Monday, September 17, 2012

Charging in L.A.

From the 1991 movie L.A. Story:

Sara: What did you have in mind? 
Harris: Well, I was thinking of taking you on a cultural tour of L.A. 
Sara: That's the first fifteen minutes, then what? 
Harris: All right, a cynic. First stop is six blocks from here. 
Sara: Why don't we walk? 
Harris: Walk? A walk in L.A.? 

Charging is available in L.A., but like most cities, may require a little bit of a walk. One thing you usually try to do when you have an electric car is when the car is stitting, its a perfect opportunity for the car to be charging. Usually with a little planning and research, you can find someplace close to where you are going to charge the car. Drug stores like Walgreens, some stores such as Whole Foods and Banks such as Rabobank are installing chargers at their facilities.Also apps such as Plugshare and ChargePoint can help you find chargers near where you are and may have some checkin information to help you easily locate them.

On my free day in L.A. I tried to catch up with some people and drove around quite a bit. After I got up Saturday morning, I met my once older, but now younger sister Lisa (This is L.A. remember ) for breakfast at the Grove in West Hollywood. The Grove has a set of 6 Blink network chargers on the third floor of the parking structure. 

Blink Chargers at the Grove

After a great breakfast and catching up, I then went up to Canters and took a day picture of the car in front since I didn't think the picture would come out well from my camera phone at night (and my phone was still giving me issues that evening) and then I went to see a family friend, Tara at her salon Rust on Melrose Avenue where I gave here a ride in the car and also got put to work cleaning a mirror they just mounted high on the wall. 

From there, I went to a Target to pick up some things I forgot to pack at Santa Monica and La Brea in a nice new urban-style shopping center, but no chargers. Too bad, because this would be an excellent location.

Then I drove to Pasadena to meet some friends for lunch at Burger Continental on Lake in Pasadena. It's a funky little restaurant that serves all types of food from American, Middle Eastern, Italian and Mexican. Since the hotel charger stopped short the night before, I thought it would be good to find a charger nearby to bump up the batteries and pulled up the Recargo App on my phone and found a charger about 4 blocks away at CalTech's Parking lot #2. This was an interesting structire as the entire top level was a photo-voltaic solar array. The charger was on the lowest level.

A large PV Solar Array at CalTech's Lot #2

This was a 4 block walk from the restaurant. Here I realized maybe an outdoor restaurant was not the greatest venue on a 100 degree plus day in the valley, but we found an air conditioned area in a banquet room and all was well. I then gave my friends Greta and Steve a ride in the car back to where they were parked and proceeded to go back to the hotel in the afternoon to freshen up for the Reunion that night at Canters. On the way back to the hotel, I could see smoke in the distance. The Exxon Mobile refinery south of the hotel was burning off something. I have seen this there before, but with all the efforts I have been doing, it really made me angry to see this and what it was doing to the air.I could see it from the freeway just south of downtown all the way into TOrrance. The thick black smoke was blowing far out into the eastern horizon, ultimately people are breathing in all this crap they were spewing into the air. I am really happy that I am making a meager difference.

Exxon Mobile Refinery in Torrance burning off something

Once at the hotel, I parked the car at the charger to boost the battery while I showered and changed and then went to the reunion.

The stops at the chargers helped, but I still wanted an additional buffer while I was at the reunion. So I wound up going back to the grove and leaving the car there for about 3 hours while at the reunion and just walked 5 blocks back to Canters. Towards the end of the evening. I walked back to The Grove and took the car off the charger with plenty of reserve for the ride back to the hotel.

After grabbing a bite at Pinks after the reunion. I headed back to the hotel and let it charge overnight. This time there was no issues and I had a 100% full battery to start my journey home on Sunday. 

The day stops really made me appreciate the mobile applications that are available to assist in finding chargers. Most are hidden and hard to find. I only found that Hermosa Beach did an excellent job with signage making chargers easy to find, I just didn't need one at the time.

Sunday would be the start of a 1 1/2 day trip back home. I would take a more casual route and try other chargers on my way home. Overall, I drove over 150 miles around town before I would start hitting more remote chargers along the way home. This time I would go to the charger I couldn't find in Thousand Oaks, a charger in Santa Barbara and then back to the chargers I had used in Solvang, Atascadero (where I would spend the night in a motel) King City and then a charger in Monterey before going to class. 

This was definitely a journey.

1 comment:

  1. EV Charging is a good technology invented by Auto manufactures. In future, EV Charging fully adopted, due to shortage if gasoline. Gas station need to provide EV charging facilities. Some private parking places also provide EV charging at every parking place with wash and clean,Valet parking, Chauffeurs Service,open 24/7 attendant, Video Monitoring System, Safe and Secure for Cars,trucks and vans in Commercial Vehicle Parking.