[EVDL] Chargeabout: L2 @Westin & @Stanford SC, Boardwalk, L3 @VW R&D Lab
I found a new chargepoint to explore and clean up the detail on: The
Westin Hotel in Palo Alto, CA.
This is a high-end Hotel and in competition with their next-door
neighbor The Sheridan. It is located on Palo Alto's main-drag (El Camino
Real) at the north end of Silicon Valley where real estate is at a
premium. So much so, when you come up on the address don't blink as you
will miss their driveway entrance. But they managed to combine what they
need and offer in that small property foot print quite well.
To go to their EVSE you need to enter their underground parking
entrance, and grab a parking ticket go down to second floor of parking
garage. Normally parking is $2/Hr but for EVs using their EVSE, it can
be validated by taking your parking ticket up to the restaurant or bar
first be leaving.
There are two Coulomb CT2103 EVSE for 4 spaces, each has Level-1 & 2.
Interestingly, they are at the end of the second floor garage between
Hertz rent a car spaces 8 and 12. Obviously, Hertz spaces 9 to 11 were
converted to EV spaces. EV signage and painting is good.
Those EV spaces are near the parked limos. The limo company has both
standard executive black limos and the huge white stretch limos
(party-on). I struck up a chat with the limo-man and let him know that
there are now Electric stretch Leaf Limos. He smiled, and said he had to
go meet up with his boss and he would tell him about that. It seems
being able to tool-around Silicon Valley in a Leaf-Limo has quite good
business aspects to it.
Before I left, I went up to the reception desk to verify what I knew. As
usual all this EV charging stuff was rather new to the staff, but what
an exceptional helpful staff they were. They made my nonprofit EV
efforts seamless (good-show).
After updating their recargo listing that was created rather blank from
a U.S. Gov. afdc EVSE site feed, I shot an email to the Westin manager
advising her how to have access to it. Looking at the listing's history,
she has already made corrections/updates, so all my EV-cause efforts
have worked out well
Before heading home, I swung by the Stanford Shopping Center to check on
their two L2 and one L3 EVSE. The L3 was doing well, though I had hoped
to catch a Leaf EV driver coming in to land and soak up some L3 juice,
but it did not happen. I did notice that the L2 EVSE on the opposite
side of the ground floor of the parking structure were empty again.
Checking the recargo listing for that EVSE
I see the host has changed the use of the EVSE from free to $2/Hr. As I
have preciously posted, $2/Hr seems way too high a fee for $0.50 worth
of email@example.com that a Leaf EV consume. That high use fee is also
why their L2 are not being used. I sent an email to the Stanford SC
manager asking the low-down. Awhile later, I received an email from him
asking me to call him to discuss my inquiry.
This week, I swung by a local Nissan dealership on the SF Peninsula to
check on how they were doing. But since their sales rep was talking to
customers, I first went into the VW dealership right next door. The VW
dealership still knew nothing of any EV VW was planning to produce or
when they might be seeing it. They did mention that VW was informing
their sales staff of their coming VW pih
After leaving the VW showroom to head over to the Leaf sales rep, I
yakked with his two customers first as they were heading out. These two
women (perhaps Mother and daughter) told me they really liked the Leaf
and that their friend had one already. I mentioned that they should
ensure their friend knows of recargo and to not only rely on the Leaf's
on-board nav system to find EV charging sites. When we were done with
our quick conversation they were quite pleased with the EV info I had
given them (another EVangel effort).
I got to chat up the Leaf sales rep. He said their Leaf sales were doing
quite well. That their dealership is no longer only relying on the
orphan orders of the past, that for the past 6+ months they have been
ordering their own Leaf EVs to be sold at the dealership just like any
I mentioned my concern that Nissan was not bombarding the public with
ads like GM was about their Volt plug-in series hybrid. The sales rep
confirmed that they really did not need to spend the money on those ads
as sales were plenty good they way they are. So IMO until Leaf
production goes in high gear, we likely will not see much in the way of
major advertising for the Leaf (i.e.: TV ads).
Before heading home, I headed over to the Volkswagen Group of America -
ERL EVSE site to check on its status. I was happy to see the L3 EVSE
they allow the public to use for free (this is subject to change without
notice), was indeed still free and available to the public to use (when
VW is not using it, of course)
There was a Leaf EV there drinking from the L3. The driver allowed me to
yak at him for a while as his charge would not be complete for a few
more minutes. He was an active San Francisco EAA Chapter member, and
uses that L3 to get back north to his home turf (SF).
I also ran the idea of the minimal amount of TV ads or any other media
outlet advertising that Nissan was doing for promoting the Leaf. He
qualified himself that he does not watch much TV, but even so, with Leaf
sales doing well, at this point in time, it was his opinion that why
waste the money (he had a point).
The SF EAA member's Leaf charge was at 90% so he unplugged to head home.
I let him know that I was envious of him, as he could fit in a Leaf (he
was about 6' 1"), whereas the stature God gave me would not let me drive
a Leaf EV. We joked that perhaps when the Nissan NV200 van came out, I
might be able to get my 17EEEE feet inside that model EV (we will have
to see). As he left, I watched and listened as he backed out (minor beep
sound), and silently rolled out of the VW R&D Lab parking lot.
When I left, I saw two of the VW company ice, one with a MI and one with
a TN License plate (wow these project managers drive a lot). I slowly
drove around a smallish SUV type of vehicle parked in the lot pathway
that seemed to be still under development. They had a vendor out to
install a new on-board computer system of that ice. Interestingly, that
project manager had been giving 'what are those Electric guys doing over
there' looks to us. I suppose like any big company, you likely have
different teams that are not on-board with what other teams are doing
(i.e. perhaps the ice folks are not too impressed with the EV folks'
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