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July 13: Pricing the power

Tue, 13 Jul 2010

I got down to the car to drive home last night at about 11:00 p.m. and found that it had not been charging all day. I had plugged the cord into the wall outlet, plugged the cord into the car and walked off, without peering through the driver's window to see if the little red electrical plug light was on. I had about half a “tank” left so I made it home okay, but it highlights another reason to have some kind of indicator on the cable or better yet on the receptacle of the car that indicates a connection was made and the battery is recharging.

I plugged it in when I got home and at 6:00 a.m. when I went to look at it, it was almost full, only one bar to go. I left it plugged in for another two hours and by then it indicated full.

I drove a few errands then into the office 22 miles with the a/c on and ate up 7 bars, or 7 kWhs. Since that had been charged overnight off peak it could have been 84 cents. Closer scrutiny of the information I'd been given by SCE shows that I pay 12 cents per kWh in Tier 1. My house has been in Tier 1 forever. That could change with the gerrymandering of my bill, but even at Tier 2 the cost is only 14 cents.

The car is down in the parking garage recharging.

Mazda came through with a 220-volt 20-amp plug for Saturday. I will plug into the electrical outlet the powers their tire balancer.

By Mark Vaughn