For a variety of reasons, I decided to try to use my first public charging station.
1. I was on a somewhat longer trip
2. I have been charging at home with 110 Volts
3. Just for an experiment
4. I now have a compatible plug
I decided to try to use the ChargePoint charge station to charge my Model S. In less than two of hours of charging, I gained over 50 miles at a level 2 station for less than $3.
I took the photo record using my iphone, and the final number is a bit blurry, so I won’t quote the exact miles gained or exact charges to my credit card.
The process was not completely painless, here are my caveats:
A. You really should create an account ahead of time, and download the App on your smartphone. I ended up having to call them over the phone, which was a bit painful because the phone reception in the parking garage was not ideal and broke the first call.
B. The display on the charger is very confusing. It has icons for a variety of charging options: Visa, AMEX, etc… It looks like you should be able to select one by touch. The system requires RFID cards, which are not issued in the US. I did not see any clear instructions on the charger, and thought it was broken. I ended up calling them and had to create the transaction over the phone. I am not sure why they don’t have a credit card reader as part of the system.
C. With the Model S and their short cord, you will need to drive into the spot backwards.
D. I am not crazy about their account system, where you need start with $25. I only plan to use these infrequently. I probably won’t make an account until I anticipate a roadtrip far away from any superchargers.