Indianapolis-area plug-in vehicle owners looking to burn a bunch of dollars at the local mall can at least save a few by plugging into a solar-powered station at the Clay Terrace mall in Carmel, the New York Times reports.

The Simon Property Group-owned center last week deployed what it calls its "Plug-In Ecosystem," which includes a fast charger that pulls electricity from the grid as well as solar panels that can offset some of that power use. Simon Property, Duke Energy, Toshiba and Itochu Corp. are among the entities that partnered on the project, which lets folks charge for free.

While Indiana is home to the country's best-known fuel-powered car race, the state is also the US home of Think, the now defunct electric-vehicle maker. Additionally, Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard has been on a crusade to eventually convert all of the city's fleet vehicles to plug-ins.

For the curious, Indiana is home to about 60 publicly accessible EV-charging stations, enough for one for every 110,000 registered vehicles – whatever their powertrain. Overall, there are about 5,400 publicly accessible EV-charging stations in the US, or about one for every 50,000 registered vehicles.


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  • 20 Comments
      Rob J
      • 2 Years Ago
      This should make John Green happy.
      Letstakeawalk
      • 2 Years Ago
      Pity the poor Tesla owners that are having to deal with the conditions in the Northeast at the moment. We need a much larger charger network, and it needs to happen soon. "My poor unsuspecting friend and I planned a trip to Rochester, MN to visit a mutual friend and her new family addition. Normally a trip to and from Rochester with a stop in Dixon each way would take about 16 hours. Ours took 65." http://andwediditourway.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/the-not-so-ev-life.html " He continued: “We can’t say this everywhere in America yet, but driving by a gasoline station and smiling is something everyone should experience.” I drove a state-of-the-art electric vehicle past a lot of gas stations. I wasn’t smiling. " http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/10/automobiles/stalled-on-the-ev-highway.html?pagewanted=all&_r=2&
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Letstakeawalk
        Stop trying to drive pure EVs massively long distances. That is not what they are for. Buy a PHEV, rent a gas car, buy a plane ticket, ride a train.
          Spec
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Spec
          They should be sold as commuter vehicles. If you want to do a longer trip then you need to have a rock-solid plan. Relying upon BillyJoeBob's campsite is a not a solid plan. Don't drive thousands of miles in a battery EV and then whine when it is not so easy to do. You bought a $100K car . . . I'm sure you can buy a plane ticket, rent a car, ride a train, etc.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Spec
          People, buy our very nature, will always try to push the limits of technology - heck, Elon Musk actively promotes driving the Model S "massively long distances". What these articles show is not any weakness of the BEV - it shows the weakness of the BEV charging infrastructure. Investments need to be made to grow that infrastructure if we hope to gain truly mass-market acceptance of BEVs as something other than a short-distance commuter.
          Marcopolo
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Spec
          @Spec, I hear what you say, and would agree with you if we were talking about a Leaf. But, the Tesla model S was not designed or sold as a commuter car. As LTW points out, the logistics of charging posts in a nation with 110 v power is not as easy as many ABG readers assume. I like the Tesla model S (well, let's face it, it hard not to), but it's not a sacred idol, that can't be criticised !
        Letstakeawalk
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Letstakeawalk
        Tesla Forum Discussion: http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/13633-NYT-article-Stalled-on-the-EV-Highway
          Spec
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          Uh oh . . . NYT and the writer may end up with egg on their face if they release data logs that show the NYT lied. And why didn't the NYT writer at least plug into a 120V outlet at a destination where they stayed overnight?!?!
          Letstakeawalk
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          "And why didn't the NYT writer at least plug into a 120V outlet at a destination where they stayed overnight?!?!" Because that wasn't the review. Tesla loaned him the car not to review it, but to test out the Supercharger Network. Plugging into 120V at night would have defeated the intent to only use Superchargers.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          Musk tweeted that the NYT story was "Fake", and is going to publish a blog - hopefully with all the car data! https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/301049593385340928 This is becoming a very interesting story!
        brotherkenny4
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Letstakeawalk
        These will be common stories as people want to sensationalize things to gain attention. The presumption always is that they should be able to drive whereever they want without hassle, and they can't afford two cars, and they have high anxiety the one they bought. All very contrived if you ask me. Probably no different than the dorks on any of the car shows on TV. Americans want to become famous, even if it's for being a whiney baby.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 7 Months Ago
          @brotherkenny4
          "All very contrived if you ask me. Probably no different than the dorks on any of the car shows on TV. Americans want to become famous, even if it's for being a whiney baby." I'm really sorry you feel the need to insult these people who are simply relaying their experiences.
        Marcopolo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Letstakeawalk
        @ LTW Thank you for posting those links. Sad stories indeed ! But, it does say something very nice about Nissan dealers ! The model S is still very new, and the different charging facilities are going to be a bit of a problem. (induction interpretive charging may be the answer) The UK has a lot less charging posts, but all 230 v,( most commonwealth countries have standard 230-40 volt power supply.) Cold weather really hits EC's hard. No much of an issue in Australia, but in the UK, I was surprised to notice my LEVRR, also dropped 20-30 % in range in minus degree range. (I kept the seats heated, demisters working etc, but then the LEVRR, was built to cope with conditions in Iceland !) . But the UK is a lot smaller, and the LEVRR still provides a range of 140-50 miles in bitterly cold conditions. But, it's no good building a car for only those enthusiasts who will put up with these sort of drawbacks. It was interesting to notice how the hilly terrain also reduced the range. That's why GM was shrewd to produce the Voltec powertrain as the basis for a volume seller. It's interesting that both these cars were the top of the range Model S. I shudder top think what performance owners of the less powerful vehi8cles would be experiencing in such conditions. The Tesla Model S, is still an astonishing achievement, but it's now beginning to experience real world criticism. Model S owners living in Southern California, don't need to worry, and I suspect most owners will use their cars in urban settings, in more gentle climes. Still, it's nice to see the friendly cooperation by the Chevy and Nissan dealers.
        Chris M
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Letstakeawalk
        It kind of reminds me of tales from the early days of automobiles, where the roads were bad and it was often a challenge finding gasoline for sale. Back then, teams of horses were often called upon to pull cars out of the mud, or tow them to the nearest town with a general store that sold cans of gasoline. But now, look at what we've got. Give it a few more years, and we'll be seeing many more high powered charging facilities and won't be seeing nearly as many "range anxiety" cases.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Chris M
          I agree, these are just teething problems of a technology in its early stages. Not a problem of the car, it's a problem of not enough chargers.
      Spec
      • 2 Years Ago
      Free Level-2 charging seems like a good move for places like a mall. Electricity is really cheap and the people that go to the mall for a few hours are bound to spend much more than the few cents of electricity put out over 2 hours. I would think it would be wise for some places to do it. If they are worried about electricity costs they could limit the amps it puts out. Or better yet, swap out some of the inefficient incandescent lighting for LEDs and CFLs and that will cover the added electricity usage.
      roadkill
      • 2 Years Ago
      They also give u free charging at that run with the bulls thing in europe
      Marcopolo
      • 2 Years Ago
      With less than 100,000 highway capable plug-in vehicles in the USA, 5,400 public charging posts, sounds great. (One for every 20 EV's !) Problem is, the logistics don't work out that way. There will always be more popular locations, such as shopping malls etc, which is great, but what's really needed is charging stations in less frequented locations as well. Such a network wouldn't be feasible without the technology for EV owners to accurately plan trips around the charging network. It's very important that charging providers ensure that if charging post is faulty, or not accessible this information becomes instantly available to EV owners. A sudden cold, (or hot) snap can make a big difference to an EV's range, so accurate charging information can become essential to pure EV owners. A big round of applause for Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, Simon Property, Duke Energy, Toshiba and Itochu Corp etc, for this new facility.
      EZEE
      • 2 Years Ago
      In other news, I saw my first Mitsubishi iMev, or whatever they call it. It really did t suck that bad. It struck me like more of a real car than a smart car. I know I know, not a high standard, but still...it didnt look like a joke. Good size, reasonable room. Didnt suck at all.
      Letstakeawalk
      • 2 Years Ago
      "Still, it's nice to see the friendly cooperation by the Chevy and Nissan dealers." Indeed, in these early days of BEV introduction, it's good to see the whole retail community pull together to support each others product. IMHO, it's another strong argument for the Dealer network model. Tesla might have great CS over the phone, but that only helps so much in these kinds of situations. It can be very good to have a dense network on the ground, as the Chevy and Nissan dealers show.
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