Plug In West Michigan Podcast - Episode 5 - Public Charging

Part of WKTV Journal Grand Rapids, MI Community Programming
... or find it on your favorite podcast feed like iTunes or Spotify.

Episode 5 Show Notes


Main Topic:  Public Charging
  • Why drive electric?
    • Environmental benefits.  The grid keeps getting cleaner (see also EV news below)
    • Cost:
      • 1,000 miles at 35 MPG (Toyota Corolla) = 28.6 gallons @$2.70/gallon = $77.00
      • 1,000 miles at 4 miles/kwh = 250 kWh @ $0.15/kWh = $37.50
      • Electricity is so cheap that you can often get free charging at hotels or restaurants.  I was just in Frankfort and Traverse City and there were plenty of free places to charge.
      • Even without that and driving an efficient car, the savings of driving electric would be about $40 per month or $474 per year.  
      • If you drive an SUV or minivan that gets in the low 20’s MPG, the savings can quickly jump to over $1,000 per year.
      • Don’t forget, no oil changes, no tune-ups, no exhaust issues, no tune-ups, no belts and hoses and very infrequent brake jobs.  Batteries are lasting the life of the car.
  • Home vs. public charging
    • Fundamentally, most charging will take place at home if you have a garage or driveway where you have access to power.  Home charging is even more convenient than pumping gas; just plug in and you have a full "tank" in the morning.
    • Public charging will be the exception for most drivers.
  • Public charging types:
    • Level 2 AC - adds about 20-25 miles of range per hour of charging.  Great for a top up while shopping, eating, overnight hotels, etc.
    • DC Quick Charging - adds 150+ miles of range per hour of charging.  Better suited for a quick top up while road tripping.
  • Charging networks:
  • How to find public stations:
    • PlugShare web site and app - find location and read ratings and reviews
    • Check with car dealers
    • Campgrounds - most EVs can use an RV 50-amp plug to charge
  • Trip planning:
  • EV Charging Etiquette
    • Only charge at public locations when you need it and resist temptation for free charges unless you can move quickly.
    • Move your car when you have enough charge to get where you're going.
    • Leave a phone number visible on the car.  A piece of paper is fine, but see also the shop below for charger hang tags, etc.
    • Be courteous of businesses and hosts that provide charging.
    • Never unplug someone else's charging car.
    • Check in on PlugShare 
    • ChargePoint EV Etiquette Rules
    • TakeChargeandGo Etsy Shop for charging hang tags and EV "survival kits"
  • Other points
    • Have a backup plan for charging.  Not all chargers are 100% reliable and may be in use.
    • Consider a plug-in hybrid as a first plug-in car.  Plug-in hybrid podcast (Episode 2)
    • If unsure - rent a vehicle.  Use the right tool for the right job.

Local EV News

Value Added

If you are in the market for a Tesla Model S, Model X, or Model 3, use my referral code to get free Supercharging.  Program details:


ClipperCreek HCS-40 EVSE "charger" bought used on Facebook Marketplace.  Home charging doesn't have to be expensive.  

Here's the new ClipperCreek unit mounted in my garage after adding a NEMA 14-50 plug bought on eBay.

Public charging station in downtown Muskegon.  Look for it on PlugShare.

Yes, EV road trips are possible with public charging.  It just takes a bit of planning.
These ChargePoint DC Quick Chargers in Walker, MI are a welcome addition for short-range EVs heading to and from the lakeshore.


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