A slow charge is better than no charge, but the state of California and some of its largest cities don't seem to understand that concept. That's the crux of an argument from Plugs and Cars' Marc Geller (a former contributor to AutoblogGreen), who cites the case of a Nissan Leaf-owning San Francisco police officer who had charging privileges at a Level 1 (i.e., a standard 120-volt) outlet at an employee-only lot taken away, all in the name of public policy.

In a nutshell, the Leaf owner, who started leasing his electric vehicle in February, was told he couldn't leave his Leaf plugged in at the standard freebie socket while he was on the job because the police station is trying to get Level 2 (240-volt) stations. Meanwhile, state requirements say that any charging station with employee-only access must be of the Level 2 or quick-charging variety, which cost about 10 times the amount of money to install as Level 1 outlets. Geller makes a cut-off-your-nose-to-spite-your-face argument, noting that the very policies designed to push EV adoption may actually be working against it.

In the meantime, the San Francisco policeman now precedes his ride home by charging up the Leaf at a quick charging station at a San Francisco Whole Foods. Where he can buy some great kale.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 10 Comments
      Naturenut99
      • 1 Year Ago
      Completely stupid to not allow 120 v. charging. Having many 120v outlets available is better for workplace parking anyway. I'm all for L2, L3, DC, & supercharger's but for a 8 hr work day. L1 works pretty good. Especially since it can be cheaper and allow more people to charge.
      JPWhite
      • 1 Year Ago
      This is simply a case of those making the policies knowing little or nothing about the subject. Many people I talk to are surprised to hear that an EV can use a standard 120v outlet. The average Joe thinks you have to get a special unit installed at the house before you buy an EV, and that's what they require. The legislators probably make the same false assumptions and EVSE manufacturers and installers aren't about to point out their error. My commute doubled recently, add the cold of winter and my charge was getting real low by the time I got home. I negotiated with the sandwich shop next door to plug into a 120v outlet. Now I can make it home and beyond easily, with or without heat at any legal speed I like. I plug in at 7am, and the charge is complete by 11:30am most days. I could potentially share the 120v outlet with another EV. Level 1 is all that is required for the workplace.
      Dave R
      • 1 Year Ago
      Yes, L1 charging on standard 120V outlets makes a lot of sense for workplace charging. Cheap and you're very often plugged in long enough to pick up 10 kWh over the day which is enough to drive over 30 miles in your typical EV. But for slightly more, (assuming there is enough capacity at the site), you can also install 240V outlets which can double the amount of power on the same electrical run.
      Anderlan
      • 1 Year Ago
      Yes, I think we should be able to plugin our EVs to the next generation 100W USB power-delivery standard sockets when they come out. And also the LEAFs spoiler solar panel should be connected to the drive battery.
        RC
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Anderlan
        Well at least the new USB is supposed to be reversible. I bet you can have some fun with that.
        Naturenut99
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Anderlan
        USB outlet ? So they should be installing USB ports throughout parking lots ? 100watts x 8hrs. = 800 watts which would give you about 3 miles. The spoiler PV is even less so.
        BraveLil'Toaster
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Anderlan
        *snerk* If the solar panel were connected to the drive battery, you'd be lucky to increase your range by 1 or 2 kilometers in an 8 hour day.
      Levine Levine
      • 1 Year Ago
      Within the Union, California is home to the most stupid people, corrupt politicians, and hard-core socialist. So what did you expect?
      Jason
      • 1 Year Ago
      Level 1 charge at work where you are there all day makes perfect sense...i could fully charge my volt from my commute to work easily with that. Only the government can make such stoopid policy and enforce it without reason.
      Dave D
      • 1 Year Ago
      Why is the world so full of petty people? Who CARES enough if he was using a level 1 charger to actually tell him to stop until a level II charger was there? Seriously....what human being actually spent the time and energy to even try and stop him from using the charger??? Whoever it is, the stupid bastard should never allowed to use anything sharper than a crayon so they can't damage other people in any way with their petty vindictiveness.