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So I just took delivery on my silver with light neutral volt and began plugging it in at work, which just happens to be a Coast Guard base. I was told today that I would not be allowed to plug in at work since this is a personal expense not a government expense. Does anyone have references, cases, or any hard documentation showing that the government can or can not limit electric car charging? It seems like this would go against any kind of moves toward alternative energy since it would preclude many shorter range electric vehicles. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Did you get permission before plugging in? If not you might have just stepped on someone's toes.

I recommend running a special request chit up your chain of command. If you get a chance to speak about it with your superiors you may want to bring up the true cost of the electricity is small and mention the Commander in Chief's directive to have a million of these cars on the road, etc...
 

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Cannot say about the fed but I work for a state university and its pretty clear hear that we cannot use any facility for personal use. We are not even supposed to use it for personal email.. So for mixed access, people use personal equipment for work, instead of work equipment for personal use. I imagine that on base plugging in a personal vehichle would viewed as well as taking some gas from the motor pool area.

I proposed two systems to allows me to compensate campus for any electric usage. The simpler is a special hang tag that I would pay extra for the special parking spot where I could plug in, with the fee being enough to cover expected electric usage. (And it would give me a nice dedicated spot, but the spot woudl be wasted when I'm not there).

The second was to use the campus' pay-to-park machines (which provide a slip to put on your dash) to cover day charging. I've not hear back yet (just sent it on monday), but felt that if I give them a model that is easy to implement and allows them to cover their backside if challenged by others, it would get through. There is another thread where people talked about it for work and for the corporate environment it may be easier to just say its some type of amenity. We don't get amenities (no free coffee or such).
 

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Never mind the multi-hundred BILLION dollar oil wars this car pushes us in the direction of averting.

Gotta love the bureaucrats.

All that said, I did buy my car expecting noone would give me free electricity, but it's interesting to see this car played out in an environment controlled by a stakeholder who's actually amongst the principal beneficiaries of what this technology stands for (avoiding oil wars and radical islamification).

Being that it's government, I suspect the naysayer is just covering his arse. Easier to say no, than do the research, take the risk, and say yes. Your case study may be so new that there isn't any other precedent to go by.
 

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Sorry, but I do not have any sympathy for your not being able to charge in at work on a military base. Now, if the government wants to install "pay to charge" charging stations, well and good. Personal use of government facilities and services should not be allowed. If allowed, just where do you draw the line?

On the other hand, I am happy you now have a new Volt and I hope it provides you a very enjoyable transportation mode.
 

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You might offer the commander that you will remunerate the station in some other way. Donuts twice a month?
 

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Does anyone have references, cases, or any hard documentation showing that the government can or can not limit electric car charging?
Historically, I don't believe that the government has provided fuel to employees for use to get to/from home and work.

Can you get from home to work and back on a single charge? If so, you likely don't have much of an option until/unless things change (aside from the political issues, providing electricity is much easier logistically than providing gas). If you cannot make it there and back without using gas, you would definitely have a better case.
 

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Personal use of government facilities and services should not be allowed. If allowed, just where do you draw the line?
Well, as an example, current DoD information system policy allows for "reasonable" personal use, basically things like personal e-mails, limited internet use, and so forth as long as it is appropriate, of a limited basis, and doesn't interfere with normal work duties. Also, on deployment, especially on a Navy ship underway, people don't have a choice but to use the government's information system to e-mail family back home and such.

As far as charging an electric vehicle on base, I thought I remembered hearing there was some federal facilities regulation that didn't allow it, but I think it's something that could be changed if enough people try to push for it. Also, I imagine it was probably something put into motion before cars like the Volt and Leaf were really looking like they would be coming to market. In this case, just the amount of power that it would take to charge an electric car might be the basis of the issue. For example, using a power outlet in command spaces to charge your cell phone would probably not raise any concern by anyone (especially if that's the recall number people have for you), or other small electronic devices like that, as the electricity used is barely a blip compared to things like air conditioning the building or running machinery, etc. The electricity to charge a Volt or Leaf would be relatively significantly greater (even if it's only around $1.50 a day), so various people might see it more like buying gas for an ICE vehicle. In which case, maybe since you can buy gas at the exchange on base there's a way to see if the NEX/AAFES/MCX/CGX would support installing some sort of pay to charge plugs in coordination with base facility commands, though they would have to be in pretty much every parking lot to ensure they are placed where people can use them effectively.
 

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Sorry, but I do not have any sympathy for your not being able to charge in at work on a military base. Now, if the government wants to install "pay to charge" charging stations, well and good. Personal use of government facilities and services should not be allowed. If allowed, just where do you draw the line?

On the other hand, I am happy you now have a new Volt and I hope it provides you a very enjoyable transportation mode.
Normally I would agree with you completely, but according to this post, every charge made by a Volt on government property with government procured electricity, actually saves the government about $16.00 for forty miles of travel, and actually begins to pay back the $7,500 Volt buyer tax break. http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?8954

I don't have any problem with collecting that additional buck fifty though, heck throw in a little road tax too for that matter. But considering the subsidies the government puts into gasoline, start charging that Volt right away, and worry about nit picking the final details later.
 

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Look to see if there are any Coast Guard bases that allow people to plug in car heaters. Maybe in AK? The heaters draw the same power.
 

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Don might be on to something with that one. At the base where I work people are allowed to bring in those mini fridge things and put them under their desk (as long as they are energy star). Yeah not exactly the same as a car heater but it is personal equipment allowed on the installation even though it draws power so they are paying for it.

We also have parking spaces specifically designated for fuel efficent vehicles and the Volt is on the list approved to use those spaces. No clue if they'll ever go a step further and provide outlets.

Also Coast Guard is part of Homeland security so you might be doing your own thing unlike the other services.
 

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Just write a letter to the President of the United States. Maybe he will give a new Executive Order allowing EVs to charge at any Federal or Defense property, knowing that this will help reduce oil imports. Add a few quotes from his speeches!
 

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Government is definitely tougher than corporate to get approval.

I am lucky that my corporate workplace wants to appear green so they have initiatives in place corporate wide to support alternative energy. Different sites do it differently (some have very large PV solar farms, others just have one or two EVSEs), but they view it as a low cost way to do the right thing environmentally and get some positive PR with the local communities and corporate wide while they are at it. My site has a Ford BEV Delivery truck on the way that they will charge at night. I will be allowed to use the charger when not in use and all I need to do is participate in Earth Day and similar site activities promoting their "greenness" (which I will most likely do anyway).
 

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Government is definitely tougher than corporate to get approval.
My friend made a deal with the manager of a local Carl's Jr. (a burger chain west of the Rockies) that he would let him charge his Volt in return for him buying a more expensive sandwich. The manager was happy with that deal until one day someone from the corporate office came by, saw the Volt charging, and said something about liability.

So he asked next door at Coco's (a California bakery restaurant). They were happy to let him use the socket in the back, and so far no higher-up has objected.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Government Accountability OPffice

Thanks everyone for your feedback. Definitely some things to consider. I was given a reference to a report from the GAO (government accountability office) saying that appropriated funds cannot be used for purchasing chargers since they are a "personal expense" and even mentioned that it could not be done if the chargers could track and bill individual usage. By that logic, wouldn't normal parking spaces be "personal expenses" as well? The report concludes:

We conclude that, in the absence of specific authority, AOC may not use its
appropriation for the purchase and installation of recharging stations for use by its
employees for their personal vehicles nor establish a reimbursable program. The use
of the public’s funds for this purpose is a matter for Congress to address through
legislation.

Apparently we need some legislative power to get this going. It seems archaic that chargers cannot be installed with government money. The power use I understand, but not the infrastructure. How are we going to accomplish the President's goal of 1 million advanced technology vehicles on the road by 2015 when the gov can't even support the charging infrastructure? The GAO report is attached for all concerned.
 

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So that GAO report is dated 2010. A couple of months ago (2011) there was an article in the Detroit Free Press about Senator Carl Levin (D-Michigan), talking about pushing his colleagues to get charging stations installed in the Capitol parking garage, which would be AFTER that report. As that report suggests, if anyone could do it it would be Congress (through legislation). It might be worthwhile to write him about your vision for military bases:

http://levin.senate.gov/

I don't think pitching the idea of giving away long term free electricity would fly, but I could envision an appropriation being written that permits "free charging" for 2-3 years for the early adopters, after which the charging station companies then convert the chargers over to metered use. Heck, with all the recovery act money that's been put into installing chargers in senseless areas of Washington, DC one would think they could see the wisdom of deploying a few to military bases.
 
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