Tahoe charging stations service electric cars, environment
September 3, 2013
Electric vehicle charging stations at Lake Tahoe*
1. Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe
Address: 111 Country Club Drive, Incline Village, Nev.
Users: Guests and resort users only
2. Firelite Lodge
Address: 7035 N. Lake Tahoe Blvd., Tahoe Vista, Calif.
Phone: 530-546-7222 (reservations are encouraged)
Cost: $15/night, $3/hour
Users: Guests and non-guests
Available: 8 a.m. – 10 p.m. After 10 p.m., make reservations.
3. Tahoe City Public Utility District
Address: 221 Fairway Drive, Tahoe City, Calif.
Phone: 530-583-3796 (reservations are taken)
4. Squaw Valley Ski Resort
Address: 1960 Squaw Valley Road, Olympic Valley, Calif. Stations located at the western edge of the Far East Center, next to Cornice Cantina Mexican Grill.
Phone: 800-403-0206 or 530-452-4331
Available: daily, but guests are asked not to leave vehicles at charging stations for more than 10 hours at a time.
5. Cedar House Sport Hotel
Address: 10918 Brockway Road, Truckee, Calif.
Users: Guests and non-guests
Available: 6 a.m. to midnight, daily
6. The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe
Address: 13031 Ritz Carlton Highlands Court, Truckee, Calif.
Cost: Currently free
Users: Guests only
Available: 24/7 (first come, first serve)
7. Meadow Park
Address: 10115 Donner Pass Road, Truckee, Calif., next to Truckee Donner Historical Society
Cost: Currently free
Available: 24/7, but is subject to parking lot clearance
8. Harveys Lake Tahoe
Address: 18 US 50 Stateline, Nev. (South Lake)
*These locations were listed on http://www.plugshare.com and confirmed by the Sierra Sun.
TAHOE CITY, Calif. — Without having to wait in a line of cars, Los Angeles-area resident Marty Coren grabs a nozzle from a nearby dispensing station and beings fueling his vehicle.
But rather than gasoline being dispensed, it's electricity that flows into his Tesla, an all-electric vehicle.
"It takes a lot of energy to get up here (Lake Tahoe), so I need to find a place to charge before I get down," Coren said. "That's my situation right now."
He found such a place at Squaw Valley, which recently installed four electric car chargers, becoming the first ski resort in California to install such stations.
“An electric car parks — it doesn’t mark its spot.”
Tahoe City Public Utility District
"We know the region's success is dependent on our dedication to protecting the special mountain environment, and these new charging stations are a part of our extensive efforts that we're taking on as part of our environmental stewardship efforts," said Andy Wirth, president and CEO of Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows.
Squaw Valley is one of eight confirmed electric car charging stations in and around the Lake Tahoe Basin.
'A GOOD THING'
In March, the Cedar House Sport Hotel in Truckee installed electric charging stations upon guest requests, said Patty Baird, owner and director of the hotel.
"Tahoe is a treasure that needs to be protected," she said. "I think having infrastructure that allows lower carbon emission is a good thing."
Roger Adamson, parks superintendent for the Tahoe City Public Utility District — which also has a charging station, with two ports — elaborated on how the stations and vehicles that use them help protect the local environment.
"Electric cars would help a lot with the runoff into Lake Tahoe," he said. "… Runoff that clouds the lake — where does it come from? It comes from traffic … (from) oils, transmission fluids, and gasoline and diesel that spills on the ground.
"An electric car parks, it doesn't mark its spot."
According to the Tesla website, the electricity that powers the vehicle comes from many sources such as natural gas, coal and oil, among others.
As for how long it takes for a Tesla Model S to charge, that depends on the type of outlet or charging station used. The car can go 301 miles per charge with an 85-kilowatt-hour battery.
At the TCPUD station, Adamson said one hour of charging equals 30 miles for the Tesla.
The TCPUD has seen an increase in its station's use this summer, Adamson added, at a clip of two to three times a week.
"This is the first year that we've actually seen a major use of that facility," Adamson said, since its was installed in 2004. "For what reason — I don't know if it's because of that new Tesla car being produced or just more people are aware that we have the charger."
Baird has witnessed a similar weekly usage of her hotel's stations, adding that their frequent usage has "surprised" her.
It's a trend Adamson thinks is "great" and hopes continues.
"Instead of so many gas stations, you may see charging stations (in the future)," Adamson said.
It's a development Coren would like to see.
"(Have stations) everywhere they can," he said, while walking his way to the Village at Squaw Valley for lunch as his car charged. "Just make them more convenient."
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