Costco says, their EV chargers were not used often enough to maintain

Costco says, their EV chargers were not used often enough to maintain

In the Southern California, there are many Costco warehouse stores & most of them are equipped with old paddle chargers that no one uses. I emailed to them a few days ago to suggest updating the equipment & this is the reply I got. (see below)

My suggestion to you:
Email your local stores/franchises to let them know that you are interested in charging your EV, and you will "vote" with your wallet! Maybe they will install/update their charging stations.



Tuesday, August 20, 2013 9:55 AM

We appreciate you taking the time to email Costco Wholesale.

We are very excited about the movement to go green and so we installed car charging stations at some of our Costco warehouses.
Unfortunately they were very costly to maintain and no one was using them.
We will forward this over to our buyers to make them aware of the interest you have in them and it's something we can consider bringing back at some point.

Thank you,

Christina D.
Member Service Center
Costco Wholesale Corporation

ian | August 20, 2013

Sounds to me like they were ahead of the curve a bit. Especially if they had paddle chargers. Hopefully they will see that the next generation of EV's has arrived and they will update their charging stations to accommodate us.


AmpedRealtor | August 20, 2013

Huh, why doesn't Tesla just rent out some space at Costcos across the country and install some superchargers. I go to Costco a lot and it would be nice to grab a full charge while I shop! :)

Sanjuro88 | August 20, 2013

I've been emailing the shopping malls in our area (Greater Los Angeles) and giving them thumbs-up for the ones with EV charging stations, while warning the ones that don't have them (ie. the Beverly Center, Beverly Connections etc) that I won't patronize them anymore.

I always tell them,

1. EV owners are generally affluent (true for Tesla owners for sure)


2. the charging process takes a few hours & the consumers will vote with their wallets.

I wonder if we (Tesla Owners) could band together and make a collective statement demanding charging stations from Starbucks, McDonalds, Costco etc?

kidjay | August 20, 2013

Count me in!

AmpedRealtor | August 20, 2013

@ Sanjuro88,

You may find you'll get a better response with honey rather than vinegar. "Warning" establishments that you will stop visiting them and "demanding" EV plugs at their locations is only going to get you labeled as a crackpot and your request will be quickly routed to the trash bin. You have no right for any of this, and any business who opts to install an EV outlet is doing so for your convenience but not due to any obligation on their part. So please, let's make this a fruitful endeavor rather than a negative one.

Sanjuro88 | August 20, 2013

Agreed... but I did mention that "we vote with our wallets!"

joepruitt | August 20, 2013

The problem I have with my 85kw Model S is that I rarely ever get below 50% charge. With that said, I can not justify plugging in for a fee anywhere except my garage where I get a max $.11/kWh - way cheaper than paying for Blink/Chargepoint/etc. Other Model-S owners probably have the same situation.

Now, if the chargers were free, I'd definitely make use of them if there were plenty available - I wouldn't likely take the last one as I mentioned above that I rarely need it.

Were the Costco chargers free or pay-for? I don't recall there being any in the Seattle area...


Brian H | August 20, 2013

No threats. It's just "money talks" chit-chat!

Sanjuro88 | August 20, 2013


Many Costco warehouses in the Greater Los Angeles area have prominent "EV charging stations" signs and old-fashioned paddle chargers.

I know Torrance Costco has two J-1772 chargers (Chargepoint & free of charge). I do believe they upgraded from paddle chargers recently.

If we are going to have an EV revolution that Elon envisions... with Model X, Gen3, and LEAFs/Volts/eBMWs everywhere in near future, we'd better have a plethora of charging infrastructure to support them on the road.

I am not aware of any consumer movement (Plug in America???) that promotes the adoption of the EV charging stations... do you?

Dcp9142 | August 20, 2013

They deactivated all their chargers in early 2011 here in Sacramento, just before the first LEAFs and Volts were being sold. The old chargers needed to be updated to J1772 to be useful. That update in California was to be done free of charge, supported by a government grant. The contractor, Aerovironment took over a year to do that. Meanwhile, Costcos chargers were long gone.

shs | August 20, 2013

I think that many if not all of the paddle type chargers can be updated with a J1772 cord set, available from Amazon for $169. So it shouldn't be a big deal.

bent | August 21, 2013

How far do you people have to drive to go to the store? The capacity of the Model S battery pack is so huge I don't see why it would ever be necessary to charge while buying groceries except perhaps if going on a lengthy road trip for shopping is a common occurrence?

With my Roadster, I don't even bring a charge cable along most of the time because I never need it except when I'm on a road trip. Charging at the store is something I've always thought of as a quaint notion for people with Nissan Leafs and other old-school type EVs, it should be a non-issue for a Tesla.

AmpedRealtor | August 21, 2013

QUESTION - are these chargers free or paid?

If the chargers are free, great! But as a Model S owner with an 85 kWh battery, I won't ever run out of charge while on a shopping day. If those charging spots were for free charging I might consider it, but if they are for paid charging then forget it! I can charge at home for free during the day (solar) or for 3.5¢ per kWh at night. It doesn't make sense to pay for public charging when a) I don't need it, and b) it's free or much cheaper to charge at home.

It seems to me that these types of chargers are not going to benefit Model S owners, but will be more of a benefit to owners of Leafs and other EVs where range is limited and need to be charged while jetting about town.

ChristianG | August 21, 2013

charging will be a problem for a long time, I don't think it's easy to make money from chargers and unless you can make money with them only enthusiasts will build them.

So even when many of the cars will be electric they probably will not put on that many charging stations. They will assume that you take a car with enough range to visit them and by that time that will also be true for most EVs.

skulleyb | August 21, 2013

The Cost Co in Sherman Oaks Off Sepulveda Blvd took out the charges they once had :(

skulleyb | August 21, 2013

Cost Co = COSTCO

Brian H | August 21, 2013

Searching for and using outside charging is one of the things an 85 battery should spare you, except in emergencies or on planned trips.

jbunn | August 21, 2013

Hmmmm... Paddle chargers, eh? That was a popular standard.

This does explain why Costco is not filling the horse watering trough in front of the store eiether.

MandL | August 22, 2013

I too am rarely in the mood to bother with the public charging stations. The J1772 adapter sticks in my charge port and sometimes is a hassle to remove, the cables are too short to charge unless you back in, and I don't need the juice anyway. If there were HPWCs I might be more likely to use them, but even then it would mostly be for showing off and / or scoring a prime space. I almost never shop anywhere long enough to get a significant amount of charge at 30 amps anyway.

AmpedRealtor | August 22, 2013

Apparently due to a variety of factors (impending bankruptcy, design defects, who knows what else), Blink just capped a bunch of their chargers nationwide at 16A. Apparently the J1722 plug melts or severely overheats at 30A. That's a great way to run a charging network - render it utterly useless and then wonder why nobody comes.

AmpedRealtor | August 22, 2013

Meant J1772, sorry.

Code4Ever | August 23, 2013

Having tesla put a charging station @ costco is awesome, by the time I am done shopping car is ready to go.

Alex K | August 26, 2013

@shs | AUGUST 20, 2013: I think that many if not all of the paddle type chargers can be updated with a J1772 cord set, available from Amazon for $169. So it shouldn't be a big deal.

The paddle type chargers are inductive and a totally different system than the J1772 EVSE. There are some older Avcon ( connector chargers (not sure if they have them at Costco) that can be upgraded to the new J1772 connector.