Monday, April 1, 2013
PlugShare Discoveries, Thoughts, and Ideas!
+ Polls for your thoughts!
On Plug Share - it seems I keep discovering similar issues - as I go about tallying the days growth in my new blog - http://myplugshareblog.blogspot.ca/ - Duplicated 'New Stations', caused by anxious supporters of the movement - that just go off and add a 'New Station' that they 'Think they discovered' but is in fact - really just a replication of one already listed with Plugshare. Another issue is people don't quite know the best way to select their particular new addition - some add public stations - when they really want to add Residential Chargers - that they want to share with the public, and other list there stations as public - when in fact they are not intended for full public access - but are restricted in some way as to time, model or brand, or physically behind closed gates for numerous hours. Some Even List Personal Residential Chargers - as Restricted Chargers!
It seems to me there needs to be some better definition of what type of charger is listed as what type of listing, and there needs to be some form of communication this on the PlugShare Website - if not in general Q&A/Definitions page, then in a stop and verify process at the time of adding a station.
For Me - in the Sense that a Public Highway - does not Close, nor does a Public Street 'Close' when businesses do - then in the same fashion - a 'Public Charger' should in fact be required to mean - is open All the Time, at any time. And as a Public Road is Driven on by any type of Vehicle - I believe - a Public Electric Vehicle Charger - should - in fact - fit the same relevant criteria - and actually be there for the use by Any Electric Vehicle type. So - basically - to me - a 'Public Charging Station' is one that is open for Any Electric Vehicle, at Any Hour, and Only is closed due to Major Repairs, or Extreme Weather related issues (Just as Highways some times close for extreme weather only).
Further - I believe - what we otherwise call Public Stations - that have limited Hours, or restrict their access to any particular brand or brands, Should either be listed in fact as "Restricted Stations" or have a new category that suits them better - "Limited Access Public Stations" - meaning public - but not full access stations, with a sub category to select - Limited hours; Limited Access (Behind Gates after hours); Limited Brands - Like the Current Tesla Super Chargers, as much as CHAdeMO or SAE Combo Chargers are and will be, as not all vehicles can use them but they are restricted to a limited sub-set of all electric vehicles.
Next - Restricted Access - really should mean - Fleet Vehicles Only - as installed on Private Property, for company vehicles only, behind gates, with no intention of any shared public access, baring any normal access, but not limiting - on a case-by-case basis - the option of rendering assistance to a member of the public who would otherwise be stuck or stranded due to a local failed or inoperable Public Charger.
Personal Residential Stations - should be home stations - Only - unless a case could be made for this category at a Small Business - that is almost considered home by an Electric Vehicle Owner - because his normal home is in a apartment building - so his primary charging is at his business place, and he has installed his personal EV Charger there, for access.
Of course, for personal Charging - there is the venerable 'Wall Plug' for 120V Power, all the way up to the Tesla HPWC or High Powered Wall Charger, for the Model S. It is not likely to find an in-home CHAdeMO unit installed - even if we could get one at the mentioned $9,999.00 Price by Nissan/Sumitomo.
It would seem that DC-QC's or DC Quick Chargers - are in fact coming to three or four standards now: Very High Power - as in the case of the Tesla Superchargers - which by nature of their power level and plug standard - are proprietary, and hence may be 'Public-Like' Chargers - are in Fact Less than public - for all but Tesla Product Owners, and hence should be called - "Limited Access Public Stations", or "Limited Access High Power Public Stations", or even more direct - "Tesla Supercharger Station". Similar Thinking suggests that CHAdeMO Chargers - would be best suited with a more direct Name - either using the same nomenclature - "Limited Access High Power Public Stations" - or a more particular definitive - "50 kW CHAdeMO DC Stations", or for the newer lower power units - "25 kW CHAdeMO DC Stations", or Simply "High Power CHAdeMO", and "Low Power CHAdeMO".
There are now also high power Level 2 Chargers - in the order of 60 - 90 Amps Maximum Capacity, and they present an interesting thought in naming challenges: Should they just blend in with all Level 2 Chargers - or should they be identified better? If I am driving a vehicle that can take advantage of such a power level (Tesla Roadster, or Model S, at the moment) - would I like to know easier (By Identifiable Icon) that - this is what the charger is?
Next - if a Charger is Broken - having a bright RED Icon displayed when it is non-operational - would allow easy identifying of dead or failed stations. If a Filter in comments could be devised - to identify Broken Stations - and change the icon to RED, until such time as a Positive Checkin occured, at which time it would switch back to normal, would allow better - easier trip planning on the charge network.
A Final piece of visibility - I think would be an interesting filter - would be an Icon that is not Grey - when in use - but rather - changes from it's base-line color, to Grey, - alternating - in a Flash Mode. This would give the Effect of an instant glance on where the Checked in activity is happening in a general view of an area, and allow selecting - either a working charger - knowing that it is use, or a different one that is not in use at that time.
Not all the pieces of this puzzle may be able to be implemented, and some may not even be workable, but just spending 15 minutes in front of an Air Traffic Controllers Scopes - would give you some of the idea of what I envision and future enhancements, and current possibilities!
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My Monday Update will be delivered On Tuesday this week, but markers have been set for start and finish, to keep track of the activity beginning and end for the Monday Count!