Fast chargers, the J1772 standard, and bicycles/scooters/motorcycles

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reikiman
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Fast chargers, the J1772 standard, and bicycles/scooters/motorcycles

Today I was at an amazing meeting - the San Francisco Bay Area governments (and some businesses) are working diligently to make changes to build up infrastructure and code changes so that the coming wave of electric vehicles will have an easy time of being used. Today's meeting was one in a series of meetings where they're going over the issues.

One issue is the automotive industry has (or will soon) agree on a standard charging plug: J1772. The idea is to have one charging connection for safety reasons, and to simplify the story for electric vehicle service equipment (EVSE) a.k.a. charging stations. In the past (the years of the electric vehicle mandate) there were 2 (?3?) different connectors for electric vehicles, and this was a big problem that they clearly don't want to repeat.

What it means is there will be a lot of charging stations out there with J1772 connectors on them, meant to be used by cars. However obviously electric scooters and motorcycles could also be using these charging stations. Bicycles using these charging stations might be a bit out of place, but scooters and motorcycles would fit right in.

I haven't heard of any scooter or motorcycle manufacturer discuss the J1772 connector. Further scooters and motorcycles have smaller battery packs and the normal 120 volt AC charging rate (approx 1 kilowatt) is perfectly fine, perhaps. Clearly full size EV's (e.g. the Nissan LEAF has a 26 kilowatt-hour battery pack) need higher power chargers in order to have a reasonable charging time.

I have a concern however that maybe the result will be scooters & motorcycles that do not have these connectors, a charging infrastructure that only uses these connectors, leaving the EV scooter and motorcycle owners out of luck because of the automobile focused planning commissions that aren't aware of EV scooters and motorcycles.

So I asked them about this. Their answer was along the lines that an EV scooter or motorcycle owner would have a positive advantage from having higher speed charging, and that it would be a great idea for them to get on board with the J1772 standard. Hmm, while that's a great point it wasn't exactly the answer I wanted to hear.

For the record - it is immensely frustrating to ride my electric motorcycle to Sunnyvale, park in the garage, there's EV parking there, but their equipment is incompatible with my charger because they don't have a simple 120v outlet to plug into. Only the AVCON and paddle style chargers.

MikeB
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Re: Fast chargers, the J1772 standard, and ...

I wonder how difficult it would be to create an adapter, allowing a standard 110v plug to connect to a J1772 charging station? The electrical contacts should be trivial, but the communication channel might cause problems. What if the charger refused to provide power to a vehicle that didn't identify itself on the comm channel? That would imply that an adapter plug would need to contain at least one chip, and possibly a way to program in a vehicle ID.

I suspect this type of smart adapter might be a nice accessory for a small electric bike company to design & sell. Perhaps we could get the Current Motor Company to look into it after the first round of bikes get shipped?

My electric vehicle: CuMoCo C130 scooter.

reikiman
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Re: Fast chargers, the J1772 standard, and ...

Yes, that's one possibility .. another possibility is for scooter & motorcycle vendors to use this connector.

Apparently nobody has seen one of these connectors in the flesh yet.

tdowlin1
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Re: Fast chargers, the J1772 standard, and ...

David,

There is a 120V receptacle in the garage, just to the left of the leftmost 208V charging station, about two feet off the ground. See the listing at http://www.evchargernews.com/regions/95112_2.htm

Also, all the Coulomb charging stations include 120V receptacles. That's what you would use to charge at 120V.

The J1772 connector on charging stations will deliver only 208-240V. The neutral is not present in the cable.

Vehicles will come with a J1772 cable with a 5-15 GFCI on the wall end, and a J1772 connector on the vehicle end. That will allow them to charge from either 120V or 208-240V -- 120V with their special cord, and 208-240V at J1772 charging stations.

A scooter or other vehicle with a J1772 inlet on the vehicle would need to have a dual-voltage(120V/208-240V) charger onboard.

Tom Dowling

jdh2550_1
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Re: Fast chargers, the J1772 standard, and ...

I suspect this type of smart adapter might be a nice accessory for a small electric bike company to design & sell. Perhaps we could get the Current Motor Company to look into it after the first round of bikes get shipped?

We certainly plan on offering J1772 as an option. However, we don't see the benefit of being an early adopter on this and putting it as standard on every bike - that would just increase the cost for (at present) little real world gain. We'll take a wait and see approach for what municipalities and local businesses provide in terms of suitable charging infrastructure.

But, as soon as J1772 charging stations actually appear that allow motorcycle / motor-scooter access(*) we will provide some form of optional accessory for folks that want to charge this way.

(*) as an example - most of the public parking facilities in downtown Ann Arbor do not allow motorcycles to enter. On the other hand the public parking facilities that do allow access have about a half-dozen free parking spots. I could easily see a city like Ann Arbor "doing the right thing" and making EV charging available for car bays and not considering motorcycles. I bet that scenario could be easily repeated throughout the country. Yes, the best idea is to get involved and make sure that councils take into account 2 wheelers. At CuMoCo we simply don't have the time and resources to do that right now.

John H. Founder of Current Motor Company - opinions on this site belong to me; not to my employer
Remember: " 'lectric for local. diesel for distance" - JTH, Amp Bros || "No Gas.

reikiman
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Re: Fast chargers, the J1772 standard, and ...

Hi Tom, thank you for the notes. So it does seem that if I'd ridden my motorcycle to the meeting I could have charged though I seem to recall Coloumb's CEO Lowenthal saying he couldn't find a charging station. Anyway the charging station that has me more frustrated is the following one in Sunnyvale that does not have an outlet compatible with the charger on my motorcycle (only AVCON and Paddle).

http://www.evchargernews.com/regions/94086_3.htm

Thanks to your map I see a different one is a couple blocks away but it too is only AVCON.

It's unfortunate that all these charging posts were installed in the mandate era but few had 120v outlets. That's what I raised during the meeting hoping to get an answer. It seems from what you say we'll be needing a cable opposite to what you describe.

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