Richard Sachen lives in Petaluma and drives an all-electric Nissan Leaf. So do I.
Like Sachen, I have experienced nervous trips to the coast wondering if my car would have the juice to make the trip back. You learn tricks to extend the range like drafting trucks, driving slow uphill and coasting downhill.
Now, thanks to Sachen, there is an EV charging station at Point Reyes. Sunspeed Enterprises, Sachen’s company, plans to install EV charging stations along the coast from Eureka to Malibu. He is focused on adding EV infrastructure in rural areas when most companies have been building the charging network along major highways and in big cities.
Sachen’s network will help many EV drivers alleviate what has been called “range anxiety.”
And speaking of terms coined in the era of electric cars, businesses in Silicon Valley are reporting a surge in so-called “charge rage.”
Charge rage happens when there are too many EV drivers for too few charging stations. At some tech companies in The Valley, EV drivers have been getting into fights over limited chargers and have unplugged others’ cars mid-charge.
EV infrastructure company ChargePoint has offered businesses five tips to avoid “charge rage”:
1. Scale Up
Workplaces have recognized they need one charging spot for every two EVs. This allows people to plug in when they get to work and then move their charged car at lunch so others can plug in during the afternoon. As EV popularity rises, it’s also important to anticipate the future need for charging stations. Don’t just install the number of ports needed now, pre-wire and install for what you will need in the years to come.
2. Location, Location, Location
Install the stations in a place that multiple parking spots can access the port. Ensure there is adequate signage that makes it clear the parking spots are for plug-in vehicles. For drivers – don’t hog an EV parking space – only park in designated charging spots if you need to charge.
3. Valet ‘Bowl’
Many companies have a bowl at the front desk where employees leave their keys so that their car, once charged, can be moved to make room for another employee.
4. Get on the List
Companies have found that creating a community dashboard or email list connecting EV drivers within a company is a good way to ensure cooperation and efficiency in getting everyone plugged in and charged.
5. Book Your Spot
Some companies treat EV parking spots like a conference room. Companies can set up a reservations feature that drivers can access on the mobile app and website.