Telefonix Introduces Low-Current Level 2 Charging Station

3 years ago by Mark Kane 32

Telefonix's L1 Powerpost EVSE

Telefonix’s L1 Powerpost EVSE

Telefonix's L2 Powerpost EVSE

Telefonix’s L2 Powerpost EVSE

Telefonix expanded its low cost, commercial PowerPost charging station product line from Level 1 (details) to Level 2.

The new L2 PowerPost is a low-power unit, but good enough to deliver base 3.3 kW – in our opinion especially well suited for work parking facilities.

MSRP for L2 PowerPost was set at $1,795, with option for reductions for bulk orders.

“The L2 PowerPost EVSE debuts as the first low current Level 2 EV charging station specifically designed for commercial outdoor use.  The second addition to the PowerPost EVSE product line, L2 PowerPost EV Charger continues Telefonix’ focus on efficient, low cost EV charging for longer term parking.”

“Higher current Level 2 charging stations can quickly replenish the range of a typical 20-mile commute, but those units are usually more expensive than the L2 PowerPost EVSE and risk spikes in energy demand that can affect a facility’s overall energy costs.  For longer term parking, where electric vehicles are parked for 2 hours or more, the 3.3 kW charging rate of the L2 PowerPost EVSE offers a sensible solution for delivering energy to cars and having a minimal economic impact on parking facilities.”

“The L2 PowerPost EV charging station can replenish an average commute of 20 miles in 2 hours or less for approximately $1, making it economical and efficient.  This Level 2 EVSE benefits parking facilities such as malls, retail outlets and theaters that want to provide a valuable convenience to customers that drive EVs.”

John Hipchen of Telefonix stated:

“The L2 PowerPost EVSE features the same proven, retractable cord reel technology that has helped make our groundbreaking L1 PowerPost EV charging station a success. Being a Level 2 unit, the L2 PowerPost EVSE operates at 208 to 240 volts but only requires a 20 amp circuit.  This lower current allows for the installation of more charging stations with a given electrical supply and, at the same time, satisfy EV drivers looking to replace the range lost during their daily commute.”

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32 responses to "Telefonix Introduces Low-Current Level 2 Charging Station"

  1. Assaf says:

    Wut?

    That’s 3x the price of equivalent weather-proof L2’s by Clipper Creek and others.

    Are they counting on customer stupidity?

    1. Jay Cole says:

      Hey Assaf,

      I think perhaps you are getting this product confused with Clipper’s home/wall mounted lineup.

      Clipper’s “CS” lineup (commercial station) starts at $2450 …admittedly it can do more (7.7), but doesn’t have the same robust look or retractable cord.


      http://www.clippercreek.com/store/product/cs-40-charging-station-with-pedestal/

      The Telefonix is more of a public/workplace unit with designs on the long term “stay to charge” client (hotels, 9 to 5ers, etc) … a unit that can also be all badged/logoed up and looks/stays clean for not too much money (or too much energy draw) for the provider

      1. Assaf says:

        Thanks Jay. I still don’t see, if an employer’s a penny-pincher (which seems the target audience), why they couldn’t go with a “wall mounted” charger and get some pedestal put up themselves. Surely those can be built for less than $1k each, and you need work done anyway for the wiring.

        As to 3.3kW, as our experience with the 2012 showed it’s a bit of a no-man’s land. Not nearly as cheap as trickle, not quite fast enough otherwise.

        In workplaces, someone with a long commute might need the L2 for the entire workday. If you’re a big employer your biggest cost is probably the number of those you need to put up, not the electricity cost during use.

        Ideally you would set up a payment structure that encourages people to charge only as long as they need, so that each spot serves multiple employees every day (as discussed elsewhere). So IMHO you actually want a high-current L2 rather than a low-current one.

        But it’s good to have more options in the market. I’m probably missing something in terms of overall electrical infrastructure, that staying within 15A is really beneficial.

        1. Jay Cole says:

          You are right that is certainly going to be the ideal unit for most situations, but I think it is for some.

          For example: I have a half dozen parking spaces out front (traditional paved pad) in a public lot.

          Now if I want to put up a charging spot to promote the tech, and put InsideEVs logo all over it (because that would be neato), this is probably the easiest/cheapest option.

          In this scenario, I’m not blowing a lot of time constructing and planning out a make-shift unit (which probably won’t look near as swell…and time spent has a cost proposition to it), plus I’m not passing by the unit everyday and coiling up the cord all the time because it looks ugly or is strew about…getting dirty at the same time.

          …I this is unit makes sense for dual public/employee spots, while the similar L1 (with retractable) makes more sense (cost/draw) on a more private lot – little cheaper to buy/cheaper on draw for the owner, and users aren’t hauling their cords to work, getting them stolen, etc. If I was an employee I would be tickled pink to see a L1 retractable station be made available for those who wanted.

        2. Leptoquark says:

          Hi Assaf – 30A L2 charging, like the Clipper Creek unit, is kind of wasted at work, where cars are typically parked for 8 hours. Sending texts to your co-workers during the day and swapping cars sounds good on paper, for the first few months, but will people still be doing that for 5 years? Row after row of 30A chargers sounds nice, but is expensive. That’s why L1 120V charging at work makes a lot of sense. It’s cheap, which appeals to the employer paying for it, and any EV with Li-ion batteries will typically put on 5 miles per hour of charging, since J1772 is limited to 12A at 120V. This new L2 station will beat out 30A chargers at work for the same reasons: it’s cheaper and scaled better for workers being parked many hours.

          1. Assaf says:

            Totally agree about L1. In fact, workplace only needs provide a 15A socket, it’s Bring-Your-Own-EVSE. It’s the lowest-cost and a real win-win. But for employers of a certain size and in regions with longer commute drives (*or* with company-car EVs), L2 would be needed.
            Bottom line, you need *more* “rows and rows” if the charger is only 15A than if it’s 30A.

            As to coordination, that really depends on the local company culture. For sure, charging $$/hour for the privilege of using L2 at work provides an incentive to limit stay. And most technology companies do far more complicated employee-coordination and computerized-tracking tasks than this on a daily basis. By the time other companies hop on board, there might already be pre-packaged tools for doing that.

            1. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

              I’d rather there be a dedicated L1 station with retractable cord etc., then having to lug my L1 EVSE out of its storage cubby under the trunk floor, unwinding it, plugging it all in, getting out the cable lock, locking the EVSE to my alloy wheel, then going out and unplugging/replugging in due to some transient power disruption or because the power socket was flaky or not intended for constant 12A draw. In the rain.

    2. ggpa says:

      Assaf / Jay

      Assaf is correct that Clippercreek offers higher current pedestal mount EVSEs for less money. But the price difference is _not_ 3x.

      Telefonix offers a retractable cord …

      1. Jay Cole says:

        True, Clipper offers that unit for $1309…but it is not a commercial application. Its a EVSE. On a pedestal.

        http://www.clippercreek.com/store/product/hcs-40-pedestal-mount-30a-240v-charging-25-cord-copy/

        1. ggpa says:

          I think ClipperCreek and Telefonix are offering EVSEs, but Telefonix has a nice enclosure and retractable cord.

          What do you mean by “but it is not a commercial application”?

          Are you implying Telefonix can require users to pay, like say Blink does?

          1. Jay Cole says:

            No, nothing so grandiose.

            I just mean in application…not a monetized commercial EVSE, but rather a unit that can take a lot of abuse over time, can be ‘billboarded up’, and that can’t be dismantled, stolen or destroyed easily in 5 minutes.

            The cheaper Clippler LCS lineup is rated for outdoor use, but not intended for public/commercial use. This inexpensive Clipper EVSE is a outdoor rated unit with a stand only.

            The more expense Clipper CS and the Telephonix are both built to be out in the public environment, emblazed with marketing, take damage, etc.

            (things like the 4″ cold rolled steel 1/4″ thick can take the occasional fender bump. Powder coated for a lasting installation. Pedestal doubles as electrical raceway, etc)

  2. White Leaf says:

    The cost of the equipment is not the only consideration when buying a charging station for commercial use. Particularly outside installations in parking lots with rain and snow require clean equipment without all the possible cable issues.

  3. Retractable reel is handy, to be sure. EVoReel is another option, and can work with their EVSE or any other unit, including Clipper Creek.

    The one big advantage of going 6kW is that if you need to run an errand at lunch, or go to a meeting, you can be assured you’ll be fully charged by noon, even if you have a long commute.

    It’s less convenient to swap mid day. But if you do, a single 6kw shared among two spaces will do the same job as two 3kW. But also give you the advantage mentioned above.

    I’ve never, ever been annoyed that any charger was too fast…

  4. Bill Howland says:

    Let’s play a game……

    Suppose I’m a business that wanted to advertise how ‘green’ I was and supply free charging to my employees. I’d have a locked box next to each parking spot, where my employees could lock up their 120 volt Voltec or Leaf ‘brick’ or whatever they had, with a small hole to get the cable out to the car. The car will be there for 9 hours, or if the employee is working overtime, lets say 13 hours. Let’s say that per ‘policy’ the ev owner has to adjust his charge rate to no more than 12 amps, something that can be done on all EV’s to my knowledge.

    Each ‘space’ gets a 15 amp circuit breaker, located in the box. Someone like me, with a Roadster that could be adjusted to 15 amps, will trip the breaker in less than an hour, and as such will not get any charge for most of the day, so I’d be dumb to try this more than once.

    Now let’s say the business takes a middle-of–the-road position and offers ev charging for those who want it, but insist they pay for the juice they are using, plus 50% to help defer the quite low installation cost of this system (after all, you pay for your own EVSE included with the car – The Travel Charger – so to speak).

    So let’s assume the business’s electric cost works out to being 14 cents / kilowatt-hour, after energy and demand charges have been totallized, and the cars are a constant load for as long as they are there.

    Hence, no need for metering: AT 120 volts it will simply be assumed you are using 12 amps for the whole time period you are there, and for most people that would be 1440 watts times 9 times 21 cents/kwh or roughly $2.72 per day, which is deducted from their paycheck. Very few people would be ‘overcharged’ – those who can only draw 8 amps, and those who live next door to work, but then if they did they don’t need to charge at the spot anyway. The simple policy is that if you park in a set aside ‘section’, we will charge you at a $2.72 for 9 hours and pro rate it for as long as you’re ‘on the clock’ that day.

    A modified system with access cards to ‘unlock the box’ could be used for large apartment dwellers.

    Now, several people will complain that they don’t like 1.44 kw (and it actually may be only 1.2 kw at the car when voltage (pressure) drops are considered. Since the voltage is higher at the utility’s billing meter, and that’s the price the landlord has to pay, then that is the rate that will be charged to the EV driver.

    But, apartment dwellers are, from what I have seen not too demanding. They want ANYTHING that will allow them to charge, however slowly. The EV driver can figure out when his car will be full (assuming he leaves the car there for a few days on end occassionally – week ends or whatever, so to avoid being charged by the hour he will just remove his EVSE equipment from the ‘timed box’ when he thinks his car is done charging to prevent being charged more money.

    Very cheap to set up for the landlord or business owner, since the electric requirement for any one car is low, and the ev owner provides his own ‘travel charger’.

    A win-win for everyone.

  5. Ellison says:

    I like what Bill is saying. Im sure workplace charging can be done in a lower cost, open source way.

    There is a tax credit for bicycle commuting or using transit to work, perhaps even for the employer providing the parking space. It’s about $200.00/month. Perhaps this could be adjusted or used for EV commuters.

    And a car parked all day also lends itself to car sharing and making most of one’s lease payment back while letting others experience EVs.

    1. Bill Howland says:

      Thanks. Perhaps I should illustrate how low cost this set up really is. Let’s say this is a 20,000 sq ft medical processing facility, and the existing service is 120/208 3 phase, 300 amps.

      Records show the facility’s electric usage peaks in the summertime with a 65 kw demand charge (slightly less than 200 amps).

      It is desired to provide Twelve (12) ev parking spaces, around an oblong 12 space Island with 6 spaces on each side of the Island. The Island will have 3 posts of 4 boxes each, 2 front facing and 2 rear facing to pick up 4 cars / post. The center post will also have a weatherproof splice box having one 1″ conduit from the building, and 3 – 3/4″ conduits to the lock boxes (2 decending and 1 ascending).

      THe 1″ conduit (probably $3/10′ stick sched 40 plastic) will have 4-#6 AWG copper, and 1-#10 green ground) which will terminate in the main 300 amp service panel as a single 3 pole 60 amp circuit breaker.

      Each 3/4″ conduit will have one of the phase wires (a #6), a #6 white neutral multipled to the other 2 posts, as well as a similarly connected #10 green ground. In the group of 4 boxes, individual 3 – #12’s will splice onto the phase wire, neutral and ground, with the overcurrent protection for the ‘tap’ being the afformentioned single 15 amp circuit breaker in the box. The rational for #12 rather than #14 is that #12 meets the 33% rule for tap current ampacity, and its just s few feet so only a few pennies difference anyway, and heck its less pressure drop.

      Each post operates on a different phase, with 4 cars running or 48 amps per phase when all parking spots are occupied. The maximum voltage (pressure) drop occurs when the first 4 spots are utilized and there is nothing at the other 8 spaces. But as the other 8 spaces are utilized, there will be less neutral current such that when all 12 spaces are utilized the neutral current will aproach zero. At that point the voltage drop will be exactly HALF of what it would be with only 4 cars on one post running.

      This is because the return for cars on post A is the cars on post B and C , and vice-versa.

      So, we have one buried 1 ” conduit to the building, only 1 60 amp 3ph circuit to run (4 #6 and 1 #10), and 3 posts out of an oblong island, along with 12 locked boxes. Super cheap to implement. The required disconnect for the locked box is the 15 amp breaker in each box.

  6. John Hansen says:

    High amperage may make more sense for work applications, depending on TOU rates. Where I live, peak chargers begin at 10am. If most people arrive at 8am and charge at 6.6kw, and if they have a 40 mile commute, then they will be finished charging at 10am. If they used a 3.3kw evse, they wouldn’t finish until noon, and incur 2 hours of peak electrical rates.

    By the way, work charging will never be practical if people are expected to move their cars when they are done charging. That’s just silly. Who has time to waste 20 minutes in the middle of their work day to walk out to their car, find another spot, and walk back. Nope, it’s only practical if you have enough spots that people can plugin and forget it.

  7. Vincent says:

    This kind of low power system is only practical for shopping malls only if the malls also have higher powered systems including DCFC. Not everyone who goes to malls lives locally or wants to shop for 6-8 hours while their EV charges. I will often ride my electric motorcycle (Zero SR) 65 miles to a mall that has a REI store in it. Fortunately for me there is a high powered L2 station about 50 feet away from the store. Frequently it will take about 1:30 to fully charge before heading home. I would definitely not use a system that is going to take twice as long to charge.

  8. Andrew says:

    I’m a bit surprised they didn’t go with a 12A 240V solution (2.88kW) so they could put two of them on a single 30A circuit without exceeding continuous load codes. Seems to me that would be a very inexpensive way to deploy low-amperage L2s.

    Nevertheless, this is cool for workplace charging, just like their L1 solution is perfect for airport charging. Neat company.

    1. Bill Howland says:

      The cost of 2 – 15 amp circuits is not significantly greater, if at all, than 1 – 30 amp circuit. This would require 2 – 20 amp circuits anyway seeing as it is supposedly 14 amps (why didn’t they make it 16?).

      Of course, if the inspector required a disconnect, then the expense goes up anyway.

      1. ClarksonCote says:

        Hey Bill, are you coming to Syracuse still for Drive Electric week? I noticed your vehicle isn’t listed on the attendees anymore?

        1. Bill Howland says:

          Hi, I switched my registration to a VOLT since I was unsure about finding a charging point. I may arrive early at a CHILI’s and try charging there for a few hours before attending, if I arrive in the roadster. Depends on how tired I think I’m going to be. I’ll be attending a total of 3 Drive Electric events that week (Mississauga on monday, Ham Radio club meeting on Wednesday, Penfield on Thursday (then bowling at the Knights of Columbus immediately afterwards, hehe), and then Museum of Science and Industry on Saturday. If I’m burned out by then I’ll just take the Volt since it will allow me several more hours of sleep since I won’t worry about getting stranded.

          1. ClarksonCote says:

            Wow, that’s a busy schedule! How about using the Sun Country 50A charger for a bit in the morning? The event now states that it starts at 10am.

            1. Bill Howland says:

              Yeah, if you’re talking about Ron’s SunCountryHighway charging dock, the one with the “Keep Canadians Working!!!” stickers on it. (Not sure which canadians-> I thought they were made in California and Canadians just did the labels and marketing);
              then its a 14 kw unit (70 amps @ 200 volts on the day I first used it). Yeah thats fast enough, IF IT IS AVAILABLE and I knew where I was going.

              If you really want to find important information, the brain-dead people at ONSTAR are an embarrassment, and its the wrong car anyway. Maybe I can get some info out of Chargepoint, since Plugshare and I don’t get along. We’ll see. But I’ll be there in something, but probably the VOLT.

              1. ClarksonCote says:

                You lost me on the OnStar statement, but you can explain at Drive Electric week. 🙂

                If it sways you at all to show off the Roadster to the masses, the event page now says that there will be an EVSE present utilizing a NEMA 14-50A receptacle…
                https://driveelectricweek.org/event.php?eventid=125

                1. Bill Howland says:

                  I’ve converted my EVSE (30 amps) to have a 14-50 plug on it. Too bad there will be only ONE evse, which will use the ONE plug. This reminds me of the web site of the Syracuse state fair, which read “Electric Cars have Priority Parking at the Fair”. –> This was literally true, they had exactly TWO Bosch 16 amp cheapie charging docks, hence the proper term “CARS” and not “CAR”.

                  Seriously, there’s 17 ev’s registered so what would be my chance of finding someplace to plug in? If 10 of us absolutely have to charge up to get home, what good is that one facility going to be?

                  1. ClarksonCote says:

                    Well, on the website they said someone could use the plug too instead of the EVSE. My guess is, out of those in attendance, there will only be 3 “long distance” EV’s attending (including you if you bring the Roadster) and of those, I think only 2 will be leaving same day.

                    My bet is that those who really need it can time multiplex and have enough range to make it back. Easier to say when you’re not relying on the plug though, but I’d bet a cheeseburger at a Free Chili’s charging station on it. 🙂

                    1. Bill Howland says:

                      Ok Clarkson now I’m confused.

                      1). Are you saying there is going to be a plugin EVSE there and TWO nema 14-50’s so that they can use their evse, and I can use mine at the same time?

                      2). I’d guess I could hang around a Chili’s after the event if I had some company.

                    2. ClarksonCote says:

                      Just one plug, that someone could optionally use directly instead of the provided EVSE.

                      I’ve asked about having some time reserved for you.

                      Side Note: Mark, sorry for hijacking the story a bit here. I suppose I need to get Bill’s email address. 🙂

  9. ggpa says:

    John +1 on “work charging will never be practical if people are expected to move their cars when they are done charging”

    Telefonix can improve the value of these units a lot with smart software.

    If they make their software a tad smarter, to smartly manage and allocate the supply, it will reduce the installation and maximum demand costs.

    Chargepoint can do this with 2 cars, but imagine if you say have a 200A feed, to share between 20 cars.

    In the morning early, as the first cars arrive, you let them charge at 30A. As more and more cars plug in, you reduce the pilot signal everywhere so they share the available current. And of course, as cars fill up, you take away they allocation and give it to the others.

    This will save a lot of money, use the infrastructure efficiently, charge the cars much faster, and improve the value of the Telefonix system, so that it becomes easy to defend its price.

  10. Bill Howland says:

    Hey Clarkson,

    Shoot an email to “William_E_Howland@yahoo.com” and let’s talk more about that “Chili’s Hamburger”.

  11. Dennis says:

    Telefonix L2 charging seems great to me. I have had a Smart Ed since Oct. 2013 and fully charge from 20-100% in 4 to 5 hours. Not everybody has chademo or tesla chargers. I would love to find these at the mall, restaurant or anyplace I would be parking for an hour or two. It just extends the usefulness of ANY bev. As far as “cheap”, who is paying for this? When somebody gifts the use of an evse how dare we criticize them? We are starting to sound very spoiled. Many thanks to all the auto dealers who have let me stop and charge, not one has refused me and none has asked for payment.