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How to find an On-the-Go charging spot

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    How to find an On-the-Go charging spot

    Where can I charge?

    While many folks assume that businesses "expect" customers to recharge their electronic devices, in general it is always better to ask first. This is especially true if you are planning to charge for several hours with a charger that may make noise (fans). Packs that cannot be removed easily from the bike present an additional challenge. A business owner that see you plugged into an outlet and with a portable bag may assume it's a laptop or tablet inside, if your running an orange extension cord around the outside of his business you should probably explain what and why you would like to charge. There is an endless online debate about stealth or guerrilla charging, my advise is, just don't, it reflects poorly on the ebike community and in most states, if the owner wants to, you can be arrested and charged with theft of services. Always buy something or offer to pay a fair rate for what you are asking, It's just the right thing to do.

    Locations that are frequently "charge friendly".

    Bike shops, Almost all shops are aware of ebikes as an additional product line as they try and compete with the online retailers. Parts are not a money maker for them anymore and bike services have not filled in that shortfall. A lot of newer shops have coffee shops or even beer bars in them to try and get additional revenue streams. Letting someone get 25¢ worth of electricity is a good investment for an obvious consumer of their other goods.

    Restaurants and Coffee Shops, These are what most folks think of first because of the "they expect me to" thinking, again just ask. You don't have to even give a lot of details, I often just point at my trunk bag in my hand (where my battery/charger live) and ask if I can plug in to charge. I don't start a long discussion about what's in it or eBikes unless they start it.

    RV Campgrounds, This one was suggested by a RV'ing friend who explained that many sites are open in the middle of the day. Campground owners have been willing to allow me to charge for a few hours for a couple bucks. Some even offer it as a kind of "day pass" and have allowed me to use the pool and other facilities while there. This is an especially good choice for groups of riders since a couple bucks a piece may get the owner a full sites fee and the RV sites often have 30 or even 50 amp capacity so having multiple chargers running is not an issue. Splitters and adapters may also be available for the specialized connections these high current outlets use. This is also a good option for the bikes that the battery is not easily removed.

    Libraries, Air conditioned, usually clean restrooms, lots of things to read and plugs for laptops.

    The gazebos, picnic pavilion etc often have outlets. If you see a ranger or other employee again, ask first.

    Highway Works Yards, usually equipped to handle heavy machinery and in general, if you are out of the way they will let you plug in for awhile if you answer their questions about ebikes.

    Fire Stations, Very community service oriented have even been offered lunch while I hung out !

    Help in finding a charging spot

    There are a number of apps available on the iTunes Store and Google Play Store that list places to charge EV's. Auto manufacturers also have dedicated portions of their websites to lising compatible charging station locations. Here are a few (i'm limiting myself to USA but you get the idea)

    PlugShare, Lists open outlets for both 110v and EV chargers, with embedded google map feature so you can see where the charger is right in the app.

    Tesla website, lists all tesla dealers and stand alone charger stations

    NextCharge, similar to PlugShare

    MANY MORE ! I was going to place a list here but you get the idea. Go to your platforms app store and search for EV Charging to get your own list to choose from.

    Types of connections

    These are some of the types of connection points you are likely to find using the locations I outlined above. If you find a favorite it may be worth your while to build your own adapter.

    110, Standard North American wall outlet.

    30 amp, Commonly found at RV sites, adapter needed to plug in 110v charger

    50 amp, Commonly found at larger RV sites, adapter needed to plug in 110v charger

    J1772, EV charger port. I listed this since there are quite a few out there that do not have a standard 110v outlet along with them. I have read conflicting descriptions about these and it seems that there are several versions of this general style. These are 220v native, but you cannot just take 1 leg of it like a normal household 220v since it has no neutral. Any EV professionals can give a technical breakdown of this connection, that would be great. Please post it below.
    Last edited by Bicycle365; 07-09-2016, 05:29 PM.

    I would personally go easy with the on-the-go charging, it is something not recommended if you care for longevity of your battery pack...

    Never leave Lithium batteries fully charged for long periods, to store leave pack at 3.85 volts LiPo or 3.75 volts Li-Ion.

    Don't cycle Lithium packs, it just eats one life cycle away for no good reason.

    Recharge only prior to use and recharge only if battery is nearly done; or around 20% capacity left; or not enough capacity to deliver the task at hand if below ~40%

    Every time you recharge the pack the internal resistance grows slightly, those are not cell phone packs that have minute drain over time, those are packs that are required to draw a lot of amps, and with higher internal resistance the voltage will sag really bad, until the pack is useless.

    If you find yourself having to recharge on-the-go all the time then you need to rethink what battery you're carrying.

    In batteries if you buy cheap, you buy twice.

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