Charging Stations — We Had One Enquiry

From a correspondent in upstate New York:

My full time job is running a 1.2 million square foot office complex. In my spare time I work with a professional parking management company, Allpro Parking to oversee the 814 space parking ramp we own across the street. Thanks to Allpro, I know something about parking. They also told me to read your columns!

We’ve been wrestling with the charging station issue as well. We had one inquiry. Somebody bought a heavily subsidized Government Motors Volt. Now they expect there to be charging stations everywhere. We think customer service including amenities and a focus on green technology set us apart from our competition. As a result, we thought it would be good to be on the cutting edge with charging stations. However, as you point out, there aren’t any simple solutions. When the government has to get involved, whether it’s with alternative fuels like ethanol or electric cars, it’s not good.

The market should drive these things. We’re all looking at what type of government subsidy will make this affordable – nuts! What is being done to produce the electricity for these “clean” vehicles – coal, natural gas, nuclear, hydro? What’s the efficiency loss there? Last time I checked, electricity generating plants were operating at an efficiency level of about 40%. Hybrids, as you point out, are a better alternative than an all electric car. The internal combustion engine is like a spare tire in a hybrid. However, I think the government is involved there as well with serious tax breaks or some type of subsidy for these cars. The other question is what do you do with all those batteries once they’re used up? That’s a toxic disposal issue waiting to happen. Our government could open up vast reserves of petroleum within our own borders or in waters adjacent to our shores. Eliminating this government interference would lower gas prices. Whoops that would eliminate the need for the electric cars they’re trying to sell. In Europe, they tax the hell out of gasoline. People buy cars with small turbocharged diesel engines that perform well and get great mileage.

I guess what I’m trying to say is this. Forget about subsidizing technology that’s not there yet and is also a pain in the neck. If gas prices go up, car manufacturers will produce more efficient cars, probably diesels, and people will buy them if there’s a decent payback. As part of our customer service and focus on efficient technology, we offer preferred parking for people driving hybrids and diesels!

Sincerely,  Stephen P. Fitzmaurice Seneca One Realty LLC

I told him about my consultant buddy whose client was buying a charging station so they could advertise that they were ‘green’ but cared less if anyone ever used it. In Steve’s case, it seems ridiculous to purchase a charging station for a single user. But then, the sages in DC are much smarter than we simpletons.



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2 Responses to Charging Stations — We Had One Enquiry

  1. Brandy Stanley says:

    The City of Las Vegas is building a new city hall building and is trying for LEEDS gold certification. There is a 49 space single-level subterranean garage with a private elevator underneath for Council members and other VIPs.

    They are putting 3 charging stations in there knowing nobody is going to use them, but it gets them LEEDS points. I think they have 1 slated for the 750 space employee and public garage which is inelegible for certification.

    I know LEEDS is not necessarily the government, but the idea of electric vehicles and charging stations in general seems to be rooted in positive PR rather than viability. We’ll see if Uncle Sam can subsidize the technology to the point where people actually start buying them. Or maybe cold fusion will come first, who knows?

  2. John Feeney says:

    Well here in Chicago things are heating up.
    1) City signed a contract to install 280 Charging stations (little less than 100 should be done by years end)
    2) Walgreens is install 30+ units at there locations (more nationwide)
    3) Interpark has most of the (30) in the loop area (ChargePoint)

    Let most deals the initial lease focuses on covering the equipment / installation cost. When will the cycle reverse and the unit become a Revenue generator? Initially that will really depend on Car manufactures ability to supply the market with these vehicles.

    What many continue to overlook – Commonwealth Edison. Every year they fight with Consumer Groups to raise the rates. Do you really believe they are going to sit on sidelines not “play” oil baron? You know they will test the markets tolerance for pricing.

    To some that may seem harsh, but living here in Chicago, thats the way things work, it’s all about the CASH

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