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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm thinking of taking the Bolt in from the Central Valley to SFO, but it's 111 miles one way, and I'd probably need to charge the car somewhere. Ideally, SFO.

I see that SFO offers free charging in their hourly garages. Wondering if anyone has had any good luck with finding an available charger in the middle of a workday. They have 44 charging stalls among the two international garages. . . https://www.flysfo.com/to-from/parking/plugin-electric-car

Also, I haven't found a good resource on HOV/Express Lane use and maps in Northern California for an EV driver. Here's what Caltrans shows on their website, not sure it's up to date: http://www.dot.ca.gov/trafficops/tm/docs/HOV_NorCal.pdf
 

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"Wondering if anyone has had any good luck with finding an available charger"

An emphatic NO !! I have never seen an available space. They are generally taken by EVs, but the cars are either fully charged, or not even plugged in.

Where are you coming from "in the central valley" ? I can probably give you some pointers on best charging locations.


"... haven't found a good resource on HOV/Express Lane use and maps in Northern California for an EV driver"

If you have the HOV sticker, you are golden. HOWEVER there are some spots in the bay area that are both carpool AND toll lanes, which REQUIRE a FasTrak transponder for all vehicles from 8a.m. until 8p.m., including those that are carpools and EVs (basically, I-580 E of I-680, and I-680 North of I-580). "The I-580 and I-680 Contra Costa express lanes require a FasTrak Flex toll tag for toll-free travel by a carpool, motorcycle, or eligible Clean Air Vehicle (CAV). "

You can find (some) info at :
... https://www.bayareafastrak.org/en/support/flexTag.shtml
 

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One of the best sources for charging locations is Plugshare:

https://www.plugshare.com/

It's best to register, so the program will be familiar with your requirements, or ALL charging locations may be included in your search. Many charging locations are private, such as company chargers. Be sure to restrict your search to include only J1772 chargers. Since most chargers are not free, you may have to specify the provider you use (such as Chargepoint). And prices vary a lot: from free to 35 cents per kWh (or more). And there can be limits on charging time, or penalties for leaving your Bolt plugged in too long.
 

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Can I use a regular FasTrak tag on the 580 express lanes, even though I will be charged?
I don't know , but I don't see why not. Info probably on the web site (I'm too lazy to look). And the express lanes are M-F, if you do the trip on the weekend (or after 8 PM), no worries.
 

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Good advice on Plugshare. Per advice at this site I've given Plugshare a whirl and indeed it's excellent. In the toolbox it goes.

A lot of shovel work to be done before the world is ready for mass adoption of EVs, it seems, at least from the Plugshare view. This is not a scalable lashup just now, let alone a system. Two things jump out:vehicle brand-specific reselling of electricity is going to be a hindrance to overall acceptance and a waste of valuable space, and meanwhile home owners with easy access to electricity+car married have a distorted perspective on the problem (as I've learned after perma-loaning our Volt to my son, a renter. He no longer comes home to do laundry, but does to cadge a charge :) ).
 

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"Wondering if anyone has had any good luck with finding an available charger"

An emphatic NO !! I have never seen an available space. They are generally taken by EVs, but the cars are either fully charged, or not even plugged in.
I haven't been quite as unlucky.

I've only had the car for a month and a half and was able to find a spot twice at the United Terminal (3) on level one and and once in terminal two, also on level one.

Only one in four tries have I not been able to find a charger, and that was for a short pick up in Terminal 1. I didn't really drive around though as I was just picking someone up.

So 3 out of 4 isn't bad.
 

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Can I use a regular FasTrak tag on the 580 express lanes, even though I will be charged?
You can, but you will be charged the single occupancy rate. Your sticker is essentially rendered useless without a FastTrak Flex set to 3 on the 580 and 680 corridor.


https://www.alamedactc.org/580express

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

Carpoolers and those eligible to use carpool lanes (motorcycles, clean air vehicles with a white or green sticker) must have a FasTrak Flex (switchable) toll tag to use the lanes toll-free. It is the only way to travel toll-free in the express lane.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The SFO trip was this morning. When I arrived around 11 AM at the international garages (A and G) all the L2 chargers were occupied. I drove back and forth between the two garages a few times, and the cars were not moving out. On closer inspection, probably 80% were not charging at all, as they were fully charged already.

The drivers who park their cars there are charging for free, and probably take the nearby BART into the City, and abandon their cars all day long. I walked around and unplugged any car not charging. A couple of them sounded their horns.
 

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There are much cheaper parking garages to park in and take BART into the city. At $36, I wouldn't think free charging would change that equation.

Sorry you couldn't find a charger.

If you're going to be at the airport longer (say for a trip), the ParkSFO long tern garage includes charging in their Valet parking service.
 
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