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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So on Monday when I was headed to lunch I happened to notice a LADWP (Los Angeles Department of Water & Power) work crew working on a power pole next to the street. This isn't a particularly uncommon event and I may not have even noticed them if I did not have to walk between them on the sidewalk.

Well then yesterday I noticed that mounted on that power pole is a brand new L2 EVSE.

.

We already have a few of these "curb side" EVSEs in the area but all the other ones I've seen are managed by Greenlots or some other company and the charging isn't free.

This one clearly has a contactless reader on the front of it but the label says "Power provided by Los Angeles Department of Water & Power" so it seems they plan on keeping this one free.



I did not recognize the charger either, it's not obvious but hidden below the charge handle receptacle it's molded "EVBox" along with an information label.

Looking at the EVBox web site, I can see they have quite a few products but not a lot of detail on anything. They make you fill out a form with all your information before they let you download their brochures or data sheets. I was able to glean that this unit is one of their "business" chargers (as opposed to their "public" chargers (which seem to all be pedestal mounted)). They also have some "home" chargers but those seem geared towards people who are driving leased company vehicles, charging at home and having their company reimburse them for the power used for charging (interesting idea).

I also noticed that their chargers are available up to 22kW (100A) but it seems this one is only rated for 7.4kW/32A, obviously plenty for the Bolt but I expect that future EVs will increasingly be able to handle higher charging current.



I went ahead and charged there for a few hours this morning, when I plugged in it took about 15 seconds before it started charging, then for the first minute or so it was charging at 2kW (per the dashboard) then it finally ramped up to 7kW. I watched it for a few minutes and the dashboard even showed 8kW briefly a couple times. Since I have Torque I was able to see it charging at almost exactly 7.2kW.

One thing about this charger I don't like is that it has a cord minder reel mounted about 10' up the pole that's obviously designed to keep the charging cord and connector off the ground. It works for that, you can take the connector out of it's dock and let go and it won't touch the ground. The problem is the strong spring tension in the reel makes it difficult to pull the charge cord out to the drivers side of the vehicle where the Bolts (and it seems most other EVs) charge port is located. I originally parked about a foot behind the charger but had to move so I was directly next to it. As it is I ended up having to pull the cord across my hood and there is more strain on the charge port in the car than I'd like. I'm thinking you could "fix" this problem by bringing a small hand held clamp and use that to hold the cord out of the reel at the right length so you aren't fighting all that spring tension.



One other thing I'm not too keen on is parking on the street. It's not obvious from the pic above (taken at 7:00 a.m.) but this is a very busy street during rush hour. Several of my employees have had their mirrors taken out or otherwise had their cars damaged parking on this street (one recently had their car totaled). We actually pay the business that this charger is in front of to let our employees park in their parking lot so they aren't forced to park on the street but several still do because they don't want to walk the extra few hundred steps. When I was parked about 2" from the curb the charge port door didn't stick out into the lane but it was closer than I'd like. I might bring a traffic cone and drop it on the ground behind the outside corner of my car when I charge here.

One other thing, California actually has a law that prevents you from parking in a designated "Electric Vehicle Charging" parking spot unless you're charging your electric vehicle. I've found that in regular parking lots that this prevents spots from being ICEd out quite well but I've never seen one of these curb side chargers with a designated, marked parking space so I expect that this charger will be ICEd out quite a lot.

The bright side of that (for me at least) is that there are parking restrictions on this street prohibiting parking between 2:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. That means that when I arrive for work between 6:30 and 7:00 I'm practically guaranteed to be able to park here if I need to.

Of course I've already added the charger to Plugshare. There are actually quite a few plug in vehicles in the area so this is a good placement in that regard. You might notice a Bolt parked to the left of the charger in the first pic, that one's not mine. That Bolt and a C-MAX Energi park in that lot nearly every day (I saw the latter charging this afternoon) and I routinely see Leafs (Leaves?) and other plug in vehicles parked there (this is a skating rink). I still think most people (who aren't earlybirds like me) will find an ICE vehicle blocking the charger though.

All in all, despite the downsides I'm definitely going to be using this one and expect it will be providing me with most of my Bolt's food for the foreseeable future. I figure I park there for 3-4 hours once every other week and I'll never need to charge at home.

 

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I had remembered reading something about this LADWP program some time back...so I just did some furious searching and:

LADWP Will Install More Power Pole EV Chargers as Part of Pilot Program

and another, more recent story:

Electric vehicle sales represent an opportunity for utilities

Los Angeles currently has 1,300 chargers, but has a goal of 10,000 commercial chargers in five years, Moon said. Of that number, 4,000 would be on city property such as power poles.
I remember thinking the LADWP pilot program story was Public Relations, BS happy talk...boy was I wrong.
 

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I'm thinking you could "fix" this problem by bringing a small hand held clamp and use that to hold the cord out of the reel at the right length so you aren't fighting all that spring tension.
I'm stealing this idea. Cheap "I" clamp with those trigger handles would be easy to throw in the cargo area. I have a similar charger I use with a high hose reel too. Thanks!
 

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Awesome! Despite potential issues such as ICEing I鈥檓 super into the idea of power/light pole chargers, especially in residential areas. Santa Monica has an EV Action Plan that outlines efforts through 2025 and chargers such as these are included. Looking foreword to seeing how well they work out in other areas and hope we end up with a few in our neighborhood!
 

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Awesome! Despite potential issues such as ICEing I鈥檓 super into the idea of power/light pole chargers, especially in residential areas. Santa Monica has an EV Action Plan that outlines efforts through 2025 and chargers such as these are included. Looking foreword to seeing how well they work out in other areas and hope we end up with a few in our neighborhood!

I'm a real fan of Santa Monica's forward-thinking when it comes to EVs. They were one of the first municipalities in CA to put in public chargers for the EV-1 (and later, the 2001 RAV4-EV) in the late '90s.
 
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