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Walgreens Opens Electric Vehicle Charging Station in San Bruno

The charging station is one of eight planned for the Peninsula, giving EV drivers the convenience of recharging near home or work.

Electric car owners now have an oasis in San Bruno. 

recently installed an electric vehicle charging station in the parking lot of its store at El Camino Real and Crystal Springs Avenue. 

The store is just one of 800 locations across the country where the Deerfield, IL, drugstore company has plans to offer the charging stations. 

Los Angeles firm 350 Green is building out the network in the Bay Area and California. Already, it has plans to install more than a dozen charging stations in the Bay Area, including eight on the Peninsula, said John Williams, a spokesman for 350 Green. 

While the EV market is still in its nascent stage, Williams said, Walgreens is trying to be ahead of the curve by giving customers something they already get at each store: convenience. 

Most of the charging stations so far have only been in people’s homes or in commercial buildings. 

But the Walgreens charging stations were strategically placed at stores where EV drivers could easily recharge near home or work—or even while they shop. 

“The goal is to put chargers closer to where people live and work, and give people the option to do something while they’re waiting,” Williams said. 

The station in San Bruno features a Level 2 charger that is supposed to add up to 25 miles of range per hour of charge. 

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Walgreens has contracts with shopping mall developers and big box stores nationwide, and has plans to build stations at such locations as Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto.

Heidi Beck January 15, 2012 at 08:16 PM
So how does this work? Is it free to use the charger, or does it take credit cards? If it's free, does this mean someone who doesn't want to charge up at home and shave a few bucks off his utility bill could leave their EV parked there all day or all night? I've read it's quite costly to get your home electric system upgraded to install an EV charger at your home garage, though I understand federal grant money is available to subsidize the cost.
Heidi Beck January 15, 2012 at 08:18 PM
Also, Costco installed EV chargers years ago, but I have never seen a vehicle charging in the EV stall.
joe January 16, 2012 at 01:43 AM
This one takes credit cards, I too would like to know how much it costs.
Martin Ricard (Editor) January 16, 2012 at 02:20 AM
I'll try to find out how much it costs, if anything.
bruce parmenter January 16, 2012 at 02:26 AM
charging is free, for now. All drivers know that is subject to change. We have no problem paying our fair share of the cost to use the EV charging equipment (EVSE).
bruce parmenter January 16, 2012 at 02:30 AM
Costco installed EV chargers over a decade ago. The EV charging equipment (EVSE) was being used, though you may not if seen a vehicle there. You should not think those spots have to be in use 24hrs a day to get your approval. Instead think of them like flowers that are occasionally visited by Monarch Butterflies sipping from them along their journey. You may not see a butterfly at a flower all the time, but that flower needs to be there. Having said that, like many businesses back then and even today, think EVSE needs to be in the most wanted (front) parking spaces. That is a huge mistake because lazy fuel vehicle drivers block access to the EVSE (sadly there are people that do that). Costco management made the obtuse decision to rip out all (if not most) of their EVSE, thus destroying a wonderful relationship with the EV/pih drivers (a really dumb move on their part). brucedp.150m.com
bruce parmenter January 16, 2012 at 02:45 AM
There is EV charging equipment (EVSE) at a lower cost http://electric-vehicle-discussion-list.413529.n4.nabble.com/Low-Cost-EVSE-td3835375.html but you also have to pay to get a city permit and an EVSE certified electrician to install it. Many drivers opt to just use the level 1 (120VAC 20Amp) EVSE that comes with the purchase of a Leaf EV: no EVSE installtion is needed because it uses a regular outlet (like what the washing machine uses). You should gather the facts of your particular region. There may be state funds to offset the EVSE installaion in your garage. For those that wait and wait to make a move, you are likely to lose out on the subsides/tax-credits. Those are short term incentives to get the ball-rooling (it would be wrong to expect those to be in place forever, that would be unfair to the tax-payers). I bought my EV back in 1992, when there were no such incentives.
bruce parmenter January 16, 2012 at 02:49 AM
IMO The write up was nice but a bit late to the game. The company that made the charger hardware (EVSE), Chargepoint created a listing on Electric Vehicle (EV) charging finder site recargo over a month ago http://www.recargo.com/sites/3228 Walgreens is a leader in making EVSE available to drivers from the EV and plug-in hybrid (pih) communities. Not all Walgreens will have EVSE (we do not need that), but enough will. An hour's charge on a Leaf EV will give back ~14 miles of range. The Ford Focus Electric has a full powered on-board charger, it will give back twice that amount of range. Drivers of the EV and plug-in hybrid (pih) communities always patronize/spend money at their host's businesses to help pay back the costs for the electricity used. Drivers even go tell the store manager how much we appreciate them having EVSE. brucedp.150m.com (North of Silicon Valley, & south of SF, CA)
Heidi Beck January 16, 2012 at 04:08 AM
I understand these spots aren't going to be used all the time -- certainly, you want to have one available when you need it, and if they were full all the time, that would be a clear sign more are needed -- I'm just saying that I have never, ever seen one of those spots at Costco in use, locally and when I've traveled, and that seems like a darn shame. I really appreciate all the info you have given us here, Bruce. Thanks.
Martin Ricard (Editor) January 21, 2012 at 11:56 PM
bruce is correct. The charging station is free...for now. I was told by the 350 Green spokesman that charging will be free for at least the next few weeks. Then after that, drivers will have to start paying.

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