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Do you charge your volt at public stations?

  • Yes! I go out of my way to charge.

    Votes: 12 12.5%
  • Yes. I'll charge if it's convenient.

    Votes: 56 58.3%
  • No. Only if absolutely necessary. (IE: Low gas)

    Votes: 11 11.5%
  • No. I would never charge at a public station.

    Votes: 17 17.7%

  • Total voters
    96
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The Volt can easily drive past public charging stations without issue because of its REx, but many people still charge them up at public stations. Before I drive to another city, I usually check for nearby charging stations around my destination. Even though it's not necessary, I enjoy the extra EV range. Especially when charging at the IMAX theatre that is ~35 miles away, as it allows me to drive to and back on pure EV.

Do you charge at public stations? Do you actively look for them? Go out of your way to charge? Or would you rather keep the charging stations just for BEV's that need it most?
 

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We have, and will continue to, particularly when they're free as many mall based stations seem to be around here.

My wife is driving into Toronto tomorrow and has already scoped out free charging (via a ChargePoint station) at her destination mall.
 

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Very rarely, only maybe four or five times in five years. and only if it's the last empty parking spot. I never need to and those poor Leaf drivers have to get home.
 

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Went to Inverness Florida on St. Paddy's day to take in some live music. Made a lap of the municipal parking lot which was all full, until right up by the entrance I see an empty spot. Now Im happy just to find a spot, and low and behold when pulling in find a double L2 free Eaton EV charger! By the way the other spot was ICE'd!
 

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I live in Northeast Ohio so I need to ask, what is a public charging station? There are zero in the county I live in.
 

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So far in my 5+ years of Volt ownership I don't ever recall finding a "FREE EV CHARGER" convenient to where I was going. I tried using an extension cord on an outdoor outlet at a hotel in Heber Springs AR some years ago and all I got for my trouble was a honking horn in the middle of the night when I tripped the circuit breaker and the car went off.

And unless it's a Level II EVSE why bother.
 

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Almost exclusively. And always for free.

KC is EV Heaven !

I plug in at home overnight in the dead of winter for battery pack TMS reasons.
But that really burns my bunns....:mad: I had to spend ~$34 this winter.....;)
 

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I picked "Yes. I'll charge if it's convenient." but that is stretching it because it has only been convenient enough 1 time in the 3+ years I have owned the car. I don't have charging available at work and have only once found myself at a destination that offered free charging and had an available EVSE.
Overnight L1 in my garage works for me because 99%+ of the time I am either well within my Gen 1's all electric range per day or way outside of it due to being on a road trip.
 

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I said "NO I'll never charge at a public station" but really that's qualified with "if it's more expensive than gas"

If it's a free station, or if someone can figure out a business model where they can sell electricity at price parity with gasoline, then I would and I suspect they'd be quite successful.
 

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I'll charge at convient, free public chargers. Usually Whole Foods and hotels. Other than that, it's just not cost effective.

I did put a Clipper Creek HCS-40 at the ocean front house I rent out. Curious to see if any of my guests request the access key.
 

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I'll charge at convient, free public chargers. Usually Whole Foods and hotels. Other than that, it's just not cost effective.

I did put a Clipper Creek HCS-40 at the ocean front house I rent out. Curious to see if any of my guests request the access key.

Is your Beach House in Virginia? That is a nice perk.
 

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Only if it's free and I need the charge to return home without using gas. And I'm stopping for enough time to make a difference.

Only charger that has fit this criteria to date is IKEA - ~80km away and just barely possible to squeeze out of one battery if I'm extra careful.
Assuming the stations aren't full, I can drive normally, get 72-75km from my battery, plus a short top up while I'm shopping and return home without starting the engine.

Otherwise, I just drive, because it's not worth the effort.
 

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"If it's convenient" has gotten about as far as marginally influencing my choice of hotels, but seriously, it's only worth about $0.75 per hour. The only one I use with any regularity is a ChargePoint stall in a lot where every OTHER space has a meter that takes six quarters per hour, and the ChargePoint costs the same rate. I bet the tow company makes a killing hauling ICE cars out.
 

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All things being equal I'll pick the garage that has an EV charger, I prefer the feel of the electric drive so I've even been willing to pay even though the cost for charging a Volt, when it's not free, is twice the cost of charging a car with full rate charger because Chargepoint charges by time not by the KW. Most of the places I go the charging is free so it's a no-brainer, but there is one place where the charging is not free but it saves you money. In Provincetown MA, at the tip of Cape Cod, there are EV chargers just outside of the main lot. It costs about $6 to charge a Volt, expensive for the electricity, but the lot charges a fixed $20 and which don't pay that because the chargers are just outside of the lot so the way to look at it is that you've gotten cheap parking and a bonus of a full charge.

There is one more thing to take into account, EV parking spots tend to just as convenient as handicapped parking, in my experience they are always placed near the entrance of the garage and there is a very good chance that they are unoccupied.
 

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I said "NO I'll never charge at a public station" but really that's qualified with "if it's more expensive than gas"

If it's a free station, or if someone can figure out a business model where they can sell electricity at price parity with gasoline, then I would and I suspect they'd be quite successful.
I voted for "if it's convenient". But really I'd also put "if the price is reasonable". It wouldn't have to be cheaper than the gas.

I've used a public charger once. It was "free" (no additional fee, but in a pay lot).
There's also been a couple of cases where I could have used a pay lot that has at least one J1772 for the same price as where we ended up parking.
I've never used Plugshare to look for chargers.

I nearly used another one at a hotel, paying $1/hour (expensive, but it was late fall/early winter and we were doing some short-trip local driving that would also be inefficient), but the design of the charging station made it so slow to use the phone to pay by credit card that I balked and gave up when informed of the "convenience fee".

I think that it's challenging to make a direct for-profit public charging model work well because of the combination of low volume and demand charges. I think that it could work with some joined-up thinking from electric utilities. However, there's something of an irony that for electric utilities PEVs are actually something of a risk due to the potential for PEVs and cheap batteries to destroy utility profit-making potential.
 

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3 times in 15 months of ownership. Once at a free station located in a pay parking lot in VT. I have used Chargepoint twice, once in NJ and once in DC. They were reasonably priced. They need to be used, otherwise they will go away.
 

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What will the world of the future look like? My guess is that when BEVs get good enough, defined as at least 350 mile of range and DCFCs available at every highway rest stop, destination chargers will go away. To clarify my terminology there are three kinds of chargers, overnight chargers, fast chargers and destinations chargers which are used for short duration parking. Destination chargers are only necessary in a world of EVs with inadequate ranges. I find the Volt's 53 mile range to be half of what I'd like. I can drive into Boston with a couple of miles to spare, so I try and park in garages with EV charging because that allows me to do the whole trip on battery. It's not life or death like a Leaf, where if you run out of charge they find your body in the spring, but it's a strong preference to drive electric if I can. If the Volt had twice it's EV range I wouldn't worry about finding a destination charger. For BEVs you need both range and a fast charging infrastructure but once that's in place destination charging doesn't matter a whole lot because the amount of range that you can add in a hour or two with a Level II charger is so small. I could see a future where fast chargers are in places like garages and shopping center parking lots because they will be fairly cheap to install which would make it possible for them to make a little profit, but I think the days of dedicated EV spaces are numbered.
 
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