EV forums are filled with questions from readers planning trips to Sonoma County who need help figuring out which hotels to book and where to charge their electric vehicles while they’re here. Those of us who live here know that some of the answers they get from other forum members are outdated or just plain wrong. (Last time we heard, the free charger at Whole Foods Coddingtown was broken, for example.)
Help them out. Do any Sonoma County hotels have charging stations? Are there any alongside the major routes from Sacramento, San Jose or San Francisco? Here’s a thread from the Tesla Motors Club forum:
Question: I’ll be traveling to Santa Rosa next week, about 241 miles round trip. My car is really only good for about 195 miles. A Best Western in Santa Rosa says they’ll give me a 120V connection, but over 10 hours, that only buys me about 30 rated miles, so I’d still be short. Anyone know of a hotel in Santa Rosa where I can charge faster than 3 miles per hour? Otherwise, I think I’ll take the ICE so I won’t need to stress out about running out of juice.
Answer: FWIW, the Courtyard does not have 240V. Same with Hilton across the street. When I stayed @ the Courtyard in September I cheated and ran an extension cord to an outdoor 120V outlet on their patio (off of dining area) about 70 feet to a parking area and trickle charged for 24 hours. Note that there are several public chargers in Santa Rosa (check Recargo & PlugShare). I found a free SemaConnect charger at the Walgreens in Santa Rosa (17 miles range per hour of charge).
Question: I’ve been looking at options to charge overnight at public parking. It’s hard to see which ones would be cool with a car plugged in overnight and which ones wouldn’t. Generally, it seems like I could charge a mile away from my friend’s house while I hang out with my friend. I could jog the mile to the station. It would probably be less awkward for me to jog a mile from a charging station to a hotel, but that’s still not ideal. I just ordered myself a Chargepoint card, but I haven’t quite figured out how I’m going to use it.
Answer: There is a free level 2 charging station at Coddington Mall in Santa Rosa. It’s in a wide open parking lot, and I can’t see why they would have a problem with you parking there overnight. Not many hotels nearby though. If you would not mind coming as far north as Healdsburg there is a level 2 charging station (paid) at city hall within easy walking distance of many excellent places to stay (and eat!) I think it may have a four hour parking limit however.