How Not To Install An Electric-Car Charging Station: A Case Study

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Poorly-sited Blink charging point in Watsonville, CA (Image: Jack Brown)

Poorly-sited Blink charging point in Watsonville, CA (Image: Jack Brown)

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We've all seen those 'FAIL' pictures that turn up on the internet with startling regularity--tastelessly placed adverts in newspapers, security cameras facing blank walls, products with overly suggestive graphics... you know the deal.

Welcome to the latest in a long line of fails, spotted by of BMW ActiveE facebook group user, Jack Brown.

Jack posted a photo in the group of a Blink charger installed in downtown Watsonville, California. Nothing unusual about that, until you see how it's positioned.

We'll start from the top: It's the wrong way around. All the charging paraphernalia is on the side facing the sidewalk, rather than facing the vehicles that need to use it.

Secondly, it's a surprising distance from the curb--three feet or so. With a lamp post next to it it's unlikely that people would be walking in that small zone and trip over a charging cable draped between car and charging station, but it's still far enough away to make the cable a bit of a stretch to the ActiveE's rear-mounted charging port.

Parking in backwards would normally be the way to solve this, but as Jack notes, this would involve an unsafe and possibly illegal maneuver to slot into the spot. In fariness, it wouldn't be as much of an issue in an electric vehicle with a front-mounted port.

Also counting against the charging point--though not strictly the fault of those who installed it--is the fact it's seen a little vandalism in the form of graffiti.

That one is probably society's problem. But it's a little less pleasant for those using the charger, even so.

Kudos to Watsonville for having a place to charge electric cars, but this poorly-positioned example suggests whoever installed it didn't really think--or care--how it might be used.

Experienced any other poorly-installed charging stations? Share your experiences below.


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