“I can’t. I don’t have enough miles!”
Everyone who knows me has heard me say this at least once. I drive an electric car, and usually I don’t have enough charge in my car to take a friend home or grab lunch more than five miles away.
My mom specifically chose an electric vehicle for me so I could use the carpool lane when I drove myself to school and didn’t have to spend money on gas. With a full tank, my car can run up to 80 miles, which I thought was fine since I would just be going to and from school.Wrong.
Turns out, the distance from my house to Pinewood is 18.4 miles, which means I would be driving at least 36.8 miles per day. Since I use the highway and drive at a higher speed, it uses about ten miles more than the actual distance, meaning I would be using about 56.8 miles just to go to school and back.
On top of that, using the AC or the heater eats up about 15 miles, so I’m left with 8.2 miles of leeway. And this is only if my car behaves how I think it will.
Therefore, I have to use the charging stations in downtown Los Altos during my free periods – almost on a regular basis – to make sure I don’t run out of miles on the highway.
Menlo, Saint Francis, and Bellarmine all have official charging stations in their parking lots for both the faculty and students to use. While I understand that reserving parking spaces for electric vehicles may be difficult due to the already cramped parking lot, why not build a charging station in the parking spot in front of the marquee board? I rarely see cars parked there, and there’s enough space for a charging station.
Besides, I only know of one other student who drives an electric car, so it’s not like there would be a Hunger Game-esque altercation among the students in deciding who gets to use the charger.
The other issue would be the money it costs to erect a charging station. According to Google, installment costs about $6,000. Considering how eco-friendly electric cars are and how much gas money we would be saving, $6,000 seems like a deal.
With a charging station, I wouldn’t be stuck in downtown Los Altos during my free periods, and I would be able to drive to In-N-Out during lunch (although not being able to drive that far everyday is probably better for my health).