Friday, April 13, 2012

Free Networked Home Charging Station

After 1500 miles without a home charger for our new ActiveE, the installation has at last been completed for our new networked CT-500 ChargePoint charger from ChargePoint America.  From a usability standpoint, the home chargers are even easier to use than the public stations -- there is nothing to scan, just remove the charger from the holster and plug it into the car.  The one button on the device can be used when you want to interrupt a charge in progress.

Notice the cellular antenna on the top right of the device.  One of the key benefits of these higher end charging stations is that they send status information back to ChargePoint so that the status can be viewed through a web portal or through the Charge Point mobile application.

The screenshot below of my ChargePoint dashboard shows my home charger listed in addition to the RFID card I keep on my keychain and use to charge at public charging stations (serial numbers whited out in the screenshot below).  I had to call the contractor to remind them to provision my new unit with ChargePoint and provide my ChargePoint account number to link the new home charger onto my existing account.

The dashboard and mobile app allow me to track charges and total electrical consumption for the car without having to have a separate electrical meter.

My main complaint so far is simply the loud buzzing noise when the unit charges.  This seems to have gotten a little quieter after the first charge, but is still noticeable.  Others have also commented about this in other EV forums.  Next week an inspector will come out to review the installation as part of the permit process (which was completely handled by the contractor), and I will ask about the noise at that time, but it is not any louder than a washing machine, so is not a big problem in any case.

Thank you American Recovery and Reinvestment Act through the Transportation Electrification Initiative administered by the Department of Energy!

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