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Not a Parking Space!

1127 Views 14 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  8AA
I usually just charge at home, but there is a grocery store that I go to sometimes that has a couple of Volta Charging Stations. I wasn't going to be shopping long, but I went ahead and plugged in (didn't want to pass up on free electrons). I was only in the store for about 20 minutes, but when I came out there was a note under my rear hatch window wiper.

"This is a charging station, NOT A PARKING!"

I was still plugged in, but I guess the person who left the note didn't notice the power cord going from the charging station to my car. I assume that they saw a red RAV4 and thought that I had "ICEd" the charging station because obviously Toyota doesn't have a PHEV version of the RAV4. :)
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Where i live at you can not get into a volta station as they are almost always being used by Teslas. just for giggles one day i went back and checked on the spaces 5 hours later and the same cars were there..
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It would be nice they actually enforced the 2 hour limit on charging. That seems like more than enough time for most shopping. The commuter train station I used to use had a couple of chargers in the parking lot. If you got there early enough, you could snag one of them. I felt guilty about staying plugged in all day when my car was probably before I got back. However, since there was always another car plugged in, I had assumed that the charging capacity was probably shared and it would have taken 8+ hours to fully charge the battery. The other car was almost always a Tesla, and I'm sure they hated using a Level 2 charger, and hated it even more that they had to share the current capacity of the charging station.

I definitely prefer to charge at home.
 

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It would be nice they actually enforced the 2 hour limit on charging. That seems like more than enough time for most shopping. The commuter train station I used to use had a couple of chargers in the parking lot. If you got there early enough, you could snag one of them. I felt guilty about staying plugged in all day when my car was probably before I got back. However, since there was always another car plugged in, I had assumed that the charging capacity was probably shared and it would have taken 8+ hours to fully charge the battery. The other car was almost always a Tesla, and I'm sure they hated using a Level 2 charger, and hated it even more that they had to share the current capacity of the charging station.

I definitely prefer to charge at home.
I mostly charge at home. Easy solution would to be a timer on the charging stations. Once you plug in the charging will stop at two hours. Granted you could unplug and the just plug it back in but it would disrupt those that spend all day plugged in. this is the main reason i have not gone full electric. First weekend i had the prime i drove around to see what was really available. Found out quickly the infrastructure was not there unless I wanted to pay 4 times what gas costs. Over night charging gets me about two days of usage, if i need to stretch it i can always go fossil on the fly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The EV range is normally plenty for me too if I recharge every other day or so. I can do most of my driving in EV mode, but it's nice to not have range anxiety. It's also great to be able to go on long trips and still have the benefit of a hybrid system. I'm not quite ready for full EV yet either, and saw a PHEV as a good first step to get used to EV driving.

As for the Volta Stations, there aren't many around, but there is usually one open at the grocery store. I'm not there long enough to get a decent charge, but it does give me close to the power back that I used driving there. The public library used to have free Level 2 charging, but they replaced the charging station with a Level 3 one and charges a lot for the electricity. Even if I could use a Level 3 station, I'd still charge at home to get the better cost per kw-hour.
 

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After getting my Prime, I became much more aware of chargers in public parking lots - especially if they were free! A few times I had negative reactions when I saw vehicles I didn't think should be there like a Jeep Wrangler, then I was like oh yeah they've got a plugin too. It's unfortunate that you experienced someone that took the time to write you such a welcoming note but not to see that your RAV4 was plugged in.

We bought a full EV last month, and I now fully understand "range anxiety". I changed my R4P setup to not lock the EV plug in case a full EV is desperate for a charge and is able to park close enough to charge. I've only been unplugged a few times at airport parking lots, and I avoided reacting negatively because someone had done something related to my vehicle. Good news is it appeared they didn't touch my vehicle at all because my plug cap wasn't in place and the EV door was wide open. Wait, is that good news in the rain? Honestly it wasn't a big deal because even if they had unplugged my Prime 15 minutes after I plugged it in, I still had gas as a fall back.
 

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If you expect others to be fair with you because you are fair you’re just fooling yourself.
That’s like expecting the lion not to eat you because you didn’t eat him..

And to be honest you can’t fix stupid and there are a lot of stupid people out there. Throw the note in the garbage and don’t give it a second thought.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The note didn't bother me at all, I just thought this community of Prime owners might appreciate the story.

As I had said, it is fairly rare that I use a public charging station. But I have also turned off the lock for the charge plug and I put a label inside the door that says "BEV FRIENDLY". Hopefully a BEV owner who needs a charge will understand my intent. While I might be part of a minority of people who take other people's needs into consideration, it doesn't sound like I'm the only one here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I guess I was hoping that if I was still shopping and they were going to leave, they would plug my car back in. It's so rare that I use public charging though, and I've got plenty of gas to get to my next destination. I think I had expected to use public charging more frequently, but that hasn't been the case. There are very few free ones, and most now are Level 3 fast chargers. Even the Level 2 chargers are pretty expensive now.
 

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When I parked at Reagan National Airport a few weeks ago I noted a sign saying "EV Charging - no PHEVs." I guess it make sense because these are long term parking spots (overnight or longer).
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Seems reasonable to me. I park at FastPark at BWI and they have lots of EV charging stations. I've never inquired because I would be parking there for a few days and would be fully charged in about 4 hours. I usually have enough charge to go roundtrip EV from my house to the airport, but of course I have the hybrid backup. Got to love a PHEV for that.
 
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