We took a trip to Portland TN today. Portland has two EV charging stations, at the City Hall and the city Ballpark.
I dropped my wife off to get her hair cut and had half an hour to spend. I thought I’d plug in and use my iPad while I waited. I set the navigation system to drive to the closest charging station that was according to the nav system about 500 yds. away. I followed directions and the nav system announced that I had arrived at my destination; 100 South Broadway. I looked around, saw a Shell Gas station, but no city hall, and certainly no Blink charging station.
I drove around in circles, John Broder style, failing to find the charging station. No worry, I drove to the Ballpark instead to charge there. Same fate, I drove around and failed to find the charging unit. I returned to the hairdressers and parked. I then walked towards where I thought the City Hall should be. Not there. After 5 minutes of walking around I spotted a Blink charging station on a parallel street. By the time I got back to our LEAF, my wife had already left the hairdresser and we set off for home.
When we got home the car announced low battery charge. We made it, but only just. So what went wrong? Part of the problem is that the postal address isn’t necessarily where a charging unit will be located, this is true of large properties like ballparks.
I got online and found out that the city hall isn’t located at 100 South Broadway, it is located at 100 S Russell Street. a 1/4 mile away from where my car navigation system indicated the unit was located.
I found plenty of gas stations in my drive around Portland. They have very tall and very colorful signs. They are located on major routes. EV charging stations can be located any where, and are not advertised by large signs. With navigation systems, we should be able to find these units, but NOT if the address and geo location is inaccurate in the database.
I reported the incorrect address and map marker to Blink Networks, and they very quickly responded they would fix the error. So sorry no photos of the charging stations in Portland, since I never got close to one!!
And now we know why plugshare, recargo, carstations, plugsurfing, etc. exist. To counter the shortcomings of badly-managed and maintained systems like Blink’s. We are crowdsourcing the QA the company won’t or can’t pull off. Too bad the subscription model provides cover for it.
Ironically Blink have the location accurate now, but Plugshare do not. Attempts to change Plugshare address for this unit results in ‘address not recognized’ errors.
We don’t have this problem in the lower half of South Carolina. There are hardly any to find.
In NYC and NJ I use ChargePoint and the App tells you exactly where to find the charging stations in a notes field.