Always take an opportunity charge....

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Well-known member
Dec 6, 2011
Tacoma area, WA
When you have a chance to charge- Take It! This bit of newby advice becomes EVer more important as our batteries begin to show some depreciation, and like many self-appointed experts, I failed to heed my own advice yesterday. For a morning event in Seattle with no onsite charging, I did a DCFC 30% top-off en route as insurance, picked up a second DCFC on our way out of Seattle, and meeting for lunch with friends at a big regional mall afterwards, I was chagrined to find that they still have no onsite L2, just a bunch of 120V outlets on light poles in the most inconvenient parking area. Deciding that perhaps 1.2 kWh of 8 amp 120V recharge over a long lunch wasn't worth the trouble, I took a closer parking spot. After lunch, our main highway to home was completely closed for repaving, and the detour took us up a long hill with about 300' of rise and several miles of rolling hills beyond, most with a red light at the bottom! Nevertheless, our confident captain scanned Plugshare and found a Walgreens with a L2 SemaConnect station with a high reliability score where we would need less than an hour's boost to get us over the top and down to our next DCFC. We pulled into Walgreens after about 2 miles of turtle travel with a cheer of victory upon spotting the vacant charging station, which quickly turned to groans when we saw that the cord had been cut off! Sure enough, the most recent check-in on PlugShare reflected as much, had I taken the seconds required to scroll down....

A nearby residential PlugSharer had moved away without updating their listing, and the next-closest station did not appear to be within range so I called a Tesla-driving friend with a tow rope. By the time he arrived, I had decided to go for it, with the support vehicle following closely with hazard lights blinking. Sure enough, the motor shut down right as we entered the huge hospital parking lot (emergency entrance, of course)! My kids gleefully cheered "Yay, now we finally get to push!", and they huffed and puffed a hundred yards or so to the freshly-serviced Blink L2, which started up on the first try.
We adjourned for dinner with this second set of friends, during which I never saw the expected text notification from Blink, and the EVSE still showed as 'available' on their app! A call to Blink Support shed no light, but the operator sent remote start commands to all three pedestals on that site for good measure. Sure enough, when we got back, the vehicle was happily charging away and had the two bars required to make our next DCFC, but displayed a message about one hour of "Occupancy" when I disconnected. Perhaps the i-MiEV's charging "timeout" had caused the Blink to disconnect. One successful DCFC later, we got home, but hours later than planned.
Had I plugged in at the mall, planned a different detour route, or read PlugShare thoroughly, this all could have been avoided.
What was the reaction of my long-suffering wife? She smiled patiently and complimented my resourcefulness.... :lol:
Jay, your writeup had me rolling on the floor! :lol: :lol: Excellent example, and all should heed the title.

Yes, PlugShare is our best friend and I routinely post there just to provide feedback about a station's availability.

Just last night I sipped at 6A 120vac at a motel in the middle-of-nowhere simply to give a slightly-better buffer to my Tesla...