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“Charging Electric Cars for Street Parkers?”

by Prince Of Petworth — February 1, 2017 at 1:00 pm 18 Comments

electric vehicle
Photo by PoPville flickr user María Helena Carey

“We live in Brookland and only have access to street parking in front of our house. I’d like to buy a little electric car like a Nissan Leaf, but I’m not sure how I’d charge it. Is anyone aware of a city program to make car charging easier? Does anyone have an electric car and charge it somewhere other than through their garage?”

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  • anonymous

    I have seen several people that run orange extension cord from the front of their house to their car on the street. I constantly surprised that no one has stolen the charging unit that connects the electric car to the 110v extension cord.

    • anon

      someone stole mine but there options for preventing this (locking the cable to a tow loop, parking a tire over the cable, etc.)

  • Truxton Thomas

    Our neighbor has an electric car and street parking, though he does have the luxury of living on a corner. He parks on the side street and runs a cord from the back of his place through his fence to charge the car. It seems to work great, but I understand not everyone has the same setup.

  • Kon8th

    I’ve noticed parking garages downtown that promote that they have parking stations but this might be more helpful: http://evadc.org/charging/

  • b

    You may want to look into whether or not you could use a solar panel unit to charge– you just keep it in the car, and plug in when parked and you need to charge. This doesn’t totally address the issue (like if you park in a garage at work or need to re-up the battery on cloudy days), but could provide significant backup to running an extension cord from your house.

    • textdoc

      “you just keep it in the car” — I foresee the car getting broken into and the solar panel unit getting stolen.

    • Dan

      You would need about 15 full size solar panels to get the current needed to charge an electric car, so keeping these in the trunk or back seat is not possible.

      Average solar output is 100 Watts, and you need about 1500 Watts continuous to charge an electric car.

  • John

    I think if you want a car with a rechargeable battery, then it’s best to also have a garage or rent a parking space where charging is an option. You will constantly be frustrated without it.

  • Enviro

    Nissan gives new owners a card for 2 years free charging. They have a firm called Evgo that installs chargers for use by nissan owners. One is down at city center. More are needed for sure, but big efforts under way to address the need. There is an effort to attract funds from the VW emissions settlement to install many more chargers across the US, including our area

    https://www.evgo.com/special-offers/nissan-no-charge-charge/.

    Another website to check out –
    https://www.plugshare.com/

  • Marty

    Can you charge it at work? (and then you don’t need to worry (much) about doing it at home)

  • JL

    Or you could buy an electric bicycle, and take it inside to store and charge. Some also allow you to extract just the battery to bring it inside. For just getting around town locally this is one of the most economical and greenest options. Especially since you are considering an electric car. Yes, you will get wet in the rain, but many now make motors that are totally water tight and can be submerged in puddles. You can buy a pretty boss e-bike now from $1500 – 6000, depending on range and what you want.

    • TJ

      Probably a leap to conclude because someone is trying to get an electric car they could get by with an electric bike. I have a car (not electric yet, but soon) and numerous muscle-powered bikes. I bike commute year round and cycle whenever possible. An electric bike would do me no good other than to make me less fit. Having a car is still a need to travel outside public transportation zones, which includes most of region and country, and run occasional errands involving the transportation of large things that won’t fit on a bike.

      • JL

        I wouldn’t say it’s a leap. If OP is using it just to commute, it’s not really a leap at all. It is far cheaper than buying an electric car. You can get a good 20-30 mile range depending on the size/amp hours of the battery. The fitness bit is also a myth. You still pedal electric bikes, you just choose when to have assistance. There are various types of PAS sensors that are adjustable. If you want to travel far out of public transportation zones and other parts of the country, it’s far cheaper to just buy a gas-powered car. An ebike is just easier to use in a city than an electric car. Especially in this town. You would not have to pay to park, you can bring it inside so it won’t get stolen, and the batteries are easily removable unlike an electric car’s. Not to mention you could get an electric cargo bike….I have a car and would still want one regardless of having an ebike. I’m not saying an ebike is a total replacement for hauling crap in a car, but it does make a lot of sense in DC.

        • JL

          By all means though, if the OP really wants to get an electric car, then go for it. In the end they will help bring down the cost of lithium batteries for all of us.

  • navyard

    Canal Park has a few parking spots dedicated to Electric Vehicle charging. That’s a privately operated park, but was hoping this was the wave of the future.

    • navyard

      Just looked at the link provided by Kon8th and the Canal Park spots are actually operated by DDOT, so not part of Canal Park, they’re just on the street next to it.

  • Anon

    I know there is an electric vehicle charging station at 14th and U in front of the Reeves Center. To search for others see this link: http://evadc.org/charging/

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