Having a charging station at the Mall for shoppers is a great idea, right? Sounds good, but the reality is that you should plan to have a backup charging location, just in case.
We have visited the charging station at the Maple View Mall in Burlington now four times over the last six months. This station is connected to the ChargePoint network, so it should be easy to use. And as an added bonus, it is available at no charge.
The first time we visited, this charging station had an error message that indicated a broken solenoid. It was possible to use the 110 outlet, but not the Level 2 charger. So if you were in need of more than a trickle charge, you would have been out of luck. The second time we visited, about a month later, this station had still not been fixed. This is particularly problematic as we were there during the cold weather months and let's face it, everyone needs a charge when it is cold out.
On our third visit, the unit had no power and was therefore completely unusable. Being the good EV citizens that we are, we did take the time to report these issues to the Mall's customer service desk. Perhaps that helped or perhaps today, Friday the 13th was our lucky day, because today the charger was working and all was well.
It is important to note that in all cases the single spot in front of the charger was not ICED. But there was still only a single designated spot. And the location is such that there are no spots in front of the charger and only one to the side, which was always filled when we visited. I mention this as you would not likely be able to share this charger even if the first car charging was finished.
So what about a backup plan? Level 2 charging stations are few and far between in Burlington, but you should know where they are in case you are desperate. The closest one we found was at the Burlington GO Station, 2101 Fairview St. It is located in the parking garage, first level, closest to the trains. If you have a little power to spare you will also find few others near by. Consult with http://www.plugshare.com for the latest locations.
If all else fails, give us a call here at EV Life Magazine, 905-756-4676. We are located in Oakville and have a level 2 Sun Country charger that can be powered up on request.