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Tesla Charge at Airport Plug Shows EV Drivers Are Resourceful

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Tesla Roadster recharging at Denver International Airport, from SolarDave blog

Tesla Roadster recharging at Denver International Airport, from SolarDave blog

Enlarge Photo

The Tesla Roadster may be going out of production in 2012, but Tesla drivers--and electric vehicle drivers in general--are nothing if not resourceful.

First, in December, the company managed a cross-country road trip, driving a Roadster from Los Angeles to Detroit.

Now, we find that a Colorado Tesla driver took advantage of an almost-hidden electric plug in the Denver International Airport parking garage to recharge his (her?) Roadster during what we assume was a trip out of town in late January.

Tesla Roadster recharging at Denver International Airport, from SolarDave blog

Tesla Roadster recharging at Denver International Airport, from SolarDave blog

Enlarge Photo

Early adopters are expected to adapt their lives to the limited range of their electric vehicles, according to a New York City study that suggested large numbers of public charging points won't be needed. In this case, the owner is taking advantage of a "free" plug.

At a commercial rate of about 9 cents per kilowatt-hour, a 50-kWh recharge would cost $4.50 (if we've correctly understood Xcel's remarkably opaque electricity rate information). Meanwhile, parking at DIA costs $18 per day in the East and West Garages.

The photos come to us courtesy of the SolarDave blog, which questioned whether the owner was recharging illegally--and wondered what would happen if an airport employee unplugged the Tesla, leaving a dead car to be picked up on the owner's return.

We just have two questions of our own to add:

(1) Did the owner's trip take long enough to recharge the Roadster's 53-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack on 110-Volt current? Tesla's high-voltage recharger is fast enough to charge the pack overnight, but a full recharge at 110 Volts could take a few days.

(2) Since it's a photo from Denver, was this owner one of the lucky ones who got a $42,000 tax credit from Colorado for purchasing a 2009 Tesla Roadster?

[SolarDave]

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Comments (8)
  1. It's not just Prius owners who are resourceful... http://yfrog.com/3g2fnij http://yfrog.com/1e76741694j
     
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  2. whoops - obviously I meant not just TESLA owners...
     
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  3. So you've finally got your electric car. You're going out of town for a few days and recall a few spots at the airport parking lot that have a regular 110-volt electric outlet on the wall. Do you plug in your Tesla (or Nissan LEAF or Chevy Volt)? Are you "stealing" power?
    http://www.plugsandcars.blogspot.com
     
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  4. haha good one
     
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  5. John,
    Thanks for using my photos for your post. I think the photos bring up some interesting questions. It is nice to see people discussing the issues about charging with public outlets.
    I will be doing a video soon with a electric car expert on this issue - I will let you know when I have this video uploaded.
    SolarDave
     
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  6. See, I would have speculated that the Tesla was driven by someone working at the airport. Same goes for the Mini EV at Starbucks. Could be the owners ride. Therefore it's not stealing electricity. IF the EVs are owned by customers then yes, it is stealing. I've often thought about charging while at work but I'm sure my stingy bosses would make me pay for that electricity.
     
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  7. It will be interesting to see if Veleno Motors, the new Chicago based EV company, will take the place of this.
     
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  8. I would have speculated that the vehicle user simply asked for and received permission, as happens to me all the time.
     
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