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Volt as a barometer for public charging

3126 Views 6 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Ladogaboy
Having followed a number of threads on public charging with the Volt (and other PHEV) I have developed the notion that we have a fantastic example of the law of "unintended consequences".

What I've observed is that with PHEV, owners would like to charge up, and have an ethics driven incentive to do so, however we aren't required to do so which leaves us able to look at various public charging options and either accept or decline to deal with their business model and the mechanics of their systems.

That ability to choose, along with other factors has created a pretty rough and thin coverage network in a lot of areas but I put forth the theory that this is actually a good thing in the long run because the suppliers are discovering very early and very fast what works, what doesn't, and what the consumers (us) will tolerate.
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I love being able to charge with certain networks, but cringe at others (Blink in particular).

In SoCal we have some very reasonable fees (Free to $0.22 per kWh) to outrageous ones ($X per hour). In the beginning when I got my Volt charging used to dictate where I wanted to go esp since Premium Gas here is/was so expensive. Now that it hovers around $2.50 I do not mind putting on a little speed or not charging at a location.

I have seen too many chargers filled up by Nissan Leafs, Fiats and other EVs. Especially the ones where one or two free ones are available.

So I just pick my favorite spots to charge now, go there when I feel like it and take one worry off my shoulders the rest of the time.

However, I cannot wait until they adopt a better model for charging. Mainly, :
1.) Check distance between EV spot and location
---Particularly true in Retail where they are trying to save money with installation but we get screwed by ICE or non-charging cars.
---I really like what Costco in Torrance CA did for their charging (albeit the network is awful). 15 chargers on the side of the building NOT closest to the entrance. The amount of ICE there is significantly reduced because people do not want to walk that far.
---Fashion Island in Newport Beach is the WORST place I've seen this example where 3 spots with 2 chargers are located right next to the mall and always full. I think they should have placed them underground or farther away......personal opinion.

2.) Reasonable charging for each vehicle.
---Charging @ 3.3kWh is not the same as charging at a higher rate. The $X per hour rates really only benefit pure EV as they would potentially need to charge longer. The funniest part about these spots is that I typically see these spots taken by EV or PHEV and they are not charging.
---I am okay with paying for my electricity. Anything below $0.25 per kWh is worth it to me at current gas levels. Why are some places $0.49 per kWh or more? My favorite spot is in front of Walmart that has a Blink station. I barely see it being used.

3.) Use a common interface or vendor to show availability.
---I love Chargepoint for this, but I would love PlugShare to be my go to app to check everything from reviews, to availability to anything about charging.

Maybe they also know EVs do not have much of a choice that is why they can do this.

Anyways thats my rant.
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