Saturday, January 2, 2010

At Least Someone's Charging Up!

It's been two weeks now since I last drove MINI-E #250. I guess the holiday season hasn't helped as the service technicians probably only worked a few days in the past two weeks.

At least my charger is getting some use even if it's not from my car. I had a couple pioneers stop by my restaurant to charge up recently. Jim McLaughlin and his lovely wife stopped by for dinner during a snow storm and topped off their charge while they were eating. They live in Princeton so they would need close to a full charge to get home from Montclair anyway. Then, a couple days ago, David Miller stopped by at lunchtime for a bite and about an hour of charging. He was coming from New York City and was worried if he would make it the rest of the way home so the charge was just enough to alleviate any range anxiety he might of had. Since I installed the charger at the restaurant in October I've probably had 10 or 12 MINI-E pioneers stop by and juice up and just about everyone had something to eat while they waited.

I think once electric cars begin to increase in numbers on our roads, it will make a lot of sense for businesses, and especially restaurants, to have public chargers at their location. Since you can't charge for the energy, you could charge a "parking fee" for the EV parking spot and the electric would be no extra cost. I own the property that my restaurant is located at and I have a 53 car parking lot that Nauna's & my tenant Quick Chek share and I would definitely want to have a public charging stations there if there are cars on the road that will use them. How about franchises like McDonald's? If every McDonald's had high power chargers there would be a network of public chargers that would make charging on the fly very convenient. Plus, they could charge for the parking spot as well as get the additional business as most of the people would likely go in and get something to eat while the car is charging. This doesn't only apply to food establishments though. How about places like Walmart? Charge while you shop! Plus, they might even get the customers to spend more money in the store because they would need to spend more time there because they were charging up. Instead of a half hour in the store they might spend one full hour there. It's already proven that the longer people stay in the store the more they buy. That's why the stores are designed to keep you in there as long as possible.

Anyway, I wish I had #250 back to charge up myself, but as long as I don't I'm happy the charger is getting some use.


  1. Do they have to pay you to use the charger? What is the cost of electric to charge the car?

  2. No, I don't charge for the charge. I'm happy to offer the service. It really doesn't cost much anyway. The electricity cost is about $1.00 for 30% charge of the battery so even if they came in with a totally depleted battery and charged up to 100% it would only cost about $3.00! For that they can drive about 100 miles so that's $.03 per mile. Try getting that out of a Prius.

  3. I'd like to see a public charger at one mall every 50 square miles, I think that would be enough to get the ball rolling. But I'd expect them to charge more then cost after all this is a business and I do want to see people offering charging services making money.

    BTW #304 was in the shop for 2 weeks too, just got it back and it stopped working again, thinks the battery temp is 167 F degrees.