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Electric Car Charging in Municipal Parking Garages

Discussion in 'Tesla Motors' started by Curt Renz, May 10, 2013.

  1. Curt Renz

    Curt Renz Active Member

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    #1 Curt Renz, May 10, 2013
    Last edited: May 10, 2013
    Today I sent the following e-mail to the Director of Public Works for Arlington Heights, a large suburb of Chicago. Copies were sent to the mayor and trustees. Others in a similar circumstance may want to write to public officials in their towns.

    Dear Mr. Shirley:

    Consumer Reports wrote yesterday that the all-electric Tesla Model S may be the best car ever: http://news.consumerreports.org/cars/2013/05/video-the-tesla-model-s-is-our-top-scoring-car.html

    This week the city council of Normal, Illinois voted to allow Tesla Motors to install ten free Supercharger stations in the city parking deck.

    As a resident of a downtown Arlington Heights high-rise, I park overnight in a village parking garage. I would love to purchase a Tesla Model S, but cannot due to the inability to recharge in a village garage. I’d appreciate it if our village would work with Tesla Motors to bring our parking garages into the 21[SUP]st[/SUP] century.

    Regards,
    Curt Renz
     
  2. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    I fixed the spelling for you. -mod
     
  3. Curt Renz

    Curt Renz Active Member

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    Thanks.

    (The mod is referring to a misspelling in the subject line that an ordinary member cannot edit.)
     
  4. Alfafoxtrot1

    Alfafoxtrot1 Member

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    I serve on my Village Board, and we will soon vote on installing charging stations along with several other communities as part of a consortium. The last thing this movement needs is residents asking for chargers for their own use. Local officials will run the other direction if this is perceived as a freebie for people who don't want to charge at home (or who live in buildings that refuse to provide for their residents). I've gotten good traction by suggesting that the chargers will attract visitors (shoppers) from other communities. These days, its all about economic development and supporting the tax base.
     
  5. Curt Renz

    Curt Renz Active Member

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    #5 Curt Renz, May 10, 2013
    Last edited: May 10, 2013
    Thank you for your input. Those of us living in high-rise buildings in downtown Arlington Heights are required to park in municipal garages across the street. There are fourth floor skywalks over the streets connecting buildings to garages. We pay hefty monthly fees. This arrangement was part a village downtown redevelopment program in the late eighties. The builders of apartment buildings were encouraged by the village's promise to build parking garages that could be used by the tenants, including commercial tenants on the ground floors and their customers. Of course no one back then envisioned electric cars. Now there is a need to accommodate tenants and shoppers desiring electric cars.

    I'm active politically in Arlington Heights. In fact I ran for state representative last year. I know the new mayor and most of the trustees. I presented the idea in person to the new mayor when he recently ran for office. He liked the idea and said he would look into it if elected. He took his seat this week. My e-mail with cc copies was a timely reminder to him and notice to other officials in light of this week's decision by the Normal, Illinois council and favorable coverage in Consumer Reports.

    Chicago is a village? In which town do you actually reside?
     
  6. Alfafoxtrot1

    Alfafoxtrot1 Member

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    I'm in Deerfield. Your situation is obviously unique. For pretty much any other community, I don't see what would motivate a town to provide charging for residents that should be able to charge at home. On the other hand, we support an infastructure and attract captive visitors to our shopping areas by installing them. Most likely, the chargers will be pay per use (e.g., Chargepoint), but the municipality still incurs upfront installation costs.
     
  7. dhrivnak

    dhrivnak Active Member

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    I think you would have more luck planning for a standard J1772 station that all EVs can use. No need to involve Tesla as super charging is only needed along interstates.
     
  8. Curt Renz

    Curt Renz Active Member

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    Well that's near enough that you might encourage Arlington Heights to join your constortium. :smile:
     
  9. Alfafoxtrot1

    Alfafoxtrot1 Member

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    Curt, I don't know the particulars of the consortium. Please feel free to call Andrew Lichterman, Assistant Village Manager in Deerfield, and ask him all about it. Good luck.
     
  10. Curt Renz

    Curt Renz Active Member

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    Thanks, I've sent Mr. Lichterman an e-mail.
     
  11. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

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    Re village incentives. Here is a story I think you will find analogous, and I hope useful in creating the arguments you are espousing:

    The county I spent my earlier years in - not Alaskan! - has a reputation for being affluent. Of its towns, seven were arrayed along a stretch. In the 1950s or early 60s, TWO of them bucked the then-current policies and attitudes, and mandated their downtown shopping areas be free of any parking meters.

    The result is that those two towns' retail merchants thrived; their downtowns remained vibrant; there was no development of exurban (a bit too vast a word for such small communities: "out of downtown's heart" is more accurate) strip malls. The other towns had the opposite occur. I call this an excellent example of good town planning and long-term vision.
     
  12. neroden

    neroden Happy Model S Owner

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    Mmm. Not a perfect analogy. There's a reason we have parking meters downtown where I live; it's not revenue, it's congestion. Otherwise, people would be circling the block forever looking for parking spaces; the parking meters keep people moving, and push the people parking for long periods into the garages. Which also cost money, which is because, well, garages cost money.

    The thing about chargers is that in a garage it usually already costs money to park, and it's already charged by the hour. If there is a need to recover the cost of chargers, it can and should be recovered through the existing price for parking. The electricity itself is cheap enough it is really not worth charging separately for it; the hassle is more than the electricity is worth.
     
  13. Curt Renz

    Curt Renz Active Member

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    Wow, Deerfield official Lichterman replied to me on Saturday night! He provided thorough information including the proposal form for vendors. It's too late for Arlington Heights to become a founding member of the consortium, but later entry may be possible. I'll pass Lichterman's response to Arlington Heights officials. Thanks again to Alfafoxtrot1 for the tip. Does your screen name imply you were a pilot for Air Force One?
     
  14. Alfafoxtrot1

    Alfafoxtrot1 Member

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    I'm glad Andrew was helpful. I never considered your interpretation of my screen name, that's great. However, my story isn't nearly as exciting. The screen name/email address combines my initials with my involvement in aviation (pilot/aviation attorney).
     
  15. Curt Renz

    Curt Renz Active Member

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    Well, Alan, at least you're a pilot. Perhaps Elon will allow you to pilot a ship to Mars. :smile:
     

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