fearless_fool
Posts: 17
Joined: Wed May 09, 2012 10:58 am

Psst, buddy, want a free charging station?

Wed May 09, 2012 8:24 pm

I was a little frustrated that BestBuy Geek Squad didn't know much about the Ford / Leviton charging stations, and so I started looking for alternatives. I'm glad I did. If you live in any of these places:

Austin/San Antonio, Boston, New York/New Jersey, Orlando/Tampa, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Jose/San Francisco Bay Area, Redmond/Bellevue, Washington DC/Baltimore, Southern Michigan (including Grand Rapids, Lansing, Ann Arbor, Detroit)

and if you have a private garage or carport, you may be eligible for a free charging station. The charging station is a ChargePoint CT500, a 7.2 kW charging station that delivers Level 2 (208/240 V @ 30 A) charging and is compatible with plug-in electric vehicles that comply with the SAE J1772™ plug-in electric vehicle charging standard. As far as I know, that's pretty much exactly what the FFE requires.

You pay for the installation, but the charger itself is free. According to ChargePoint America:
This is made possible by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act through the Transportation Electrification Initiative administered by the Department of Energy and the objective is to accelerate the development and production of electric vehicles to substantially reduce petroleum consumption, reduce greenhouse gas production, and create jobs.
For more info, see:

http://chargepointamerica.com/program-info.php
http://chargepointamerica.com/charging-stations.php

I'm planning on going this route. I'll post my experiences as things progress.

- ff

EcoDad
Posts: 28
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2012 1:43 pm

Re: Psst, buddy, want a free charging station?

Sat May 19, 2012 6:17 am

Hi fearless_fool,

Awesome find and thanks for posting. Anything that makes the Ford focus electric more consumer friendly can only help the cause. A quick question. I could not find anywhere an estimated price for how much an installation costs for a Ford focus ev charging station from this company. I even came across a statement on the ChargePoint website that peaked my curiosity.

"Yes. These are Level 2 charging stations that require 220 volts, and special wiring is needed. The wiring is similar to the wiring needed to install a new electric clothes dryer. The wiring needs to be done directly at a private garage or carport."

This makes it seem like there might be upselling or high installation costs for this "Free" charging station. If the installation by this company costs more then an installation + station from another company then its not really free and this company makes out like a bandit getting money from both the government and consumer. I am always a bit leery of government funded programs as there is usually always someone trying to scam the system. Also here is a cool link to check your eligibility by zip code:

http://chargepointamerica.com/search-zip-code.php

Please do keep us focus electric forum members posted on your further findings on this and let us know if you do any price compares. Thanks again for the awesome find!

NextGenDriver
Posts: 26
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2012 1:47 pm

Re: Psst, buddy, want a free charging station?

Sat May 19, 2012 6:43 am

Here is a great article on this very focus electric charging station topic with a lot of great points to consider:

http://www.plugincars.com/wanted-fair-c ... 06724.html

They mention the same concerns that EcoDad had below about a "Free" Ford focus ev charging station subsidized by the gov't. One point I gleamed from the article that I did not previously consider is the warranty that comes with a "Free" installation. Other companies are offering 3 install warranties. If the "Free" charging stations for the focus ev do not come with a well covered warranty you could wind losing or costing yourself more money in the end. Also here is a link to another part of the govt's "Free" programs:

http://www.theevproject.com/

fearless_fool
Posts: 17
Joined: Wed May 09, 2012 10:58 am

Re: Psst, buddy, want a free charging station?

Tue May 22, 2012 9:44 am

@EcoDad: You said: "I could not find anywhere an estimated price for how much an installation costs for a Ford focus ev charging station from this company."

I suspect that's because it's impossible to know what the wiring costs will be without a site visit. (Do you already have 220V in your garage? Then it's cheap. Is your distribution panel already full? Then it's expensive.) In my case, I had my own certified electrician bring 220V/40A service into a J box in my garage -- total cost $512. The representative from ChargePoint stopped by, was pleased with what he saw and signed off on the work -- no cost.

The next step is someone from ChargePoint will come and install the charger -- I'm told "within two weeks". The final installation may cost something, but it should be minimal since the electrical service is already in place. I'll keep you posted.

(This still seems better than trying to cope with the Best Buy's GeekSquad and Mr. Electric -- the former doesn't know much about the Ford charger and the latter doesn't service my area.)

Nal67
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2012 6:12 am

Re: Psst, buddy, want a free charging station?

Tue Jun 12, 2012 9:18 pm

Thanks for posting this. My car just arrived at the dealership and I am chargerless. I applied for a Chargepoint yesterday and got approved today. Apparently Solar City is doing the installations in my area (SF Bay Area). I just had my panel upgraded with a 40 amp circuit reserved for the FFE so I am anticipating the installation should not be too much. Apparently there is a tax credit up to $600 to offset the charger so I'm hoping it will be totally free.

klaus
Posts: 103
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 7:45 pm

Re: Psst, buddy, want a free charging station?

Thu Jun 14, 2012 9:21 am

Nal67 - did you get your Ford Focus Electric from the dealership yet?

Nal67
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2012 6:12 am

Re: Psst, buddy, want a free charging station?

Thu Jun 14, 2012 8:16 pm

Embarassed to say it is sitting there at the dealership as I've been so busy with work I haven't had a chance to pick it up. Planning to go get it on Saturday.

fearless_fool
Posts: 17
Joined: Wed May 09, 2012 10:58 am

Re: Psst, buddy, want a free charging station?

Sat Jun 16, 2012 8:47 am

@Nal67:

I've discovered that "free" ain't exactly free. Solar City's installers will charge for a minimum of 3 hours worth of work, with parts and labor, even if you already have 220V/40A service in your garage. And unless you take care of the permitting yourself, they charge for that. The $600 rebate makes it cheaper -- and it's still a great deal -- but it's not free.

(In my case, my garage is so small that there's no 'legal' place to put the EVSE, so I can't get it permitted, so I can't take advantage of the offer. But that's another story for another post.)

I'll post the cost breakdown from Solar City's estimate when I get a chance.

- ff

Return to “Batteries and Charging Forum”