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Thread: Bed and breakfast- what to install to attract people

  1. #1
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    Bed and breakfast- what to install to attract people

    My wife and I open our home up to guests using AirBnB. I would like to offer electric car charging to those that stay with us. I want to attract electric car owners. I want to install something better than what we have without paying too much money. I am thinking Nema 14-50 outlet but am open to other ideas. Some things I've thought about:
    the 2-3 thousand for a bill at point of use unit is too expensive for us.
    in garage has more value but gives us inconvenience
    outside access available to all with an honor system pay as you go for those that want to stop for just a short top up (could be used if we were not home)
    spend a little more money to run a line to an open ended shed- could even run a new meter for this if idea was popular.

    Owners- please offer advice on what to install, how to market or best let you know, how to make it easy for you. Should I think of other things.

    And if you have ideas or links to help my redneck electrician do this right... please share.

    And if you are travelling through eastern north carolina let me know and I will send you link for where we are.

  2. #2
    Roadster#433, Model S#S37 Cottonwood's Avatar
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    I agree that the cost of doing a pay for your charge is too much for a small operation, both in initial install and ongoing fees.

    The simplest, cheapest install is probably a weatherproof 14-50. Another alternative to consider that would provide 50% more power with at least a little more safety interlock protection is the EMW JuiceBox. This unit has a J1772 interface and supports a 15 kW, 60 Amp charge rate, 50% more than a 14-50. Of course this will require a 75 or 80 Amp breaker and larger wire.

    For collecting money, I think that a simple honor system will work well. Let's look at electric costs. If we assume that local electric rates are $0.12/kW-hr, then the cost for a 14-50 (10 kW) is $1.20 per hour, and a 60 Amp (15 kW) J1772 is $1.80 per hour. A simple, approximate doubling of cost is probably appropriate to cover install costs and other overhead. That means $2.50 per hour for a 14-50, and $4.00 per hour for the 60-Amp J1772 are probably a good start for a recommended donation. A nice note with a cash lock box should work most of the time. Also, consider setting up a paypal account so that folks can use their smartphone to pay. Put a QR code in the directions that goes directly to a PayPal page paying your account. My wild guess is that over 90% of EV users would pay you with this honor system. If you want to keep track of electric usage, there are plenty of simple meters. Here are a few examples, Electrical Power Meters | eBay, or perhaps a TED, The Energy Detective (TED).

    I own a Model S and live in remote SW Colorado. This is an area that will be poorly supported by the Supercharger network even at buildout. I hope to find a simple setup like the above to get a few local businesses to install.

    Good luck, and thanks for making the effort.

  3. #3
    S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13 jerry33's Avatar
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    The B&B that I use in Nebraska charges $10 per day for a 14-50. I don't think they have thought about temporary charging.

    As far as installation goes:

    1. Use a waterproof enclosure.

    2. Use #6 wire.

    3. Put the round hole at the top.
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  4. #4
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    A 14-50 outlet is great for Teslas. I suggest a normal 120 V outlet as well, for other EVs to trickle charge, they can't use a 14-50 with the equipment (EVSE) that comes with their cars.

    Another option would be to buy a Cllipper Creek LCS-25 charging station for $495 plus installation. All EVs could use it, and it would be much more convienent and attractive to EV drivers than a 120 V outlet. It can provide 20 A, which is fast enough to charge about 140 miles during an overnight stay of 10-11 hours. The lower amperage could save on installation costs as well.

    Clipper Creek

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    Last edited by GSP; 2013-09-03 at 05:53 PM. Reason: Correct amperage spec and overnight charging capability
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  5. #5
    Senior Member PhilBa's Avatar
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    I may be a bit biased, but I think Tesla is currently the only car for EV touring. As such, I think you would be best served focusing on that for now. But, the good news is Tesla owners are in a very very desirable segment as they can afford an expensive car and are likely to have the means (and interest) for B&Bs. That means a simple NEMA 14-50 outlet. Right now, I have several areas where I would like to spend a weekend. If any of the B&B or hotels have a charger or outlet, I will not hesitate to book a room there. I use plugshare and recargo (and the regional TM club forum) to look for places so you would definitely want to have your info there.
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    I'd highly recommend the Clipper Creek EVSE linked above. Its $495 and the installation cost should be the same or less than a 14-50 outlet, so the total might be something like $200-$300 more, but since all EV's can use it, you triple (or better) the number of people that will go out of their way to stay there for it. I drive a Volt, and I'll go out of my way to get a free charge because I love keeping my average MPG as high as possible and there are many others like me.

    As for cost, I'd make it free. Charging too much for it will turn off Volt / Plug in Prius / Ford Plug in Hybrid drivers, and the electricity cost for anything besides a Tesla is $2 or less depending on your local electricity rate. If you're worried about non-guests using it, you could always leave the circuit breaker for it off (it'll require a dedicated breaker anyway) and only turn it on when a guest needs it.

  7. #7
    Member GlennAlanBerry's Avatar
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    I agree that a simple NEMA 14-50, on its own circuit breaker, possibly free for B&B guests would be a good competitive advantage, at least for Tesla owners. Just a few room/nights of occupancy would pay for the installation and the electricity usage.

    Something like a Clipper Creek would let you handle any type of EV. Once you do it, you should update your web site, publicize it here, and get yourself on PlugShare, Recargo, etc., so people know about it.
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    Member Ven Rala's Avatar
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    First, thanks for considering EV customers, we need more B&B owners and hotels like you. Whatever you end up installing, definitely put it on plugshare, that is my and many other EV owners' resource for looking up EV friendly places.
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  9. #9
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    Speaking for myself, I'd actively seek out a B&B, Inn or hotel with charging, however I'd also have no problem paying a reasonable fee to use it. If we're going to get more charging stations installed at low usage places like B&B's I feel we should be willing to pay something for the convenience, not to mention the cost of the power.

  10. #10
    Member roblab's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RDoc View Post
    Speaking for myself, I'd actively seek out a B&B, Inn or hotel with charging, however I'd also have no problem paying a reasonable fee to use it. If we're going to get more charging stations installed at low usage places like B&B's I feel we should be willing to pay something for the convenience, not to mention the cost of the power.
    Reading the plans to increase the Sun Country Charging Network to cover holes in the Super Charging System, I tend to agree with them. The Clipper Creek 80 amp chargers would be donated by interested parties. The cost of electricity is negligible.

    I tend to think the same is true of Bed and Breakfasts. If I had a favorite place to stay, as a Tesla Owner, I would discuss with the owner putting in a J1772 charger (Clipper Creek is one of the best) with decent amperage (at least 40 amps, what you can get from a 14-50). This way, anyone could use it, and it should be free to customers of the B&B. They should advertise this benefit in all their advertising and on the charging web sites.

    I have decided to stop using a certain hotel because they did not even want to talk about me charging my EV. I will go where I am appreciated. And I will be glad to pay extra for certain amenities, just as I would for breakfast, wifi, or any other advantage.

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