EV Charge Stations

This paper reviews the potential of a community based Electric Vehicle charge station on Hayden Island. Electric cars will soon be cheaper to buy and operate than today’s gas and diesel vehicles.

They’ll need charge stations. Level 2 chargers are available at over 1,000 locations in Oregon, but DC quick-chargers, that can fill up in 30 minutes or less, are only available in about 125 locations. PGE’s Transportation Electrification Plan calls for up to six Electric Avenues in the region.

The conventional wisdom is that when the price for an EV battery pack falls below $100 per kWh, electric cars will become cheaper than conventional cars. Batteries for $100 per kilowatt hour are predicted by 2020.

Batteries are predicted to be $50 per KW/hr by 2025. Electric cars will then be significantly cheaper to buy, run and maintain, creating a HUGE demand for charge stations.

You can already cut your fuel costs in half using solar/electric. The State of Oregon has a goal of 50,000 zero-emissions vehicles by 2020 (with only 18,000 today). Here are the EV charge stations currently available near Hayden Island.

The PlugShare map and West Coast Green Highway Map show what chargers are near you. Charger networks generally cost money to use and have a variety of plans. Level 2 charging may cost around $1.50/hr. The biggest charging networks include ChargePoint, AeroVironment, Blink, EvGo and Tesla. Charge stations may be found at Fred Meyer, Walgreens, Walmart and car dealerships. You may also charge at PGE’s Electric Avenue, Clark Utilities and other locations.

A 6 KW Level 2, 32A charge station adds 25 miles or so of range per hour, charging most EVs in under 4 hours. By contrast, more powerful 60-300KW DC Fast Chargers can fill up in 30 minutes. The slowest are wall-plug, Level 1 chargers, which can take 12 hours or more.

Tesla’s Superchargers are nominally capable of charging at 145 kilowatts, though individual cars only charge at 120 kw, or about 200 miles in half an hour. Electrify America is building a rival network to Tesla Superchargers and accessible to electric cars made by any automaker.

Electric Vehicle Charge Stations come in three levels, slow, medium and fast. Medium speed, Level 2 charging is often free, provided as an amenity like free WiFi.

  • Level 1 charger is the slowest. Mostly for home use for overnight charging, using 110 volts AC. Takes 8+ hours to get 40 miles of range. Draws about 1.5 kWatts, similar to a hair dryer.
  • Level 2 charger uses 220 volts AC (like a clothes dryer). One hour of charging can deliver between 10 – 25 miles. Draws 6-8 KWatts.
  • DC Fast Chargers deliver the fastest charge. A low-range (75 mi) electric car can be charged in less than half an hour. Draws 60-400 kWatts.

DC Fast Chargers let you “fill-up” in 30 minutes or so. EvGo has a public Fast Charger at the Delta Park Walmart while Electrify America may install one at the Jantzen Beach Target in 2019.

Electrify America owns and operates their DC Fast Charging Network, unlike their Level 2 program, which allows site hosts to set their own pricing. Electrify America says each site will draw “between one and two megawatts of power” — a massive undertaking. EA installs separate electric utility services for the power-hungry charging sites.

Electrify America and EvGo are using VW Diesel settlement money to build DC Fast Charging networks nationwide. Electrify America is a division of Volkswagen, formed as part of the company’s settlement with the California Air Resources Board and the EPA.

GM is partnering with EvGo, ChargePoint and Greenlots for a seamless charging experience. ChargePoint has the largest network of public chargers for electric cars.

The “J” plug (below, right) became standard equipment in the U.S. market due in part to the availability of it in the West Coast Green Highway and ChargePoint America networks and available on most EVs. The common EV charging plug can handle both Level 1 (110 volt AC) and Level 2 (220 Volt AC). But newer Electric Vehicles are now supporting DC Fast Charging, for 10x the speed and power delivery.

There are two types of connectors that currently support DC Fast Chargers: CHAdeMO and SAE. The Japanese-developed CHAdeMO standard (left) is favored by Nissan, Mitsubishi, and Toyota, while the Society of Automotive Engineers’ (SAE) standard (middle), the Combined Charging System (CCS) is becoming more dominant and backed by GM, Ford, Volkswagen, BMW and others. The Tesla Supercharger has their own proprietary, 480-volt DC fast-charging network for their own vehicles.

Most DC Fast Chargers deliver from 60 KWatts to well over 100 KiloWatts, enabling you to “fill up” in 30-45 minutes. To mimic gas fueling times of 5 minutes, charging speeds would need to reach 700kW. Most cars can’t (yet) handle that, although 800-volt ultra-fast charging is available for the Porsche Taycan, the Audi e-tron GT, and the Aston Martin Rapide E.

(1) Red Lion Hotel, 909 N Hayden Island Dr, Portland, OR 97217
Currently, only the Red Lion Hotel currently has a public charge station for electric vehicles on the Island. You must be a guest of the hotel. It has two 110/220 charge stations, one for Tesla and the other for LEAF and similar cars. Near the main entrance.


(1) Portland Expo Center, 2060 N Marine Dr, Portland, OR 97217: Three Blink charge stations, near the front gate.

(2) Best Western Hotel, 1215 N Hayden Meadows Dr. 97217:
Two ChargePoint CT4000 Charge Stations, with CHAdeMO, CCS1/CCS2 connectors, as well as three Tesla Destination Chargers (20 kW or 80A at 250V AC single-phase). Located along the west side near the front entrance.

(3) Delta Park Walmart: Two fast charge EVgo Charging Stations, 1123 N Hayden Meadows Dr, 97217. Located in the main (North) Parking lot. This is the fastest charger near Hayden Island, although Clark Public Utilites also has a DC fast charger at 1200 Fort Vancouver Way.

EVgo is now the exclusive provider of free fast-charging services under Nissan’s “No Charge To Charge” program, in which charging is free to buyers of new Nissan Leafs for two years. Delta Park is somewhat off the beaten path, but free “fuel” for two years is hard to beat.

In addition, Hotel Indigo by Kirkland Development, on the Vancouver Waterfront, will likely have an EV charge station (for guests only).

A 10KW solar array might cost about $20K with another $10K for the electronics. A completed and operational solar charge station with electronics might cost $30K-$40K, or as much as $60K if you order an off-the-shelf solar-powered model like Envision Solar.

But rebates and other incentives can bring the $30K-$40K cost down to $10K. Grants and other programs might lower pocket expenses to essentially nothing (in-kind time donations). For a DC fast charging system, figure double the CAPEX ($60-$75K). DC fast chargers require 440 volt grid power. Pacific Power has guidelines for EV chargers and grants.

A ChargePoint Express 200 DC Fast Charger ($35K), with both a CHAdeMO and SAE Combo Connectors, can serve ALL EVs with fast charging. Hook it up to 440 Volt service and you’re good to go. An 8-10kW solar array would add resiliency. How much? Maybe $60-$75K.

Many solar rebates have disappeared. The Business Energy Tax Credit (BETC) has been absent for years, while the Residential Energy Tax Credit (RETC) wrapped up at the end of 2017. Energy Tax Credits allowed non-profits to sell their tax credits to businesses.

Renewable Energy Certificates allowed businesses to purchase tax credits generated from solar arrays on schools, for example. But the 30% federal tax credit remains through 2019, then is phased out in 2-3 years.

Energy Trust of Oregon cash incentives also remain available to customers of Portland General Electric, Pacific Power, NW Natural, and Cascade Natural Gas. The Oregon Public Utility Commission oversees Energy Trust’s investment of utility customer funds in energy-efficiency and renewable power programs.

New York City is installing 50 of Envision’s solar-powered EV charging stations with integrated 21 kWh batteries and a 4.3 kW array. The company claims two to three Nissan Leafs can be charged per day by these units, which cost $61,000 each. It features Level I and Level II charging with a larger model available with DC Fast Charging.

A new Oregon program, Community Solar, will not be online until 2019. Community solar will allow utility customers to own or subscribe into a shared solar array with other community members, delivering clean energy to the grid while customers receive a credit on each utility bill.

You can connect a Powerwall 2 “directly” to solar panels with micro inverters that output AC. SolarEdge inverters are compatible with the Tesla’s Powerwall 2. The Freewire Mobile EV Charger is a 120-kilowatt battery on wheels. It provides Level 2 charging on two cars simultaneously, up to 60 kilowatts each. Wireless EV charging let you park over the charging pad for automatic charging, handy for shuttles or autonomous vehicles.

Could a DC Fast Charger operate completely off grid? Not really. You’d probably need something like a 210 kWh Tesla Powerpack and 40-50 KWatts of solar. A $200,000 off-grid Fast Charger is still impractical and unnecessary near urban centers and unlikely to make a profit in more remote, rural areas.

The 13.5-kilowatt-hour Tesla Powerwall offers the highest energy density battery for the lowest available price and can power a level 2 charger. The $7,500 Powerwall 2 requires $1,000 to $2,000 in installation costs. You could go off-grid with a $10,000 Powerwall system…but you won’t get far…with only a 10KW boost.

A 60 kilowatt/hr Nissan 2019 Leaf can feed power back to the microgrid in an emergency. No need for a Tesla Power Wall if you’re looking for resiliency. Lyft could provide the electric vehicles or they could be purchased by private individuals or organizations for rental (via Turo).

What would make sense for Hayden Island? A 30-minute DC Quick Charge (costing drivers $6-12), now seems like a baseline for any new charge station. For Fast Charging, Electrify American charges $0.30 per minute +$1 session fee ($10 for 30 minutes).

A QuickCharge station could fill up a vehicle in 30 minutes. A Level 2 charger would take about 4 hours. A 10KW solar array would add resiliency and may enable a 60 KW/hr Nissan Leaf to be directly charged from solar in about 6 hours.

How much money could a DC Quick Charge station generate in a day? Let’s say we provide 10 charges at $10 a pop, everyday. That might generate $100 day or $36,500 per year in the 2020-2021 time frame. Admittedly, this is only a guess.

Operational expenses are close to zero. No people to pay. Electricity costs under 10 cents per kW/hr. Filling a 60kW/hr car battery all the way up would cost the operator (perhaps a neighborhood coop) under $6, but generate about $10, or a $4 profit per fill-up. With a $4 profit per fill-up, annual profit might be about $12K per “pump”. It’s pretty marginal in year 1-2, which is why grants and financing incentives are offered.

Battery systems charged primarily from solar energy are eligible for the 30 percent Federal Income Tax Credit, along with additional state and local incentives. All grid-tied solar PV systems are required by code to shut down when the power goes out in order to protect utility line workers. However, with an AC coupled battery system, the solar system will be able to remain online during an outage.

The Portland Clean Energy Fund would impose a new 1% surcharge on revenue for retail corporations that make over $1 billion in annual national sales to generate revenues for in-city renewable energy and job creation.

The Portland Clean Energy Fund passed, but won’t make a material impact until 2020 (after receipts are collected). The Portland Clean Energy Fund was created specifically to address the criteria this paper outlines.

A 30 minute Quick Charge might also stimulate local grocery/retail development, replacing the now empty Safeway.

The Community Electric Bicycle Project, a joint project by Forth Mobility and the Cully Neighborhood, is also testing shared neighborhood car service.

The Community Electric Vehicle Project, a collaboration between Hacienda CDC and Forth, made shared electric vehicles and chargers available in Portland’s Cully neighborhood.

Seattle’s on-demand Chariot service will be free for the first few months, but will eventually cost the same as a standard Metro bus ride.

Electric Car Sharing Set to Launch in Sacramento with 142 electric cars available at 71 locations. They can be rented at 15¢/minute, or by the hour or day. Envoy installs a free level 2 charger dedicated for their vehicles. Electrify America says that most of these sites are “in disadvantaged communities where drivers can use the app to use vehicles for a myriad of uses, including personal errands. Envoy also provides shared electric scooters and bikes.

A fast charge station might get most of it’s energy from the grid. A self-sufficient micro-grid “island” might be possible with newer electric cars that can both store and provide local power as needed. Even power a community center. Lime will compete against two other car-sharing services from BMW (ReachNow) and Daimler (car2go).

Uber and their electric bikes might partner with PGE/Forth on the solar hub. Uber is using the electric Jump Bike while Lyft is testing an electric shuttle. Lyft owns Motivate, which runs Nike’s Biketown bike rental. TriMet ridership has fallen 4% since 2000 and auto ownership has decreased in Multnomah County, but short-range electric bikes and scooters are on the rise.

The $7,500 tax credit for electric vehicles will be phased out when a manufacturer reaches 200,000 units while many used electric vehicles are available under $10,000.

Metro’s PILOT grant program accepts applications ranging from $25,000 to $150,000. The VW Diesel Settlement decree allows up to 15 percent of each state’s allocation – which is $10.9 million in Oregon – for EV charging stations.

– Our target is a solar-powered EV charge station with both Level 2 and DC fast charging. It may cost nearly $75,000, but it could uniquely provide power resiliency after an earthquake (through a Leaf electric vehicle or Tesla Powerwall), while delivering quick (30 minute) charging.

– A Level 2 charge station with 7 kWatt output ($1000) combined with an 8 kWatt solar array ($15,000), could charge up a 60 kWatt/hr electric car like the 2019 Leaf in about 8 hours — with NO grid power. It may provide community resiliency AND pay for itself.

– DC fast chargers ($35,000), with their 30-45 minute charge times, will be necessary to attract consumers. They are attached to the existing electric grid. That raises the cost to $60-$75K, but the availability of rebates, incentives, and VW Settlement funds through 2019 makes this an attractive option with a narrow window of opportunity.

Resilient Puerto Rico is installing solar-storage microgrids, using 12-kW systems, although their grid power costs 23 cents/kWh, while power in the Northwest costs closer to 10 cents/kWh. It does not seem cost/effective to provide dedicated battery backup for Hayden Island EV charge stations. Instead, electric vehicles themselves could provide resiliency.

– A microgrid operator needs to sell power to customers for 13-14 cents/kWh to be profitable. Few would be willing to pay double to get battery resiliency in Portland that will only last a few hours. The cost of batteries to provide community-wide microgrid power backup couldn’t be justified unless it supported a hospital or other vital community service.

– A solar EV charge station may be a cost-effective “microgrid” solution if existing electric vehicles, charged with solar power, could provide emergency power at NO additional cost.

Portland Public Schools added 1.2 megawatts of solar atop classrooms, partnering with PGE and the Bonneville Environmental Foundation through the Solar 4R Schools program.

Powering an EV charge station with solar has the advantage of providing both resiliency (by storing electricity in a 60 kW/hr car battery) and by generating a revenue stream from both car rental and from EV charging fees.

Transportation is the largest single source of greenhouse gas emissions in Oregon. For the residential and commercial sectors, electricity is the greatest contributor of greenhouse gases, due mainly to coal and gas powered power plants, but we predominantly use clean hydro and wind to generate electricity in the Northwest.

Wind and solar generated electricity is now cheaper than coal and renewables are expected to get even cheaper.

Hayden Island could be a credible test site, with service restricted to a small area that serves a large mall and nearby community that’s close to a metro area. Ford told investors that the cost of operating a driverless transportation service would be about $1 per mile, compared with about $2.50 for an Uber; between $1.50 and 70 cents for a personal car; and 30 cents for mass transit.

Drive.ai’s self-driving vans are based on the Nissan NV200. A 200-kilowatt fast charger for autonomous transit using a drive-over inductive pad is available from Momentum Dynamics.

Ford will test autonomous vehicles in Washington DC in early 2019 after launching them in Miami and plans to launch commercially in Washington, Miami and other unnamed cities starting in 2021. Dozens of cities are testing autonomous vehicles.

Waymo was the first company in California allowed to test robot cars on public roads with no human driver. Waymo uses self-driving minivans in Phoenix and plans driverless service to the public in parts of Arizona by year’s end.

A camper van, based on the Nissan cargo van, might rent for $60/day or $300/week, generating perhaps $12K/year for a neighborhood non-profit and paid off in about 3 years.

A community solar charging hub could generate revenue from charging private electric vehicles while providing community resiliency and enabling individuals and companies to offer rental vehicles and bikes.

Nearly 200 households and businesses share a 1.2-megawatt solar array in Brookyln. But NW electricity is already half their cost. Still, Manheim already has 200KW of solar installed on the island so a microgrid could be “islanded” without a lot of expense since EVs could provide the battery backup. But that’s probably a DOE/BPA proposal.

A used electric car on Turo might rent for $40/day or $10/hour. If an electric vehicle generated $800/month, then a $10,000 vehicle might be paid off in a year, then generate funds for a neighborhood association.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory recently demonstrated a 120-kilowatt wireless EV charging system which transfers power at the same rate as a wired Tesla Supercharger and at more than two times the rate of the wired 50-kilowatt DC fast chargers. The system draws electricity from the grid and converts it to high-frequency alternating current, which generates a magnetic field across a six-inch gap of air. An autonomous vehicle could just roll in for a quick charge.

A solar charge station could make economic sense for stakeholders like Columbia Crossing and Lyft since Columbia Crossing owns the property next to the Menjiro Restaurant and Lyft could use it as a hub for their rental cars and electric bikes. The solar carport may be mutually advantageous and financed almost completely by available rebates and grants.

Lyft is teaming with May Mobility to test self-driving shuttles in Columbus, Ohio. Electric shuttles would cost much less to operate than gas shuttles. In addition, a full-wrap ad on the vehicle would generate about $1000/month while location-based advertising on the roof provides another $4K a month. That might generate $5K in revenue every month, making a “free” shuttle practical. A Free Hayden Island Shuttle may be provided by Lyft and paid for with advertising.

The Jantzen Beach shuttle would use this East side charge station (near the old Safeway store). Hotel guests and travelers could also charge their personal electric vehicles or use a rental car or bike at the hub. Financing could be provided in part from the $10M VW Diesel settlement and other grants such as Community Solar. Most of the capital expense would be covered through grants and ad revenue.

The main competition might be Electrify America, a division of VW, which is also building a nationwide network to DC Fast Chargers and is working with Jantzen Beach owner Kimco and Target. Target’s Fast Charger at the Jantzen Beach Mall would primarily compete with EvGo’s Fast Charger at Walmart in Delta Park. Unfortunately, Electrify America’s Fast Charger will be FAR from ANY of the 1,000+ hotel rooms on Hayden Island (including Red Lion, Oxford Suites and Roadway Inn).

A partnership with Lyft, Uber, Columbia Crossing, or other local stakeholders, on the other hand, could serve residents and hotel guests better, not just re-claim VW settlement money for Electrify America.

The benefits to Hayden Island of this Solar EV Charge Station proposal would include (1) a free shuttle, (2) solar resiliency, (3) closer proximity to hotels, (4) bike and car sharing by Lyft or Uber and (5) a revenue stream for partners estimated somewhere between $15K-$50K annually, with very little overhead. The ideal time to pitch a proposal for VW settlement funds is probably right now, before Electrify America/VW place a Fast Charger in the Mall.