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Thread: Hotel/Airport parking in Texas with Charging Stations

  1. #11
    Roadster #1144 + Sig 114 dsm363's Avatar
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    So I assume the ChargePoint is 30A. When I was working on getting this setup, they agreed to install a 80A J1773 charger but looks like that didn't happen. Better than nothing I guess.
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  2. #12
    VIN S00219 stephenpace's Avatar
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    Executive Summary

    You can take Hilton Austin off the list for now. They have a 30A ChargePoint charger, but it is not hooked up on the network, and it is not currently functional.

    Trip Detail

    I booked this hotel just because they said they had charging for electric vehicles. I called prior to booking just to make sure A) they had them B) they worked and C) if I needed to be part of any charging network to use them. After the person on the phone called around to verify, I was told that yes, the charging stations were there, they worked, and I could just pay with a credit card. I asked how much power was, and they said they didn't know, but that they had heard it wasn't very expensive. They also said that payment for parking was also required--$25 if you did self parking.

    When I arrived, I was directed right to the charging station, which I thought was a good sign. The garage appears secure and the charging station is in a very visible, well lit area. However, the machine was on ChargePoint and (ominously) the Visa/MasterCard signage was covered with black electrical tape. I also thought it was strange that the ChargePoint iPhone application did not show that station. Hoping for the best, I went to check in but the front desk staff weren't really up on the charging stations. They had a confab, and some thought they should "just work" (e.g. no card required). Upon calling someone, the clerk was told that "they no longer worked". The front desk manager came over and said no, they worked, but that they needed to talk to someone that wasn't currently onsite. The manager seemed confident that he would be able to resolve it (and provided an option of charging across the street if they couldn't), so I decided to check in anyway and head to dinner. A few hours later, I checked back, and there was no movement, so I attempted to call ChargePoint myself. No dice--on the positive side, they have a number staffed 24-7. But the Hilton charger (FA7B) was not in their system, so they could not remotely authorize them with a credit card. I went back to the lobby and asked for the fallback option of charging across the street, but after driving over there, it turned out the charger was in another garage. We went to a garage a few blocks away and found the charger. It was also ChargePoint (which seems to have the Austin market locked up), and I used the option to pay via credit card which worked. This is pay by the hour for 30A (max) and when I returned the next morning the total bill was $26.23 which I thought was a high, but hey, when you need power, you need it. I should also say that the alternate garage wasn't nearly as secure--the charging stations were right by a stairwell and the stairwell was open to the street. When I was fiddling with the charging unit a (seemingly drunk) guy and his buddies were walking down the stairs from a higher floor and asked if the car was electric. I said it was and he said something unintelligible and went on his way. My fear was that on his way back he might decide to do something stupid and unplug the car. At that point I was stuck, though, so I just left it once charging commenced. I ordered a ChargePoint card, so next time the app can notify me if charging gets interrupted to give me some piece of mind. Presumably the Tesla app will be able to do this as well.

    Last, I will say the manager of the Hilton went out of his way to make the situation right. He drove with me to find the other charging station and comped my charging bill. I didn't give them a hard time about it because at least they were making an attempt--many hotels at this point aren't even trying to accommodate EV travelers, and I appreciate that they are taking a first step. Presumably they'll get these stations working now that they know there is an issue and they'll be back working soon. In the meantime, I'll post some suggested travel tips in my trip thread about it.

  3. #13
    Roadster #1144 + Sig 114 dsm363's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stephenpace View Post
    Executive Summary

    You can take Hilton Austin off the list for now. They have a 30A ChargePoint charger, but it is not hooked up on the network, and it is not currently functional.

    I booked this hotel just because they said they had charging for electric vehicles. I called prior to booking just to make sure A) they had them B) they worked and C) if I needed to be part of any charging network to use them. After the person on the phone called around to verify, I was told that yes, the charging stations were there, they worked, and I could just pay with a credit card. I asked how much power was, and they said they didn't know, but that they had heard it wasn't very expensive. They also said that payment for parking was also required--$25 if you did self parking.


    Last, I will say the manager of the Hilton went out of his way to make the situation right. He drove with me to find the other charging station and comped my charging bill. I didn't give them a hard time about it because at least they were making an attempt--many hotels at this point aren't even trying to accommodate EV travelers, and I appreciate that they are taking a first step. Presumably they'll get these stations working now that they know there is an issue and they'll be back working soon. In the meantime, I'll post some suggested travel tips in my trip thread about it.
    Thanks for the summary. This is disappointing. I started working with the property manager there maybe in mid 2011 to get chargers installed. I had them lined up with 70A ClipperCreek J1772 chargers that take credit cards and was told it was a go. Somehow many months later that got changed to what they have now. Oh well, once it's working I guess it will be better than nothing but sorry if putting it on the list made things tough on you. I was assured by the property manager by e-mail in August that it was up and running but hadn't had time to check it myself.

    This just goes to show you that even when you go through every step like you did and ask those important 3 questions that there still are no assurances unless you have someone physically go and check the charger for you to make sure it works.
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  4. #14
    VIN S00219 stephenpace's Avatar
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    @dsm363 No worries, as an early adopter I don't mind going through some issues if it makes it easier for the next guys. The manager seemed to feel really bad, so hopefully he'll get it resolved soon. It probably wouldn't hurt to stop by in a month or so and see if the situation is changed, though. Thanks for getting the ball rolling in the first place!

  5. #15
    Senior Member cinergi's Avatar
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    FWIW virtually all the Chargepoint stations around Boston are free. Not sure if TX is different in general or if it was just that station?
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  6. #16
    VIN S00219 stephenpace's Avatar
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    Almost all of them that I saw on the map were pay--although there was at least one free one near my brother's house, so free ones did exist.

  7. #17
    8Dec2012 / Leeroy Jenkins sublimaze1's Avatar
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    Not a hotel, but (rather) DFW airport ... the press release says "valet park and they will charge your car while you are away"

    http://www.dfwairport.com/pressroom/...ging_Ports.php

    Anyone tried this?

  8. #18
    nope but good to know. I use the valet service and asked them my last visit if they had it but the valet guys where clueless. Hopefully it got worked out.

  9. #19
    Owner/Investor/Advocate TXjak's Avatar
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    FWIW, KOAs have NEMA 14-50 outlets and some have cabins. From what I've read of people taking road trips, there may or may not be a charge to charge.
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  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsm363 View Post
    Thanks for the summary. This is disappointing. I started working with the property manager there maybe in mid 2011 to get chargers installed. I had them lined up with 70A ClipperCreek J1772 chargers that take credit cards and was told it was a go. Somehow many months later that got changed to what they have now. Oh well, once it's working I guess it will be better than nothing but sorry if putting it on the list made things tough on you. I was assured by the property manager by e-mail in August that it was up and running but hadn't had time to check it myself.

    This just goes to show you that even when you go through every step like you did and ask those important 3 questions that there still are no assurances unless you have someone physically go and check the charger for you to make sure it works.
    6-1-2013, I was at the Hilton AUSTIN, and the Chargepoint did just fine. You have to have your Chargepoint card, and your J1772 adapter, BUT IT WORKS. Tap the card, it unlocks, and you pull the J1772 out, plug it up to your adapter, and slide it into the port. SO, Excellent, we have the Hilton Austin back !! By the way, there was no charge incurred on my account for the juice either.
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