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Chargers near Seattle center (space needle)?

Discussion in 'Northwest' started by acarney, Jan 8, 2020.

  1. acarney

    acarney Active Member

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    Well I'm venturing outside the little Tesla bubble again and already getting frustrated....

    I'll be in Seattle for a day (Feb 3rd) and probably will be staying near the Seattle center (downtown Hilton rates are above $300 for some reason that Monday!?).

    I have an SR+ and was looking for some PUBLIC level 2 chargers near (safe walking distance) to the Seattle center. I've checked google maps and they show some SemaConnects and ChargePoints. Most the ChargePoint locations seem to be private (in a parking garage for employees only, etc) or in a lot that seems to be time limited. (The ChargePoint app says 4 hour max parking limit but when looking at google street view the garage clearly says 1 hr parking max) The SemaConnects don't give any information and I'm not sure if they're private or not, they all say "authorization required" and I'm not sure if that means they require the SemaConnect app or if they're employee only kind of stations. Either way I don't want to spend half an hour trying to get one to work or drive to three or four different locations trying to figure out which would be ok to use.

    What I want to find ideally is find a garage/lot that I can park the car in for maybe four or five hours with a level 2 (hopefully ~6kW but honestly I would take a 3.3kW as well) and then walk to the Seattle center to see either a movie, an IMAX/laser dome, or take the monorail to downtown for breakfast at Pike Place and wandering around for a couple hours. I don't really want to have to run back to the car after an hour to move it and I don't have the Chademo adapter.

    I would also take a garage location that's somewhat close (maybe 4 block radius) of the Westlake monorail location. I don't mind paying per hour or per kW to park and charge (as long as it's not something crazy like $5/hr to charge + $20 to park).

    If I can't find a good level 2 within a five minute or so safe walk of either of those locations, without stupid access rules of having to call someone to get into a garage or approval or some crap, then I'll probably just use the Union Square Tesla urban superchargers and wait 20 to 30 minutes or the destination chargers and park for a few hours while I go have breakfast and hit the aquarium or something... but that'll be at least $20.
     
  2. deonb

    deonb Active Member

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    The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation parking lot (I think officially called the 5th avenue north garage), is right across from the Space Needle and has 10 public L2 chargers.

    It's also the most convenient place to park in general for Seattle Center (other than valet at the Space Needle itself).
     
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  3. acarney

    acarney Active Member

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    I should also say that Monday night I'm seeing a show at the Neptune theater and would probably be parked for 3 hours somewhere around that area. On a ~6kW station that might be enough to get me a good enough charge that I just don't worry about it in the daytime. I'm seeing ChargePoint locations at the University of WA Radiology building... but there's a report the stations are broken and I'm not sure the garage is public or the hours. I probably would be there ~7pm to ~10 or 10:30pm.

    Man Tesla's system is soooooooooo much better then having to hunt around and trying to patch together something. I have to do this maybe a couple times a year when I travel (and to be honest, I don't HAVE to, I just don't want to have to hit a supercharger as soon as I leave Seattle to head home) BUT, if I had a Bolt or something else I would slowly go crazy with this system!
     
  4. acarney

    acarney Active Member

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    Are we sure that's public? It shows up on the ChargePoint site, but there are comments that it's in the employee only parking garage and not a public location...
     
  5. deonb

    deonb Active Member

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    Yes, I've parked there many times (I'm not an employee there). There are chargers located in the public area.

    PS: Are you checking Plugshare as well? It shows a bunch of recent checkins without issues:
     

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  6. acarney

    acarney Active Member

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    Ah, that's good to know! I haven't been checking PlugShare... I wanted to go directly to the "administrator" of the chargers, ChargePoint or the like. PlugShare has burned me before (never when it was critical to charge) in smaller towns so I've tended to avoid that. Those locations didn't have a lot of frequent check in's though, so maybe I need to change my search habits for large cities that might have loads of check ins.

    Looks like parking won't be too bad (it's a city, parking is always expensive) Apparently the official site only lists 3 chargers, so it's good to know they've apparently expanded to 10. Do you know what floors and roughly how to get to them? The times you've been there, have they all been packed, or are there usually a couple open? (I'm thinking a Monday afternoon or Tuesday morning wouldn't be a high traffic time)

    Parking Information
     
  7. acarney

    acarney Active Member

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    Also, sounds like some reports are that it's 2 hours only, have you had issues charging longer than two hours? Do you have to go back and "activate" it again? What Charging Network? (I'll request a RFID card since I've had no luck with the apps working with chargers)
     
  8. deonb

    deonb Active Member

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    I haven't tried charging more than 2 hours. I don't remember which network they're on - I think I had to call it in last time so it's probably not Chargepoint or EVGO.
     
  9. ewoodrick

    ewoodrick Well-Known Member

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    ALWAYS check the reliability number and the last few check-ins on Plugshare. If the reliability is below a 8, I make alternative plans. But even at a 10, I check the last few reports to verify it up and running.
    I also check the network and the price, and in comments on the location.
     
  10. acarney

    acarney Active Member

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    Ya, I just always get confused. It's listed as having a parking fee (correct, it's in a garage with a parking fee) but then says free chargers, but the comments say "charges your card $2 then stops after about two hours" and there's another report of $3 to charge for 2 hours. Then there's a couple reports of just mentioning you have to swipe your card, but no mention on what network card, or if it's a credit card.

    The two hour limit is kind of a pain in the butt when these might be as slow as 3.3kW (some of them sound like they're shared stations) but if I see a IMAX and laserdome show or something before heading downtown I could swing by and unplug and replug in if I don't have enough charge. Mainly just looking to get up to about 80% on my SR+ so when I head out of town I can just hit Cle Elum on the way home and not have to stop at North Bend or Issaquah also
     
  11. goneskiian

    goneskiian Active Member

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    I'm sure you also notice the destination charger at the Hampton Inn and Suites a couple blocks away. Plugshare says it's available to the public. Looks like there's a charge for parking there, but they say it's for up to 24 hours. Or you could just stay there and charge for free.

    PlugShare - Find Electric Vehicle Charging Locations Near You
     
  12. N8DGR8

    N8DGR8 Member

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    Amazon garage at 9th and Thomas is a reliable $2.50 all day weekend parking. Free charging. It is a reasonable walk to West Lake or Seattle Center. There is plenty to do in South Lake Union as well.
     
  13. acarney

    acarney Active Member

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    Ugh, now I feel stupid. Normally always check the destination charger map but was in Seattle just a few months ago and thought I was familiar with all the locations in Seattle. Hilton is my preferred brand, so I might very well stay there and just use the destination charger. Sounds like there's only a single charger... but hopefully that'll be available for use.
     

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