that case they are pointless because people can/should charge from home.

So, "free" charging is stupid and pointless regardless. Businesses have the right to install them to attract customers, but EV drivers should have no expectation of being able to utilize them.
You say it's pointless, but then outline people for whom it's useful. These (and other chargers in my area) are far from the freeway. There is no intent to provide support for long distance EV travel stated or implied. They're 7.5 KW L2 chargers. Maybe they put 25 miles in your car, so that your trip to the market of the movie theater is battery neutral. They're in place to bias customers to a specific area. Same as free parking. Same as free samples at Costco or Trader Joes. Despite appearances that some families depend on the samples at Costco to feed their children, that's not the case. They establish a differential to attract customers away from one place to another, and I would argue that they do. Is it enough to justify the cost of installation, maintenance and power? Couldn't say, but I expect I run into far more absurd things on a daily basis than the existence of free destination chargers.
 

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It seems we're on the same page here. I alluded to the fact that free chargers are a marketing gimmick. Local people generally won't need them to be able to complete their trip, and long distance travelers are likely wasting their time trying to utilize them. They were bound to be over-utilized by some people, which makes them less useful for others since they cannot rely on availability.

"Free" charging is a gimmick because it mostly isn't useful, and someone has to pay for it, and that someone is always the consumer/taxpayer.

Again, I'm not saying businesses have no right to offer free charging, only that it often doesn't make sense. "Free" charging at a hotel makes sense considering the patron has a good reason to need to charge, and likely has enough time to accomplish it at L2.

It's up to businesses to regulate the use of their services, and people should adjust their expectations accordingly if something is open to the public and offered for free.

From an efficiency standpoint, I'd rather see infrastructure "hogged" by people more than I'd like to see it go unused for long periods of time.
 

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Model S or X? The price of those include free Tesla charging for life, so it's curious that he uses a free public charger. That said, free charging is a temporary thing. In the future it's likely that most free public charging spots will convert to paid service. Might as well take advantage of it while it lasts. I respect the spirit of frugality he displays.

I've considered buying a Model S as an Uber/Lift vehicle and using the "free" Tesla chargers and low maintenance costs to maximize profit, but then again if I can afford a Tesla, my time is probably more valuable than ride sharing services are willing to pay me.

A good friend bought a Tesla Model S in December. They did NOT pay for or get free Supercharging for life. They DID get 400 KWh for the first year (4 Level 3 charges?) I think you pay (an ? amount) to renew each year. So it looks like the "free electrons for life" is a thing of the past already!
 

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I’m going to mention only the etiquette... Tesla will block access to chargers for taxi or Uber users using Tesla’s free charging for commercial use. It’s against the company policies.
The link is below to read the article.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-15/tesla-tells-new-taxi-uber-drivers-not-to-use-its-superchargers
Has there been an instance where someone was blocked yet? How would they determine the use?

It's one thing to have a reasonable policy, yet another to judiciously enforce it.
 

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Has there been an instance where someone was blocked yet? How would they determine the use?

It's one thing to have a reasonable policy, yet another to judiciously enforce it.
That is a good question: I have to research more.
Maybe because this is now public knowledge, whoever has done or is thinking of doing is either:
1) not doing it anymore
2) not believing this could be actioned
 

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I find it ironic that someone who can afford a Tesla would be doing the Uber or Lyft thing anyway, but that's just.

As for etiquette, I've seen and talked to many people who use a variety of systems. Some people keep a small dry erase board in their car and will leave it in their windows with messages. So for example, let's assume they are in a charge spot and not charging, they will write "Unplug my car if you need to charge". If they are charging, they will write "Please do not unplug, charging". They have also told me that they may write their number on the board with a message saying to call/text them if they needed to move their car, unplug, or whatever other reason may come up. If I'm not mistaken, you can also leave messages in certain apps like Plugshare can't you?

I also agree with what someone else said above - the more EVs that hit the road, the more this is going to be a problem. I think the key here is only charging when you really need it rather than simply hogging a spot "just because". It's no different than getting gas right? You don't just top off your tank every day to keep the tank full for no real reason right? Just my .02
 

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I find it ironic that someone who can afford a Tesla would be doing the Uber or Lyft thing anyway, but that's just.

As for etiquette, I've seen and talked to many people who use a variety of systems. Some people keep a small dry erase board in their car and will leave it in their windows with messages. So for example, let's assume they are in a charge spot and not charging, they will write "Unplug my car if you need to charge". If they are charging, they will write "Please do not unplug, charging". They have also told me that they may write their number on the board with a message saying to call/text them if they needed to move their car, unplug, or whatever other reason may come up. If I'm not mistaken, you can also leave messages in certain apps like Plugshare can't you?

I also agree with what someone else said above - the more EVs that hit the road, the more this is going to be a problem. I think the key here is only charging when you really need it rather than simply hogging a spot "just because". It's no different than getting gas right? You don't just top off your tank every day to keep the tank full for no real reason right? Just my .02
I agree with you.
One interesting fact is that I met only 3 owners of Teslas so far. One waiting for a model 3, one model S and another model X owners and both could NOT afford the car.
They both use an app and rent their Tesla’s during the weekend and the money they get goes towards paying it off...
That’s how I decided on an EV in the first place. I was one of the renters so that I could check out what an EV was all about, and I obviously fell for the Tesla - but cannot afford it.
 
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I also agree with what someone else said above - the more EVs that hit the road, the more this is going to be a problem. I think the key here is only charging when you really need it rather than simply hogging a spot "just because". It's no different than getting gas right? You don't just top off your tank every day to keep the tank full for no real reason right? Just my .02
It IS different from getting gas. Do not forget that in very cold climes, an EV may be fully charged but desire to plug in for battery conditioning. We have to rethink charging station design and structure above the Mason Dixon Line. We may need not just charging spaces but EV parking spaces with 110V outlets. Here, EV owners can use their own (lockable) Level 1 EVSE for the 8+ hours they park in 20 degree (and below) weather. I am thinking business EV parking spaces and not eatery or mall spaces. I pay to park in a multilevel, open, unheated garage at the university where I teach. I would gladly pay more for 110 volt access. In our area, electricity is 11 cents/kWh. Level 1 charging costs < $0.20 /hr, $1.60/8 hours, $8/week. We need to plug in for ~ 10 weeks each winter. This $80 increases my monthly fee by < $7. Or, put in a parking meter with a plug (active only when you pay) for 25 cents an hour and only pay when temperatures necessitate. Even colder latitudes may need more than 10 weeks of battery conditioning. Food for thought.
 

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Charger hogging is definitely not good etiquette. On the chargers where I work, the facilities manager is on the ball. If someone's vehicle is done charging, they get a nastygram via e-mail within 30 minutes if they haven't moved it out of the charging stall. And there is a threat that repeat offenders may be locked out.

Sounds like it's time to limit charging time on those chargers in Santa Cruz - or start charging by the kWh. That's how Chargepoint usually works. My employer let them install four stations in front of the lobby: my employer sells them energy at commercial rates (around 14 cents a kWh), and Chargepoint charges the company's employees 20 cents a kWh. I'm sure Chargepoint would love to take over those chargers in Santa Cruz.
 

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Sounds like it's time to limit charging time on those chargers in Santa Cruz - or start charging by the kWh. That's how Chargepoint usually works. My employer let them install four stations in front of the lobby: my employer sells them energy at commercial rates (around 14 cents a kWh), and Chargepoint charges the company's employees 20 cents a kWh. I'm sure Chargepoint would love to take over those chargers in Santa Cruz.
Charging by the kWh isn't legal in all states. In many places, that turns you into a utility company, which means you get regulated by the public utility commission. However, charging by the hour pretty much works just as well. The chargers at my office are one cost for charging (by the hour), and then an additional cost for being plugged in but not charging. The last part is probably the one we need most, and I bet it's extremely effective: nobody like to pay for literally nothing.
 

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If the Model 3 production ever ramps up, this problem will go away. Everyone will want to use these free chargers and it will be hard to use one. People that depend on uber for $$$ will not have time to wait to charge their car. Trying to charge at one of these charging stations in 2019 will be near impossible.
Model 3 does not get free charging. I don't think we are going to see much congestion it the charge stations as people start becoming comfortable with their range. It only took me a couple of months on my bolt. Of course, I have a L2 charger at home, so I have far less anxiety now.

I think people who are constantly topping off are not being very smart. Aggressive charge cycling is not good for batteries. I wait until 40% and take it up to 90% with HTR. Basically, I am only charge cycling 2 or 3 times per week now.
 

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Model 3 does not get free charging. I don't think we are going to see much congestion it the charge stations as people start becoming comfortable with their range. It only took me a couple of months on my bolt. Of course, I have a L2 charger at home, so I have far less anxiety now.

I think DiscoD was referring to the Tesla destination (Level 2) chargers {"Everyone will want to use these free chargers and it will be hard to use one."} which are nearly all free. The electricity is paid for by the station owner, not Tesla. At many of our WV motels, and all WV State Parks with overnight lodging, there are multiple free Tesla plugs and some J-1772 plugs (usually in a 3:1 ratio). All Model 3 Teslas will get free charges as will all non-Tesla EVs. (All EVs can take the J-1772 plug, even the Tesla owners who are given an adapter.) Those of us who do not own a Tesla, but own the "Tesla Tap" adapter can plug into all of these Level 2 station plugs but NOT any Superchargers.

For Superchargers, the early Model S buyers got free electrons for life. Recent buyers of Model S get 400 kWh free per year, pay for overages, and can "renew" for a fee in subsequent years. Model 3s will not get free Supercharger electrons. Tesla is way ahead of the curve in the L-2 plug/EV ratio, and when the Model 3s come out in force, they still plan to have adequate infrastructure. Even here in poor WV, Tesla has over 6 Supercharger locations and over 30 plugs. (In Charleston AND Huntington, for example, there are 8 plugs, but every other plug shares amperage with its paired "twin".)
 
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