Charging Ebikes on EV Charging stations

ava1ar

Active Member
Region
USA
City
Leonia, NJ
Hello everyone!

I want to share my first experience with charging my ebike on EV charging station. I am going to share as much details as I have so far and will answer any questions you might have. Would also love to hear about your experience if you tried doing same with your ebike!

Goal. My interest in ability to re-charge my bike on EV station is related to my interest to do longer rides (200 miles and more), which means ability to re-charge on the route. Regular outlets are not uncommon, but difficult to spot and relay on - even when resources like https://nyceboarding.com/map exist. EV stations location is well known, their statures are monitored in real time and these facts allow to plan longer routes with re-charge points.

Station. I did the experiment with one of the Volta L2 EV stations I have just in few miles from my home. L2 (Level 2) here means that station voltage is 240V (in comparison to 120V for L1). This is important, since voltage limits the selection of chargers you can connect.

Equipment. I did some research online, so I came pretty well prepared to the experiment.
  • Ebike. My customized Bosch-powered Gazelle C380+ HMB with dual battery kit (500 Wh + 500 Wh)
  • Charger. I have few charges for Bosch (stock one for 4A and portable one for 2A), but just few days ago I received another super fast 6A charger from Europe. There is good reason this charger is not sold in US - it expects 220-240V input voltage, which is common is Europe and not common in US. However for using with EV L2 stations this is perfect choice!
PXL_20220818_213421719.jpg
  • Adapter. This piece is very important, since EV stations are using very different plugs to connect to vehicle. One of the common standards is J1772, which is used by Volta stations as well. To connect my Bosch charger to this plug, I bought J1772 to NEMA 5-15/5-20 EV Charger Adapter, which takes care about communicating to charger station to actually start the charge (some signaling is involved in order to convince charging stations you are ready to accept the charge) and provides standard for US NEMA interface on other end.
PXL_20220818_213451095.jpg
Process. Here everything was straightforward - ride to the station, connect bike and wait while it being charged. The most complex thing was to spot the free charger, since we have lots of electric cars in the area and chargers are located at the parking near large playground.

PXL_20220820_214934703.jpg


Results. I left bike connected for 2 hours - mostly because this is the limit defined for these stations. One thing I observed is that station status with connected ebike is shown as "Plugged in...", while connected car is shown as "In use". My theory is that load created by ebike charger is very low and station is not considered it to be an active consumer, which probably mean 2 hours limit can probably be ignored.

So, I arrived to the station with 22% battery level:

PXL_20220820_214238263.jpg


I captured first level update in an hour:

PXL_20220820_224734147.jpg


and 2nd in two hours:

PXL_20220820_234710797.jpg


Final batteries state after 2 hours:

PXL_20220820_234812352.jpg


As you see, the results are pretty impressive - I was able to add 50% to my 1000Wh setup in just a two hours. I believe using super-fast 6A charger was a key thing here, but I am very happy with the result. I noticed some battery level dis-balance after charge (which I never saw when charging with 2A and 4A chargers at home), but this is probably result of super fast charging speed. As far as I know Bosch dual-battery setup works well with any charge level in both batteries.

Final verdict. Total success! The charging set is not very bulky, so I can take it with me to long rides and stations availability in my area should help me to re-charge my bike pretty easily when needed. Looking forward to try this all in real ride.

Thanks for reading! Happy to answer any questions! Have a safe ride everyone!
 

Nvreloader

Active Member
Region
USA
Thank you,
Good info to know etc.
I was prowling around on the www and I read on some brand of Ebike, (can't find the info right now,) actually stated that their brand of Ebike could be charged via 120v or the 240v option, in the charging section, of their user manual.
 

BeltzerNYC

Member
Region
USA
so you just have the one 6A charger and it feeds both batteries? can you charge both at once with two chargers? does this same thing work on a L1 charger with 120v? I use two chargers to charge my dual batteries. definitely watching your progress!
 

ava1ar

Active Member
Region
USA
City
Leonia, NJ
so you just have the one 6A charger and it feeds both batteries? can you charge both at once with two chargers?
One charger for simplicity pretty much - I can charge batteries separately with two chargers after removing them from bike, but this means more things to carry and more complex wiring.


does this same thing work on a L1 charger with 120v?
Should work pretty much same way, except I won't be able to use my 6A charger, which needs 240V input.

I use two chargers to charge my dual batteries.
I prefer to charge both without removing them from bike using single charger - just simpler. If I need to recharge from 20-30%, I usually leave it connected overnight. 4A charger is pretty fast, but definitely slower than 6A.
 

peterh_nz

Active Member
Region
New Zealand
Hello everyone!

I want to share my first experience with charging my ebike on EV charging station. I am going to share as much details as I have so far and will answer any questions you might have. Would also love to hear about your experience if you tried doing same with your ebike!

Goal. My interest in ability to re-charge my bike on EV station is related to my interest to do longer rides (200 miles and more), which means ability to re-charge on the route. Regular outlets are not uncommon, but difficult to spot and relay on - even when resources like https://nyceboarding.com/map exist. EV stations location is well known, their statures are monitored in real time and these facts allow to plan longer routes with re-charge points.

Station. I did the experiment with one of the Volta L2 EV stations I have just in few miles from my home. L2 (Level 2) here means that station voltage is 240V (in comparison to 120V for L1). This is important, since voltage limits the selection of chargers you can connect.

Equipment. I did some research online, so I came pretty well prepared to the experiment.
  • Ebike. My customized Bosch-powered Gazelle C380+ HMB with dual battery kit (500 Wh + 500 Wh)
  • Charger. I have few charges for Bosch (stock one for 4A and portable one for 2A), but just few days ago I received another super fast 6A charger from Europe. There is good reason this charger is not sold in US - it expects 220-240V input voltage, which is common is Europe and not common in US. However for using with EV L2 stations this is perfect choice!
  • Adapter. This piece is very important, since EV stations are using very different plugs to connect to vehicle. One of the common standards is J1772, which is used by Volta stations as well. To connect my Bosch charger to this plug, I bought J1772 to NEMA 5-15/5-20 EV Charger Adapter, which takes care about communicating to charger station to actually start the charge (some signaling is involved in order to convince charging stations you are ready to accept the charge) and provides standard for US NEMA interface on other end.
Process. Here everything was straightforward - ride to the station, connect bike and wait while it being charged. The most complex thing was to spot the free charger, since we have lots of electric cars in the area and chargers are located at the parking near large playground.

View attachment 132668

Results. I left bike connected for 2 hours - mostly because this is the limit defined for these stations. One thing I observed is that station status with connected ebike is shown as "Plugged in...", while connected car is shown as "In use". My theory is that load created by ebike charger is very low and station is not considered it to be an active consumer, which probably mean 2 hours limit can probably be ignored.

So, I arrived to the station with 22% battery level:

View attachment 132670

I captured first level update in an hour:

View attachment 132671

and 2nd in two hours:

View attachment 132672

Final batteries state after 2 hours:

View attachment 132673

As you see, the results are pretty impressive - I was able to add 50% to my 1000Wh setup in just a two hours. I believe using super-fast 6A charger was a key thing here, but I am very happy with the result. I noticed some battery level dis-balance after charge (which I never saw when charging with 2A and 4A chargers at home), but this is probably result of super fast charging speed. As far as I know Bosch dual-battery setup works well with any charge level in both batteries.

Final verdict. Total success! The charging set is not very bulky, so I can take it with me to long rides and stations availability in my area should help me to re-charge my bike pretty easily when needed. Looking forward to try this all in real ride.

Thanks for reading! Happy to answer any questions! Have a safe ride everyone!
An interesting post. Your charge rate of 25% (over both 500WH batteries) per hour using the 230VAC 6A charger is identical to my experience. Presumably if you left the charger on more than the two hours then both batteries would equalise in the manner I recently described here:


Good luck with your ongoing experiment.
 

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Northeast Pennsylvania
I came across this E/V charging station last week in Hancock MD. It's located in a commuter park & ride lot adjacent to the Western Maryland Rail Trail.

IMG_1599a.jpg
IMG_1601a.jpg


One of the stations was being used to charge an electric car and the other to charge an e-bike. The rider was using an adapter connected to his 110V e-bike battery charger. He was having a somewhat heated conversation with the owner of another electric car who wanted to use the station. I didn't listen to the entire conversation but in effect, the car owner said the station was for cars, not bicycles and he was going to call the cops. It would have been interesting to see what eventually happened but I didn't stick around to find out.

I can see conflicts like this becoming more frequent as demand increases for these E/V charging stations. If the feds are going to pour billions into adding more of these stations nationwide, how much extra would it cost to simply include a 110V electrical outlet? This would eliminate these conflicts and indirectly promote the use of e-bikes in general.

Another issue here is billing. These particular E/V charging stations use a credit card reader with a $5 minimum. Personally, I would think twice about paying $5 for about 20 cents worth of electricity to charge my e-bike battery. Many of these stations I see are free while some charge a fee. IMO, some sort of fair use standard needs to be established.
 

Cowlitz

Well-Known Member
I came across this E/V charging station last week in Hancock MD. It's located in a commuter park & ride lot adjacent to the Western Maryland Rail Trail.

View attachment 133267 View attachment 133268

One of the stations was being used to charge an electric car and the other to charge an e-bike. The rider was using an adapter connected to his 110V e-bike battery charger. He was having a somewhat heated conversation with the owner of another electric car who wanted to use the station. I didn't listen to the entire conversation but in effect, the car owner said the station was for cars, not bicycles and he was going to call the cops. It would have been interesting to see what eventually happened but I didn't stick around to find out.

I can see conflicts like this becoming more frequent as demand increases for these E/V charging stations. If the feds are going to pour billions into adding more of these stations nationwide, how much extra would it cost to simply include a 110V electrical outlet? This would eliminate these conflicts and indirectly promote the use of e-bikes in general.

Another issue here is billing. These particular E/V charging stations use a credit card reader with a $5 minimum. Personally, I would think twice about paying $5 for about 20 cents worth of electricity to charge my e-bike battery. Many of these stations I see are free while some charge a fee. IMO, some sort of fair use standard needs to be established.
One thing to note is that the station needs to collect money to pay for construction and maintenance. That would be an add on to the electricity value. So it would be more than 20 cents. Think retail price.
 

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Northeast Pennsylvania
One thing to note is that the station needs to collect money to pay for construction and maintenance. That would be an add on to the electricity value. So it would be more than 20 cents. Think retail price.
This true, but it begs the question of how much are you willing to pay to charge your bike battery?
 

ava1ar

Active Member
Region
USA
City
Leonia, NJ
This true, but it begs the question of how much are you willing to pay to charge your bike battery?
I would say if it doean't have free limit in it (i.e. in hours or power consumed), I would consider it as emergency recharge location. Or if it has proper implementation of pay-per-use without those $5 minimums (i.e. you can put some money on account and it will use them when you paying for consumed power). I am still Ned to this EV charging things and learning about different vendors and networks and their rules.
 

BeltzerNYC

Member
Region
USA
I came across this E/V charging station last week in Hancock MD. It's located in a commuter park & ride lot adjacent to the Western Maryland Rail Trail.

View attachment 133267 View attachment 133268

One of the stations was being used to charge an electric car and the other to charge an e-bike. The rider was using an adapter connected to his 110V e-bike battery charger. He was having a somewhat heated conversation with the owner of another electric car who wanted to use the station. I didn't listen to the entire conversation but in effect, the car owner said the station was for cars, not bicycles and he was going to call the cops. It would have been interesting to see what eventually happened but I didn't stick around to find out.

I can see conflicts like this becoming more frequent as demand increases for these E/V charging stations. If the feds are going to pour billions into adding more of these stations nationwide, how much extra would it cost to simply include a 110V electrical outlet? This would eliminate these conflicts and indirectly promote the use of e-bikes in general.

Another issue here is billing. These particular E/V charging stations use a credit card reader with a $5 minimum. Personally, I would think twice about paying $5 for about 20 cents worth of electricity to charge my e-bike battery. Many of these stations I see are free while some charge a fee. IMO, some sort of fair use standard needs to be established.
wouldn't a regular outlet help here? this shouldn't be an issue.
 

ava1ar

Active Member
Region
USA
City
Leonia, NJ
what prices did Volta charged over there ??
$0.00
1. They are free (for now?) with 2 hours limit
2. As I mentioned, station didn't notice that charging was happening at all (it shown "connected" vs "in use"), so I think I can stay as long as I need without any time limit enforce if there are no other people around to use it.
 
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Readytoride

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Virginia
Volta stations are free because they use advertising (digital ads) on their platform. They are designed and placed in service for electric cars to use, which is why you find them in the parking lots of stores and business and community centers. Those businesses pay the electricity as an enticement/perk to encourage those who have electric cars to frequent those businesses/locales.

They aren't for electric bikes. Period.

And I, for one, would be super pissed if I arrived in my electric car to find a bike plugged into a Level 2 when that bike could easily be pugged into a regular 120v socket somewhere else. Not in a spot allocated for a car.

Do all of us electric car owners a favor: Don't be an ass trying to juryrig a J1772. Find a regular 120v outlet inside a willing store or business or even a McDonald's while you eat lunch to charge up your bike batteries, and leave the Level 2 stations to the vehicles they were designed to accomodate - electric cars.

And if you feel like using a Level 2 is your only option, please only use it when there is no electric car wanting to use it. Please.

Just noticed in your picture where you placed the J1772. JFC!! DO NOT LEAVE THE J1772 NOZZLE LAYING ON THE GROUND WHILE YOU USE IT. The amount of debris that can get into the plug when it is on the ground can completely ruin the plug, and take an entire charging system unit down that won't be able to be used by EVs until it is fixed. And those are expensive fixes.
 
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Readytoride

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Virginia
@6zfshdb - the photo of that EV charging station looks (based upon the Chademo on the left (blue handle)) to be a Level 3 which is fast charging ($$).
 

ava1ar

Active Member
Region
USA
City
Leonia, NJ
They aren't for electric bikes. Period.
Do all of us electric car owners a favor: Don't be an ass trying to juryrig a J1772
And if you feel like using a Level 2 is your only option, please only use it when there is no electric car wanting to use it. Please.

Sorry, buy I completely disagree with you here. Protecting car owners in US from "evil ebikes" sounds bizzare to me. Are you living to US, riding bike and still really think cars here need favors from cyclists and ebikers?

The whole road infrastructure in US already super entirely cat-centric and and other transportation options like public transit, ebikes, scooters, etc. mostly exist because some people resist and deny to be forced to own and use car. I am one of them. Taxes I am paying are used to improve roads for cars and only fraction of them are needed to paint the white line on the road and call it "bike lane". So while surviving with my ebike in this car-sentric world I am going to use and adopt anything which is somehow suitable for me.

If I need would to charge I would be happy to just use regular 120V outlet for sure, but they are not common (same like we have huge parking spots everywhere but I can't find even small bike rack near pretty much any store with few exceptions). In case they are not present (like on the parking on my photo), I consider myself to have same right to charge my electric bike on EV stations as car owners (which means I am following the 2 hours rule and don't use station longer than allowed).

But no favors to cars from my side - they are already in favor here.
 
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Readytoride

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Virginia
This has nothing to do with road transportation or convenient parking lot racks for bikes. It has everything to do with "fueling" electric cars. The infrastructure concerning charging stations is designed for large motor vehicles needing 7kWh EVSE, not bicycles.

And don't give me that BS that you can't find a 120v outlet anywhere. They are everywhere, in every building, and every gas station, every home, and every convenience store/public building/fast food place. Common outlets have been everywhere since the 1930s. If you ask to use an outlet in a business you may well find you are welcome to do so. You could easily stop in at a local library or community center to use their 120v outlets with no problem at all. Relax and read a book, or send emails, while you wait.

Level 2 public EVSE stations for EVs , on the other hand, are still few and far between as society is still in the adoptive stage for electric cars (except for Tesla), and rollout for providing the energy needs to fuel electric cars beyond home charging is trying to catch up. They are expensive to put in place, need to be 220-240 to provide the 7kWh current required by an EV, and placed in car centric locations for this very reason.

Just because you "discovered" a hack to tap into this new "free energy" source allocated for motor vehicles doesn't give you the right to do so. Charge your bike from the correct 120v common outlet that your bike battery has been designed to use. Be considerate, and stop being the jerk that deliberately hogs a resource not meant for you or your bike. All you are doing is encouraging more "reasons" to automobile owners hating cyclists as "entitled brats" even more than we are hated now.
 
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ava1ar

Active Member
Region
USA
City
Leonia, NJ
Charge your bike from the correct 120v common outlet that your bike has been designed to use, and stop being the jerk that convinces automobile owners to hate cyclists as entitled brats even more than we are hated now.
I should also stop using the road to stop frustrating pure car owners? I heard too much of this s**t already. Since nobody cares about ebikers, we will care about ourselves. There was no issue for EV station designers to add regular outlet to each of them so I can just use it, but they didn't do that because they don't care. So, here is the fix.

Not sure why do you so mad about this? Do you have electric car and can't charge it due to ebikes tool over all EV stations? You probably would never see any of them charging there. I am riding a lot, but still don't see much bikes/ebikes outside of cities, not even talking about seeing any of them to charge on EV station. So calm down - nobody will prevent yo charge your Tesla for free.
 

Readytoride

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Virginia
I'm angry at your presumptive attitude, pal. I get that you have an adversarial relationship with your local drivers over who owns the rights to travel on the public roads. Sucks for you. Nothing I can say is obviously going to get through to you that this "hack" will only create more tension between automotive drivers who are moving towards electric car adaptation, which will grow exponentially very quickly and thus put pressure on the available Level 2s, and ALL cyclists. Not just ebikes.

Final time: the EV infrastructure is being built for EVs. Not ebikes. You already have an infrastructure for your personal bike battery charging in place in public buildings everywhere. An immensely huge infrastructure right at your fingertips. Everywhere you turn, it's there. For free. 100% designed for your bike's needs without alteration. Use that, and leave the scarce EV infrastructure to the vehicles it is designed to support.
 

ava1ar

Active Member
Region
USA
City
Leonia, NJ
You already have an infrastructure in place in public buildings everywhere. An immensely huge infrastructure right at your fingertips. Everywhere you turn, it's there. For free. 100% designed for your bike's needs without alteration. Use that, and leave the scarce EV infrastructure to the vehicles it is designed to support.
Lucky if you have one at your place. I said I don't have even bike racks at my location with exception of REI store (thanks them for remembering about cyclists). I would always prefer to use outlet (and I already doing, thanks to https://nyceboarding.com/map for info), however I would also consider EV stations if nothing else is available.