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I'm sure the novelty has long since worn off for most of you, but I was delighted to find a free charging station at the store where we holding a meeting tonight. I wasn't even looking for one. I still haven't purchased a level 2 charger yet so it's a double pleasure for me since they charge twice as fast as what I'm used to. When I was done with the meeting I was greeted with a full charge. Only had to drive a few miles home so it won't take much to top it off tonight.

At the same time I have these pangs of guilt. It's like somebody giving me have a tank a gas for free while most people have to pay. It's like my first trip to an all inclusive resort, - it just doesn't seem... natural.

The times are changing though. The stations at the Mall of America ramps were free at some point from my understanding. They aren't anymore. Though it still might be nice around Christmas time to roll right by all those people looking for a place to park while I get a spot right next to the entrance, - in the December cold no less. :)
 

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congrats on the find. I have yet to use a free public charger. Not too many charging stations to be found that are L2 and near where I plan to spend any significant time at. I have noticed more DCFC stations popping up near shopping but not really any L2 and those that I have found have a kW or /hour charge.

As for looking at it as being free, try looking at it as an incentive for you to spend money. Thats how most businesses look at it as well. If they can draw you in to spend money with free charging then it's more likely you'll spend a little extra time and money. Remember, just because something is "free" doesn't mean it's cheap.

Hopefully getting rockstar parking is doable but one thing you're likely to find is that often times people will park in those spaces and either not be charging, or just have a plain regular ICE powered car and park there. There is a local grocery store near me that had several parking spots that clearly stated they were for clean air vehicles and I ALWAYS saw at least half a dozen suburbans and other large SUVs parked there. They've since removed the signage so apparently the idea didn't catch on. heh
 

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I'm sure the novelty has long since worn off for most of you, but I was delighted to find a free charging station at the store where we holding a meeting tonight. I wasn't even looking for one. I still haven't purchased a level 2 charger yet so it's a double pleasure for me since they charge twice as fast as what I'm used to. When I was done with the meeting I was greeted with a full charge. Only had to drive a few miles home so it won't take much to top it off tonight.

At the same time I have these pangs of guilt. It's like somebody giving me have a tank a gas for free while most people have to pay. It's like my first trip to an all inclusive resort, - it just doesn't seem... natural.

The times are changing though. The stations at the Mall of America ramps were free at some point from my understanding. They aren't anymore. Though it still might be nice around Christmas time to roll right by all those people looking for a place to park while I get a spot right next to the entrance, - in the December cold no less. :)
I didn't even know about the MOA spots, but it sounds like free no more. My wife enjoys using the free charging at the HyVee she shops at in Eagan. Also on occasional trips to Mystic Lake Casino.

We have no guilt, they get our money one way or another. Anything to encourage the adoption of EV's is all good too. I'm guessing free charging will end as demand increases. Either that or they will be occupied most all the time. Charging money is a way to ration a scarce good.

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I was going to mention the HyVees, too. Also, just between us, if you're ever at the Wayzata Municipal Bar & Grill ("The Muni"), there are 4 free Chargepoint connections (2x2) in the adjacent parking structure. On the other side of the metro area, the National Sports Center has a single 2-connection station in front of the hockey rink that charges by the kWh instead of by the clock, and only $0.10 per kWh at that!

I agree with freshcut & Eagleco, don't feel guilty. At the rate our Volts charge up, you're getting maybe $0.75 of electricity if you hook up for 2 hours. Just buy a second beer at the Muni (or brat at the rink), if you need to feel better! (and plugshare is your friend!)
 

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I will seek out EV parking spaces (even if they are at the very back of the lot) just because I like knowing I can park there. I will even pay for charging if it's provided. EV infrastructure is still relatively nascent in my state so I guess I view it as a novelty.
 

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I used a free Chargepoint station for the first time the other day at Whole Foods. Didn't feel guilty at all. I only spent 25 minutes there, and went from 25 to 27 miles on the guess-o-meter. Big whoop.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The free station last night was also Chargepoint (Lunds/Byerly's near Southdale), so even though it was free I still needed to sign up. The Mall of America stations are Blink. It would be nice if they were like ATMs and a single card or account would be all you needed no matter who owned the stations.

I did pay at the Mall. 39 cents per kWh for Blink members, 49 for guests. I didn't mind paying a couple of bucks and if it helps support the charging infrastructure, all the better.

You can see how this might play out differently than gas stations. It makes far more sense to put EV stations where people intend to spend a little time. On the one hand it's nice to be able to fill up an ICE powered car in 5 minutes. On the other hand, EV stations don't require any underground tanks or fuel deliveries and can go almost anywhere there's electricity. So rather than having to make a special stop at a gas station, you can "fill up" at your destination (theoretically).
 

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I did pay at the Mall. 39 cents per kWh for Blink members, 49 for guests. I didn't mind paying a couple of bucks and if it helps support the charging infrastructure, all the better.
You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din! The charging infrastucture I intend to support is in my garage! (maybe that 240v outlet and EVSE will magically appear someday, but I think I'm gonna have to pay for it!)
 

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The free chargers I use are supported by the city (government to show how green they are) or by hippy store (to show how green they are) or by Toyota dealer in a mall, free advertising although so far I've only seen a Leaf or Kia Soul plugged in there (other than mine).
 

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Here's a little feel-good story about free charging: My employer (Skidmore College) has 2 Chargepoint stations that are free, which is basically what pushed me over the edge when I decided to buy my Volt (and the tax credit, and not burning gas, and....). The result is that I almost never charge at home. In the year that I've owned my Volt, I've noticed that the # of EV's on campus has probably doubled, which means that other employees realized the same thing I did: If your commute is under the battery range, you can basically drive for free!
And here's the cool thing: I've recently learned there are plans to install even more charging stations on campus. Ideally that will push even more employees and students to the EV world, which means more gas burners off the road!
 

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My round trip commute of 52 miles is powered by Free once a day L2 charging at a parking lot next to my job.
Spark EV, 3 yrs/55k miles. :cool: (I plug in at home for TMS reasons in the dead of winter.)

I have found it best not to publicise my commuting costs.:( For some reason, some people take offense...:p
 

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At work, they allow me to plug into a wall socket on the side of the building. I'm the only one that has a plug-in, so there's no problems.
 

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I'm sure those who live and commute more within Austin TX don't have this issue, but living on the fringe there are hardly any public chargers for me to try out, hah.
My options are limited to..
A L2 Station at a local Kohl's (free for the first 4 hours, which works half the time)
A L2 Station at a CVS (Best case scenario I get like.. half a mile?)
Some chargers at a newer Whole Foods Market 365 which I probably will never visit
2 new 2-car L2 stations the Property Management of the building that I work in had installed (free)

In all honesty, as much as I'd love some more public chargers to ensure I don't use any gas, I'm mainly content with the work chargers, granted there was a lot more competition for them than I thought there'd be (So far I've discovered another Gen 1 Volt and a Gen 2, a jerk Prius Prime owner, A greedy Nissan Leaf, BMW i3, Ford Fusion Energi, Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, and some sort of Honda..).
But I'm not too worried, from what I heard from my wife's best friend's dad (who is the head honcho for one of the other companies in our building) the Property Management will have no issue being aggressive about having EV owners move their car when they're done charging, especially if someone were to complain about someone hogging a spot. I think the only people I haven't seen attempt to charge are the 2 Tesla Model S owners - one of which I heard has no intention of charging at work.
 

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When I moved to Las Vegas, I was happy to find that several of the strip casinos have free EV charging stations right next to the entrance. Free charge and VIP parking! I would go to a casino on the weekends and the full charge would normally last me until the next weekend since my work commute is just a few miles.
 

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I'm juicing up for free right now for an hour between meetings. MGM Grand Detroit has free parking an (24!) Level 2 chargers on the 6th floor of their parking garage. I'm sitting in my car answering emails, surfing the web, and picking up a couple KW. There's a Model S, 2 other Volts, and 2 Fusion Energi's plugged in, but lots of free spaces.

I do wish I had even a 120V plug at work, but I don't. I'm still managing about 230 mpg, but I'd probably do even better if I had charging at work. I do know where to get free (or free with parking) charging when I'm downtown for work and I certainly use it.
 

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A Volt and a Bolt EV flanking a Tesla M3, all getting free charges from Clipper Creek units.

Stinson Beach, north of San Francisco.


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We have 3 Level 2 chargers in our city. Two are at campgrounds and the one I use is at the mall. I use it possibly once a week for about an hour. This costs the mall a little less than $0.25 worth of electricity in that hour (208 V). We do mall walking and then have coffee after, it is a nice gesture of the mall. We have not had the Volt for a (-40) winter, but I think that charger will be quite handy & it will get used most days. It appears that there are very few users of this public charger. Most of my charging is done at home on my 120 V charger at 12 amps. I am quite happy to charge at home given it only costs ~ $1.65 to fully charge a completely discharged battery.
BTW: If there are other Volt owners in MB, please send me a PM and we could get together for a coffee or such.
 

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We have 8 newly installed charge points at our mall and all are free - 4 for Tesla's and 4 L2's for the rest of us. What's really neat about them is they are on the ground floor of a small parking garage so they are very close to the entrance AND they are in the shade, whereas 90% of all parking at the mall is out in the SUN - What a difference on a 95 degree summer day. Since there re so few EV's around here, we've been the only car to park there every time. It would be worth it plugging in just for those perks even if the chargers didn't give you any juice at all

Don
 

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Noticed the other day at our free charge station down town finally had #2 up and working after the mayor had been notified almost year ago that it was down. Still I guess that's about right considering the speed of governments. A Leaf was using it which meant I had to use the other side which I can barely do if I park close and don't pull fully into the parking spot as the cord has run across the car to the other side just ahead of the front tires. Can't back into it as it's angle parking and one way.
 
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