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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Charge!


Getting miked up for NBC News

So for the past couple of weeks I've been working on getting two public chargers installed in the parking lot of my restaurant, Nauna's Bella Casa in Montclair, NJ. I had planned on doing a ribbon cutting ceremony when they were finished, but then I got a call from Environment New Jersey and plans changed. 

The group asked me if I could speak about my experience with electric cars at a press conference they were planning on July 17th in Princeton, NJ to announce the publication of a just finished study called "Charging Forward: The Emergence of Electric Vehicles and Their Role in Reducing Oil Consumption". I agreed to speak and answer questions and while we were talking I mentioned that I was just about finished installing two public charging stations on my property. When they heard that they asked if we could have the press conference in my parking lot in front of the newly installed chargers, and I agreed. So much for the ribbon cutting ceremony, now I had a press conference instead! 
I made a few calls and asked my EV driving friends if they could come and bring their cars. Chris Neff and Gerald Belton brought their ActiveEs, Pamela Thwaite brought her Tesla Roadster and we had a Volt that is used by PSE&G come also bringing the total of EV's on site to five. NBC News showed up as well as a few newspapers and some local internet news sites. The event was featured on NBC's at 5:00 news that night and was also in the Montclair Times, New Jersey Spotlight and Baristanet News. Speakers included Environment New Jersey’s Director Doug O’Malley, Paul Heitmann of ECOtality, a company managing the E.V. Project, a $99.8 million federal effort to deploy approximately 14,000 chargers in 18 cities across the nation, Former Montclair Mayor Jerry Fried, Gray Russell, Montclair director of Environmental Affairs, Chuck Feinberg, Chairman of NJ Clean Cities Coalition and more.
The Blink Charger
I was very fortunate to get one Blink and one Coulomb public charger from each company for free. I host a lot of public electric vehicle events like this at my restaurant and both companies thought it would be a good idea to have their products on my site for promotional reasons. They made a good decision! They will both get a lot of use and exposure from my highly visible site. I've probably hosted more electric vehicle meets in my parking lot than any other site in New Jersey! My Blink charger is actually the first Blink public charger in the state. Coulomb has a very strong presence here already with over 100 public chargers in New Jersey already and are using the ChargePoint Network.

The Coulomb Charger
Even though I got the chargers for free, I did have to pay for the installation which was a couple thousand dollars. While I was at it I installed three bicycle racks on the property also, further inspiring green personal transportation! The charging rates at both chargers will be set at $2.00 per hour, but if you eat at the restaurant while you are charging your car, then your charging is FREE. I still need to get final inspection from the town before I can turn them on and start using them which will hopefully be next week sometime. I've had dozens of customers who came to the restaurant the past few days ask me what the chargers were for, but many knew and supported my decision to install them. Soon they'll be up and running so if you live in the area and drive an EV, bring it by for a good meal and all the free electrons your car can take!

5 comments:

  1. Tom,

    You're a mensch. It was great meeting you and enjoying a pizza last weekend.

    /Ed

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Ed, It was really nice to finally meet you also! I love that I work at a public place like my restaurant because it has allowed me to meet dozens of people that have followed my blogs through the years. Sometime people just stop in and introduce themselves and tell me they have been reading my blogs and just wanted to meet me and say "thanks" for providing the EV information. It's extraordinarily satisfying!

      Delete
  2. Peter5 (Switzerland, regular reader)July 27, 2012 at 6:08 AM

    I love it when there are new posts. You don't know how inspiring you truly are. Keep up the good work!

    Greetings from Switzerland

    ReplyDelete
  3. Tom -

    I'm commenting in this old post of yours, I hope you'll notice it.

    I'm adding your station to the carstations.com database. Are both the Blink and ChargePoint chargers available to the public? Can I use the two pictures you provided here?

    - Chris

    ReplyDelete
  4. This station is now documented in the CarStations database here:

    http://carstations.com/23568/

    ReplyDelete