Half Price Books first to install electric charging stations

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grokme

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I think this is really cool, but how many companies are going to be willing to fund their customer's vehicle charging? I guess it's a good incentive to shop there. It occurred to me that cities could use parking meters as electric charging stations.

Half Price Books said Monday it has installed North Texas' first public electric vehicle charging station.

As the plug-in cars roll into Texas later this year, drivers will be able to juice up their electric vehicles at the bookstore's flagship location on Northwest Highway for free.


http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/bus/stories/DN-halfpricebooks_21bus.ART.State.Edition1.27045b9.html
 
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dragon04

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You know, I have to give a lot of credit to Half Price Books for such forward thinking, but in practical terms, where is the subsidy to provide free electricity to charge customers' electric cars?

If you're a discount bookstore, exactly how do you maintain a healthy profit margin selling discounted books AND providing electricity for electric cars at the company's expense?

I read the article, but it seems to me that the only way such a plan would be economically feasible would be if Half Price was producing its own electricity via solar/wind generation. Buying "renewable" electricity would seem to me to be more expensive even than normally generated commercial power via coal, oil or gas fired power plants.

The decision on whether or not to charge for electricity based on the purchase of renewable power generation is naive. If I can plug my 'Lectric in at home every night for 8 cents a kilowatt/hour and that be sufficient to get me here and there every day, why would I spend 9 or 10 or 20 cents a kilowatt/hour to plug in at Half Price Books? I just don't see a successful business model here.
 
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grokme

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Aside from the initial outlay, which is $10,000, it should be pretty cheap to run. They are only powering two cars. I think it's more of a promotional idea than anything. It's a way to show they are a green company. Half Price Books business model is very good. They are the only viable book sales company in this area and they are rapidly expanding. They buy books for pennies on the dollar, and then turn around and sell them for half their original list price. They do very well. I've watched this company grow for the last 15 years or so. They have a faithful group of customers, such as myself, and I always go to half price before going to Barnes and Noble or Borders, or even Amazon for that matter.
 
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adrenalynn

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Owning gasoline-powered vehicles, I'd have to sue them for not putting in gas pumps. I mean, it's pretty clear that I'm being singled-out as a class and that isn't legal. [Isn't it awesome how it comes home to roost given enough time?]
 
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docm

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The vast majority of charging stations will use "Smart Grid" tech, meaning no matter where you plug in your home acct. will be charged - unless the employer/business offers it as a benefit/premium. Each EV has a unique ID, as does the station and your home meter.
 
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adrenalynn

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Sure - but I have to get off my butt and drive to a gas station. They don't. Again - I've been singled out. It's not FAIR!
 
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dragon04

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docm":ynbgxi3d said:
The vast majority of charging stations will use "Smart Grid" tech, meaning no matter where you plug in your home acct. will be charged - unless the employer/business offers it as a benefit/premium. Each EV has a unique ID, as does the station and your home meter.
Wow. That's really cool. Well, maybe not so cool. In states where a kilowatt hour of electricity is insanely high, tourists aren't gonna like forking out a ton of extra cash on their electric bill for the "fill-ups" they had to do while on vacation. I suppose it's cheaper than gasoline though. I'd have to know how many Kw/H of electricity it would take to fully charge the car though before I could run the numbers.
 
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grokme

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docm":19s7iscf said:
The vast majority of charging stations will use "Smart Grid" tech, meaning no matter where you plug in your home acct. will be charged - unless the employer/business offers it as a benefit/premium. Each EV has a unique ID, as does the station and your home meter.
I did not know about that. Is that why the initial layout is $10k? I'm trying to see how they could justify that cost.
 
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docm

Guest
What cost? Tax credit from the stimulus package.

Like all things tech smart grid will cost far more/charge station than a dumb socket at first, but the electric car (Volt, Leaf, etc) charging ports already have the smart grid tech as part of the SAE J1772-2009 spec. Not that the SAE connect is required to charge them though - they can use dumb 120/240 outlets too.

Making it work will come from BPL (broadband over power lines), a tech that'll use power lines for the data transfers as well as provide a new way to get very fast internet connections for the home. Due in mass production in the very near term from Cisco and others, so the price will drop. After that its all in the MAC codes, security chips/protocols & meters.

 
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CalliArcale

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grokme":3pqvfnzo said:
They have a faithful group of customers, such as myself, and I always go to half price before going to Barnes and Noble or Borders, or even Amazon for that matter.
And when you go to Amazon, you may very well wind up still buying from Half Priced Books! They have an Amazon storefront as well. I've shopped and sold there, and while they don't give you a lot of money for your books, neither will anybody else, seriously, and they're very efficient.
 
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