I learned recently that, upon becoming a Tesla owner, I will have use of the Tesla reserved parking spaces at the Houston Galleria. There are 4 or 5 of them roped off and 2 of them have Roadster chargers available.

This is a huge perk - not that I spend a lot of time at the Galleria (and when I do it's often just to visit the Tesla store). But when I go, if it happens to be on a weekend or during holiday shopping season or whatever, it can be a royal pain to find parking.

In addition, there are EV parking spots at places like Whole Foods (again, I rarely go but my wife likes it). And I was tipped off by someone on this board that my favorite restaurant Twin Peaks has two EV parking spots available only steps away, which I've yet to see occupied.

I don't anticipate actually needing to charge at any of these places since I'm getting the 85kwh battery, but I find that I'm very excited about the prospect of having VIP parking at many venues. [Side question: can I plug in at a public station without actually charging?]

Anyone else discover parking or other perks they will gain with the purchase of their Model S?

Schlermie | 13. oktober 2012

Free parking in downtown San Jose.

krogers | 14. oktober 2012

Free parking in San Jose is only for EV/hybrids purchased in San Jose. There are some forms to fill out, a small fee, and a sticker that needs to be on the car.

For regular (non-Tesla store) EV parking, when there is proper signage, you are only supposed to park there if you are charging. If you are not charging you can be ticketed or towed.

mrspaghetti | 14. oktober 2012


But as long as you're plugged in, is there any obvious way to see that you are not actually charging?

krogers | 14. oktober 2012

no...being plugged in is sufficient; presumption is that you are charging if plugged in. Again, all depends on the signage for the charging station.

Thumper | 14. oktober 2012

There are nice reserved spots with two chargers at Washington Square store near Portland OR. Spots are close to Nordstroms in covered parking. Very sweet.

Michael23 | 14. oktober 2012

I just realized a lot of sf parking lots have chargers. That would mean instead of driving around endlessly looking for a park I can just head for those spots. Nice!

space09 | 14. oktober 2012

@tesla.mrspaghetti: SOME people hog the spaces over there at the Houston Galleria: :-)

If you are looking for other places in Houston, check around the eVgo chargers, there are a lot around restaurants (Cheesecake Factory @ Memorial City Mall, Pappas Steakhouse, etc.). Haven also has EV parking:

s_curve | 14. oktober 2012

10 low emission vehicle spaces at my office at are about 20 paces from the side entrance to my building. Don't think I've ever seen more than three of them occupied at any given time.

sbern18 | 14. oktober 2012

Any spots like that in NYC or n.j.?

Peter Spirgel | 14. oktober 2012

For NJ RESIDENTS perks include.:

No sales tax on purchase of Model S!
Discounted toll rates using EZPass
An increasing number of dedicated parking spaces for EVs

Brian H | 14. oktober 2012

For the S, the blue lights around the charge port are on when actually charging, etc. So if you are aware of the "color code", it's easy to tell.

NJS1207 | 14. oktober 2012

Are there going to be any dedicated spots at the Short Hills Mall (NJ) once they open the store there?

mrspaghetti | 14. oktober 2012

@Brian H

True, but it's very unlikely any cops or meter maids will know the color code :)

MB3 | 14. oktober 2012

what happens to the color when the battery is topped off?

Jennifer Schaefer | 14. oktober 2012

Houston Galleria Parking- ugh! I have seen people nearly come to blows over a parking spot. That is a perk!

mrspaghetti | 14. oktober 2012


Glad someone else understands why I'm so excited about it :)

Velo1 | 14. oktober 2012

Park Meadows Mall outside Denver has a few covered parking spots for Tesla cars only. Right now they keep their test drive demo (Brown Performance) parked there, but there was room for a few more vehicles and chargers.

I only pray nobody (ICE car owner) gets pissed at this perk and decides to take it out on a car.

mrspaghetti | 14. oktober 2012


There's always a risk someone will mess with your car, regardless of where it's parked. I doubt it's any more likely in a reserved spot - probably less if anything.

Schlermie | 14. oktober 2012

I heard the charging lights shut off when the car is locked. Maybe I misunderstood though.

gimp_dad | 14. oktober 2012

@Schlermie you are correct. No lights are illuminated around the charge port when the car is locked. No one can tell anything. Locking the Model S also causes the plug to lock into the charge port of the car and both displays inside the car also go dark.

jbunn | 14. oktober 2012

Oooooookay..... Please use your new superpower only for good and never evil. With great power comes great responsibility.

gimp_dad | 14. oktober 2012

Not sure this is a superpower. Most charging stations in my area (CA bay area) bill you as long as you are plugged in. This gives incentive to move when you are fully charged. Of course for most of us we also have the incentive to help someone else who might need the charger.

Brian H | 15. oktober 2012

Hm, sounds like an app with the option to have the light operate even when "locked" would be useful sometimes.

mrspaghetti | 15. oktober 2012


They can only bill you if they know your credit card info. I've never had an EV, so forgive me if this is a dumb question, but is there some reason you couldn't plug in without providing said credit card info? Perhaps the charging cable is locked until you provide it or something? Otherwise there is nothing to stop you from 'faux charging'.

Note that I'd only do this if there were plenty of other charging spots available so as not to preclude others from actual charging.

Michael23 | 15. oktober 2012

A lot of places in sf have free charging if you pay for the lot.

kalikgod | 15. oktober 2012


Most chargers do the have the J1772 plug locked, so you can plug it in and never begin a charging session. It would be obvious to another EV driver that you had done this, but not to others who are familiar with what the charger should be displaying during a session.

This is probably not the most fair practice for other EV drivers, but when there are plenty of charging spots available, I think it is good for non-EV drivers to see that the cars exist and the chargers are there. This might not be as relevant in CA, but in Houston there is not quite the concentration of EVs yet.

If it is a fairness thing as far as paying for the charge/spot, go ahead and start a charging session. It will only cost $1 - $2 for the typical length of the stop.

It is also nice at particular restaurant with a notoriously bad parking situation ;)

kalikgod | 15. oktober 2012

Edit: "Most chargers do NOT have the J1772...

Joshua Burstyn | 15. oktober 2012

We are getting a brand new Tesla "store" at Yorkdale Mall in Toronto. I think it may open on November 16th. Parking is truly horrid there (as evidenced by a shopping trip last Saturday) and it'd be a welcome surprise to see some Tesla-only spots!

Thanks for the tip.

sxt173 | 16. oktober 2012

I went for the opening of the Paramus, NJ store and supposedly there are 5+ Tesla reserved parking spots by the store (although I did not see them) and other EV spots on the other side of the building.

Btw, the new store is awesome and they have a Model X beta out to look at, no touching though..

dahtye | 16. oktober 2012

I understand charging at a Tesla store is no cost. But we need to phone ahead to make an appointment to make sure they have a charge slot available.

Can anyone verify this?

mrspaghetti | 16. oktober 2012

No cost, according to the guy at the store in the Houston Galleria. Looks like first- come, first served. At this location the people in the store wouldn't know how many spots/chatters are available because the store is far from the parking garage.

mrspaghetti | 16. oktober 2012

That's "chargers"

gimp_dad | 16. oktober 2012

@kalikgod that has not been my experience in my area. Generally, even free chargepoint charge stations require a smartcard swipe before it will even release the J1772 connector for use. You have to have a credit card on file to get an active smartcard from chargepoint.

Especially the newer charge stations tend to behave this way and my guess is that you will see this more and more as time goes by for the very reasons being discussed. It won't be long before there are many times the number of EVs on the road compared to now and the number of charge stations will almost certainly lag the rate of growth in cars.

I don't expect this "perk" to last long. The areas where EVs already have relatively high penetration, strong affinity for green tech, a desire to reward green users and strong demand for parking like the banking district in San Francisco are already nearly impossible to find availability of charging stations.

mrspaghetti | 17. oktober 2012


There's an advantage to living in Houston :)

kalikgod & I are probably going to have VIP parking for years yet.