djkjmuoh
Posts: 64
Joined: Wed May 15, 2013 7:30 pm
Delivery Date: 21 Jun 2013

Re: Chicagoland area

Thought I would drop by the Chicagoland forum to share my first beyond-range road trip from Oak Park, IL to Milwaukee, WI. I strove to make the entire trip free of paying for charges. Almost did it....

This past Saturday 4/5/14 I had my LEAF plugged in at work in the Holley Ct. garage in Oak Park, IL until I departed at about 5pm. I left with 100% SOC. Being late on a Saturday, I knew the Rosen Nissan Dealership in Gurnee, IL was to be closed by the time I would arrive and would thus lose the opportunity to check out and utilize their L3 DC Quick Charger. This was actually fine by me for two reasons... one, I was only about 4-5 bars short from a full 12 by Gurnee and two, I kinda needed a nap after an 8 hour Saturday work shift on 6 hours of sleep.

That said, I continued on, at about 60mph on cruise control like I had most of the trip, toward the free charger in Pleasant Prairie at the Gateway Technical College - Horizon Center. I knew if this station didn't work for some reason, I would still have enough to make it back to Gurnee Mills Mall where I'd have to pay to charge. The station worked fine and I charged while napping for about 52 minutes. Afterwards, I carried on toward Milwaukee knowing there was a AAA charge station toward the outskirts of the city limits if I couldn't make it all the way to my charging destination at Schlitz Park which is walking distance from my friends house where I would be staying the night. Stress free, I made it easily to Schlitz Park and found a VOLT plugged into it's only J1772 cord. It was finished however, so I left a note, unplugged it and charged overnight with no issues. Even moved my car into my buddies parking garage after our night out once it was finished charging.

The next morning we went to breakfast at Cafe Hollander (I highly recommend, but be ready for a wait on a Sunday) which is nearby two soon-to-be working DCQC stations at the UW-Milwaukee Campus. We drove by one and I documented it's status on PlugShare, I assume the other is in similar construction phase status but don't know for sure. After breakfast he drove me back to my car, and I departed toward home planning to charge either at a free station in Gurnee called WindFree on Plugshare or at Gurnee Mills if I had to pay. After arriving at the really deserted barn shaped strip-mall where the free charger was located in the rear, I charged for about a half hour while taking pics and posting on PlugShare. It was terribly boring and nothing around whatsoever. I only charged so long because, in my quest to remain free from paying, I opted to gain enough range to head toward ABT Electronics in Glenview. Figured I could shop and charge for free!

ABT on the weekends is like a MADHOUSE! Both EV parking spots were taken... one by an ICE Mercedes (BOOOOOO) and the other by a Plug-In C-Max Energei which had the charge port open but no plug inserted (also BOOOO.) Funny thing was, there was a Tesla right across from it too in a regular spot. I tried parking between the handicap space and the curb but the plug wouldn't reach and thus decided to head to Golf Mill Mall. Unfortunately, here's where I had to pay. :-(

Charging at Golf Mill Mall is $2/ hour but I needed a bathroom break and something to do as well as a charge by this point. Golf Mill Mall sucks, however, and thus I just walked into a few stores and decided to leave the mall and go to Panera Bread across the street since I was hungry and had time to kill. After a whopping $2.42 of charge time, I left but not before 2 nice passers by stopped me as I was unplugging and had about a 10 minute Q/A conversation with me about EV's.

Making it home to Glendale Heights was really no problem after this and I just clipped the Low Battery Warning arriving with between 10-17%. All in all, I would say it was a success.


P.S. I wrote to ABT Electronics about my experience and gave them more than several suggestions on how to avoid this from happening. I received a call from the store manager the very next day and they said they were sorry this happened and that it was the first time they knew of it happening, and that they would take all of my suggestions into consideration. Was very nice to hear as I LOVE that store and really wished that was where I spent my hour!
2013 Super Black LEAF SL w/premium pkg
Ordered: 5/10/2013
Delivered/Leased: 6/21/2013
Purchased out of Lease: 3/30/16
56k gas-free miles & counting... quickly!
EVSE: Schneider EVLink 30a v2.5
DougWantsALeaf
Posts: 3215
Joined: Fri May 10, 2013 8:21 pm
Delivery Date: 18 May 2013
Leaf Number: 407811
Location: Chicago North Side

Re: Chicagoland area

Great post.
I have used the gateway technical college charger before to get from Chicago to Waukesha in 0 degree weather.

Next time you do the trek, there are a couple l2 stations on hwy 41 and it is 4 miles shorter than 94 and during not so busy times can average 50 mph.
2019 S Plus (93.1% SOH) & 2019 SV Plus (90.7% SOH) Both Silver
2013 Leaf SV sold 2019 with 11 bars
100 Mile Club Member (Number 87)
Max Miles on 13 Leaf: 120 miles
Max Miles on 19 SV+: 242 Highway miles @ 4.5 miles/kWh
DougWantsALeaf
Posts: 3215
Joined: Fri May 10, 2013 8:21 pm
Delivery Date: 18 May 2013
Leaf Number: 407811
Location: Chicago North Side

Re: Chicagoland area

Great post.
I have used the gateway technical college charger before to get from Chicago to Waukesha in 0 degree weather.

Next time you do the trek, there are a couple l2 stations on hwy 41 and it is 4 miles shorter than 94 and during not so busy times can average 50 mph.
2019 S Plus (93.1% SOH) & 2019 SV Plus (90.7% SOH) Both Silver
2013 Leaf SV sold 2019 with 11 bars
100 Mile Club Member (Number 87)
Max Miles on 13 Leaf: 120 miles
Max Miles on 19 SV+: 242 Highway miles @ 4.5 miles/kWh
Chicagowin
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2014 7:16 am
Delivery Date: 14 Apr 2014

Re: Chicagoland area

New owner from Schaumburg!! I picked up a white 2013 sl from woodfield Nissan last night. My wife tried looking for a charger station after we left the dealership through the navigation with no luck. I think she tried a walgreens and whole foods but they weren't there. They gave us a full battery so it wasn't a big deal. Just wanted to check out local stations.
greengate
Posts: 544
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2013 9:31 pm
Delivery Date: 04 Feb 2013
Location: Wilmette, IL

Re: Chicagoland area

Chicagowin wrote:New owner from Schaumburg!! I picked up a white 2013 sl from woodfield Nissan last night. My wife tried looking for a charger station after we left the dealership through the navigation with no luck. I think she tried a walgreens and whole foods but they weren't there. They gave us a full battery so it wasn't a big deal. Just wanted to check out local stations.
Congratulations!! You will get to know where the stations are and if they are working or not.

Is the '13 new or used? Leased or owned?

Are you going to charge at home on 110 or 220?
brianchi73
Posts: 88
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:44 am
Delivery Date: 30 Sep 2012
Leaf Number: 023723

Re: Chicagoland area

greengate wrote:
Chicagowin wrote:New owner from Schaumburg!! I picked up a white 2013 sl from woodfield Nissan last night. My wife tried looking for a charger station after we left the dealership through the navigation with no luck. I think she tried a walgreens and whole foods but they weren't there. They gave us a full battery so it wasn't a big deal. Just wanted to check out local stations.
Congratulations!! You will get to know where the stations are and if they are working or not.

Is the '13 new or used? Leased or owned?

Are you going to charge at home on 110 or 220?
I've found that PlugShare is the most reliable source of information for knowing whether or not a charger is up and working. Whole Foods has turned theirs off but they want to have EV chargers. I talked to the management and they said that they had to turn them off because they cannot get service for them anymore. They indicated that they will have them again as soon as they can find a company to support them.
Chicagowin
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2014 7:16 am
Delivery Date: 14 Apr 2014

Re: Chicagoland area

greengate wrote:
Chicagowin wrote:New owner from Schaumburg!! I picked up a white 2013 sl from woodfield Nissan last night. My wife tried looking for a charger station after we left the dealership through the navigation with no luck. I think she tried a walgreens and whole foods but they weren't there. They gave us a full battery so it wasn't a big deal. Just wanted to check out local stations.
Congratulations!! You will get to know where the stations are and if they are working or not.

Is the '13 new or used? Leased or owned?

Are you going to charge at home on 110 or 220?
It's a 13' with 52 miles. I'm leasing it. As far as charging in not really sure about having a home charger installed yet. I'm leaning towards it. There are charging stations at my work that I see volts plugged into. Is chargepoint something I need to sign up for to use charging stations?
IrvingHarlem
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu Feb 13, 2014 1:09 am
Delivery Date: 31 Jan 2014
Leaf Number: 417125
Location: Chicago, IL

Re: Chicagoland area

Unless you're planning to go for a long drive, come home to recharge, and go out again the same day I don't see the need for a charging station at home. If you come home and park overnight for 12 hours you should be able to fully recharge at 110 most every day. Of course, that depends on how many miles your daily round trip is.
_________________
2013 Black Nissan Leaf S 3.3kw No Charging Package
First Sold Oct. 2013, I bought used 1/31/14 1588 miles
Chicago, IL
djkjmuoh
Posts: 64
Joined: Wed May 15, 2013 7:30 pm
Delivery Date: 21 Jun 2013

Re: Chicagoland area

I completely second the vote for the app PlugShare (or the website plugshare.com I suppose!) If I could buy stock in the company, I would like I did with Tesla. I almost always check in at stations I haven't used before. I update the check-in with a photo and description whenever possible or if one is not already present. I also suggest, when you have time, to stop by others you pass by, using them or not, and do the same... you may need the info or someone else may benefit from it later on!

I bought a 220v Level II home charging station because of the IL 50% rebate and the US 30% tax credit. Both of those have expired I believe, the IL one as of today actually, so that may influence your decision. I can say, having one is absolutely wonderful. Though you can plug into a regular outlet overnight, should you ever need to run in and out, the 220v really makes a big difference! You will assess your need for that as time passes though... but all it takes is once where your stuck and kicking yourself, IMO.

As for ChargePoint, I would also highly suggest registering for it. You can do a basic membership which is free and allows you to use only the free stations, or you can pre-load a card with $25 and have access to all stations. Pretty sure they auto-refill similar to I-Pass once low, by adding another $25. In 9 months of having mine, I haven't used all of the $25 but am down below $10. I just figure, why not have it for only $25?

Good luck with your new ride! Glad to hear you got the SL too!


Chicagowin wrote:
greengate wrote:
Chicagowin wrote:New owner from Schaumburg!! I picked up a white 2013 sl from woodfield Nissan last night. My wife tried looking for a charger station after we left the dealership through the navigation with no luck. I think she tried a walgreens and whole foods but they weren't there. They gave us a full battery so it wasn't a big deal. Just wanted to check out local stations.
Congratulations!! You will get to know where the stations are and if they are working or not.

Is the '13 new or used? Leased or owned?

Are you going to charge at home on 110 or 220?
It's a 13' with 52 miles. I'm leasing it. As far as charging in not really sure about having a home charger installed yet. I'm leaning towards it. There are charging stations at my work that I see volts plugged into. Is chargepoint something I need to sign up for to use charging stations?
2013 Super Black LEAF SL w/premium pkg
Ordered: 5/10/2013
Delivered/Leased: 6/21/2013
Purchased out of Lease: 3/30/16
56k gas-free miles & counting... quickly!
EVSE: Schneider EVLink 30a v2.5
Chicagowin
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2014 7:16 am
Delivery Date: 14 Apr 2014

Re: Chicagoland area

I drove past 2 charging stations in my area, one was at a Wyndham hotel and one was a BMW dealer. It looked like you needed to access through chargepoint to plug it in. The BMW dealer was definitely free, I'm not positive of the Wyndham. I wish this is something the dealer could have told me about when getting the car. I thought it as easy as just plugging it in or swiping a credit card for the ones that charge. Oh well, not a big deal.

As for the charging station it's looking like a good idea since my wife has taken a real liking to the leaf. I've got to do some research, but the ones at homedepot got good reviews and are affordable.

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