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Did I break any laws?

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bmscott View Drop Down
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    Posted: 27 June 2016 at 1:30pm
So yesterday I'm out on a country drive with the kids. A few factors came together to result in my iMiev not having enough range to get home - I ended up stuck about 10km out with 2% left (very hilly terrain).

I called my wife to come get the boys, and when she arrived I asked her about our RACV coverage to get towed home. We happened to be standing near a public park in this small rural town, which had a bathroom, which had a 15A plug on the side 'round the back. She asked why I didn't just use THAT, and I told her I assumed it'd be illegal! (I'm from the U.S. and am not 100% up on your ways...)

She assured me it was OK, that it was intended for people driving caravans (which I'm told are RVs). I also noted that the area was sort of taped off as the park was undergoing renovations, but iMiev owners know their cars can fit through surprisingly small spots and I just slipped in without disturbing the tape, parked adjacent to the restroom, plugged in for about 40 mins, then drove home.

This was all in broad daylight and so far as I can tell nobody gave me a second glance. So do I owe the nice people of <name of town forgotten> an apology, or can we pretty much plug in basically anywhere that's unguarded?   I mean, that doesn't sound right to me, but...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Johny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 June 2016 at 2:09pm
For a simple problem it's a difficult situation to be in.
Firstly - I would have plugged in without a qualm knowing full well that I'd use less electricity than the toilet paper that was probably wasted that day at the same facility.

BUT - IMO any narrow minded local d*&^^#$d would be within their legal right to challenge an EV charging there. In my eyes it's OK as a rare occasion.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote thardy456 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 June 2016 at 3:35pm
I would have plugged in straight away and just nicely explained to anybody that questioned me what I was doing and that the amount of electricty needed was only worth approx. $0.20.



Cheers, T.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Adverse Effects Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 June 2016 at 4:26pm
yes the big problem is most people dont realy know the true cost of power and just how much it takes to charge a EV

they think you being plugged in there is going to draw so much power and make the full block's lights dim and cost who ever $100 in stolen power

i would have just plugged in and if someone challenged me i would have simply explained i am only 10Km from home and didnt quite make it and if they where worried about the cost of the power used it would only be about X cents and if they wanted me to i would post the x cents to the local counsel office ( [joking on] less tax and stamp duty and postage fees [joking off] )



[edit] on second thoughts your a baby killing wicked man that just stole every ones lolly pops

in case you carnt tell i am kidding


Edited by Adverse Effects - 27 June 2016 at 4:29pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote acmotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 June 2016 at 7:32pm
'Illegal' means there is a LAW against doing something.
There is no actual specific law against emergency charging of an EV.
In fact, there is no law against plugging into a power point in a public place.
Regular charging would be pushing the friendship though, although my local shire welcomes me to plug into any power public power point in the shire..... Part of their policy to support PV solar and EVs etc.
Remember it is not the shire administration but the shire councillor policy that matters. It is not up to a shire worker ( if they even cared) to tell you off for charging.

Yes, I feel guilty about grabbing charge where I don't have permission. Strangely though, I have been given permission by people who have no authority to give me permission. e.g. Cleaner, security guard, passing man walking his dog. I feel better then

Edited by acmotor - 27 June 2016 at 7:42pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bmscott Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 June 2016 at 11:34am
Thanks for the feedback, guys. I don't expect to get caught out on that again but would have hated to be running afoul of some regulation and potentially giving EV owners a bad name...

I don't know about the "20 cents" figure, but it is very difficult to pull more than about $1-2/hr through an ordinary outlet (depending on local kW rates).

It makes sense that an un-locked power point would be intended for use by <whoever> but on the other hand, homeless people in parts of the U.S. and Europe have been jailed for plugging in phone chargers, so most of the time I just don't risk it.

I don't know why more service stations don't have charging points though - the one nearest my house is completely covered in solar panels already but offers no plugs of any kind.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote thardy456 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 June 2016 at 11:53am
You were saying you plugged in for approx. 40 mins.

40/60 x 1500 watts = 1000 watts

I pay .20 cents per 1kw of power from my supplier Diamond Energy (very happy with them btw)
and I'd say the council actually pays less than that. Usually large users have a better rate than households.

So yes you did only use $0.20

Cheers, T.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Richo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 June 2016 at 12:39pm
Originally posted by acmotor acmotor wrote:

'Illegal' means there is a LAW against doing something.
There is no actual specific law against (emergency) charging of an EV.
In fact, there is no law against plugging into a power point in a public place.


I had a look through some of the local council policies etc.
And I agree with acmotor.
No law or policy regarding electricity use of any form.

Some people go to rec centers to play on the swings, some to play on the oval, some to charge an EV's...
This is the service the council provides to the community.

But really IF any one complains say that you have consumed 10c worth of electricity hand them 20c and say you want the change and a tax invoice.
If the sun's not up turn your lights ON - duh! Help prevent road rage - get outta my way!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jonescg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 June 2016 at 12:52pm
Plus governments spend some of my tax contribution on stuff I'll never benefit from, but I don't make too much of a fuss cause the reverse is true for other tax payers. Ratepayers contributing to your power consumption might not like it, but your contribution to their sporting fields wasn't consensual either.
I challenge you to come up with a better invention than the bicycle
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote acmotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 June 2016 at 2:20pm
Our local shire offers a $500 fuel voucher as prize in draw for early payment of rates. I challenged them on the choice (TOC)
Makes me feel better about the famous 20c worth.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote nuggetgalore Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 January 2017 at 4:13pm
[bmscott Quote]:"which had a 15A plug on the side 'round the back"

a related question re legal or illegal : a new 2014 Outlander PHEV I recently looked at had a charging cable with a 10A plug (narrow earth pin). My iMiEV has the 15 A plug with the wide earth pin. Charging rate is 12.45 A.
Most ordinary power points including some I encountered in rural small towns like the one bmscott describes above are 10A,so someone with the 15A plug can only use it with an adaptor cable.

Now would THAT be illegal?

Note: generally an ordinary 10A power outlet is fused with a 16 A fuse or circuit breaker (with a double adapter etc a 10 A Kettle and an other small appliance that 16 A is easily exceeded)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chris Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 February 2017 at 7:01pm
A 10A/15A powerpoint should be able to handle a 10A/15A draw safely. Overloading it may cause it to overheat and fail. When you plugin a powerboard or double adaptor you still need to comply with the 10A/15A maximum draw.

I view an unlocked powerpoint at a park to be much like a water tap. It is there for the benefit of the people using the park. eg. filling a kettle with water and making a cup of coffee (some parks provide electric B.B.Qs). Filling a water tank or your cars battery for use outside of the park is generally not OK. Except in the odd occasion when people may need water or power as in the original post ie. an unexpected event.   
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 4Springs Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 February 2017 at 7:18am
Originally posted by nuggetgalore nuggetgalore wrote:

a related question re legal or illegal : a new 2014 Outlander PHEV I recently looked at had a charging cable with a 10A plug (narrow earth pin). My iMiEV has the 15 A plug with the wide earth pin. Charging rate is 12.45 A.
Most ordinary power points including some I encountered in rural small towns like the one bmscott describes above are 10A,so someone with the 15A plug can only use it with an adaptor cable.
Now would THAT be illegal?

Note: generally an ordinary 10A power outlet is fused with a 16 A fuse or circuit breaker (with a double adapter etc a 10 A Kettle and an other small appliance that 16 A is easily exceeded)

Depends on your adaptor cable. You cannot plug a 15A plug into a 10A socket via a dumb cable, because you might be drawing more than 10A. This is illegal (at least in this state), and is normally found in caravan parks, festivals etc. It is not just the circuit breaker that is the problem, it is the socket itself. A 10A socket will get hot if you draw 10A through it, and might get hot enough to cause a fire if you draw more than 10A. That is why a normal power board will often have a 10A overload cutout.
You can buy an adaptor that includes a 10A circuit breaker in it. Jaycar sells them for instance. So if your car EVSE draws 10A or less, but has a 15A plug on it, you can use one of these adaptors. This is a way to legally plug a 15A plug into a 10A socket.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bmscott Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 February 2017 at 8:37am
The adapter I use to charge up at home is from Ampfibian and it does seem to limit the power consumption of the charging process to under 10 amps. However, on warm days the adapter's circuit breaker trips often (even if I keep the adapter out of direct sun) and the owner's manual confirms that its upper limit of operation is 40c - easily reached even in our mild summer!

I'm hoping to get a 15A outlet installed at the house, but that's being wrapped up in a much larger project involving rebuilding half our fence and putting in a giant swimming pool (my wife is obsessed with getting one) and more solar panels, so it's going to be a while...

Meanwhile, I work atop a large shopping mall and park next to a 15A outlet in the parking garage. I've asked about them putting in an EV station, and they said that would have to wait until a big upcoming renovation (which has since begun), then I asked about plugging in at the garage power point and they noted the safety issue with the charger cable trailing across the ground - fair enough - but did not actually say no to the power use.....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Johny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 February 2017 at 8:47am
Originally posted by bmscott bmscott wrote:

...they noted the safety issue with the charger cable trailing across the ground - fair enough - but did not actually say no to the power use.....
That's fixable:
http://www.cablesafe.com.au/onlinestore/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=1
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote nuggetgalore Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 February 2017 at 8:17pm
Originally posted by bmscott bmscott wrote:

The adapter I use to charge up at home is from Ampfibian and it does seem to limit the power consumption of the charging process to under 10 amps. However, on warm days the adapter's circuit breaker trips often (even if I keep the adapter out of direct sun) and the owner's manual confirms that its upper limit of operation is 40c - easily reached even in our mild summer!


I am still interested to know if a 10A cable that comes with (some?) Outlanders would work with an iMiEV and draw only <=10 amps or if the rate of charge is solely controlled by the on board charger.If the latter is the case,how does a 15 to 10 amp "ampfibian " throttle the current?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote coulomb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 February 2017 at 9:45pm
Originally posted by nuggetgalore nuggetgalore wrote:

I am still interested to know if a 10A cable that comes with (some?) Outlanders would work with an iMiEV and draw only <=10 amps or if the rate of charge is solely controlled by the on board charger.

The EVSE (Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment, what you are calling a "cable" above) sets the maximum AC charge current. Well, it sets the pilot tone, and the charger is required to follow that direction.
Learning how to repair and re-flash TC/Elcon chargers and PIP-4048 inverter-chargers.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote g4qber Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 February 2017 at 9:02am
My 10 amp ampfibian cuts out after 5mins when I use the 15 amp evseupgrade Evse.
I have non spec Jaycar 15 amp to 10 amp adaptor that doesn't cut out. Haven't been successful in getting another like it.

Simon's dad had 2010 Imiev and also non spec Jaycar so they could charge on a 10 amp power socket until they got a 15 amp socket installed

Yanchep Central Shopping Centre
I charge at 15 amps on a dual 10 amp socket which is on a 20 amp line http://api.plugshare.com/view/location/39648

Edited by g4qber - 04 February 2017 at 9:10am
2011 i-MiEV - 100k kms
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote nuggetgalore Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 February 2017 at 8:53pm
Originally posted by g4qber g4qber wrote:

My 10 amp ampfibian cuts out after 5mins when I use the 15 amp evseupgrade Evse.
I have non spec Jaycar 15 amp to 10 amp adaptor that doesn't cut out. Haven't been successful in getting another like it.

Simon's dad had 2010 Imiev and also non spec Jaycar so they could charge on a 10 amp power socket until they got a 15 amp socket installed

Yanchep Central Shopping Centre
I charge at 15 amps on a dual 10 amp socket which is on a 20 amp line http://api.plugshare.com/view/location/39648


Interesting pics.
I wonder if the Jaycar fuse(circuit breaker) is set at about 10A+inrush current (slow acting) and therefor does not trip when the current of the EVSE gently creeps up to about 12/13A. Most other appliances rated 10 A spike well above that value.
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