The challenge with driving a ton of miles is picking “significant mileage” for these posts… I can pick the even 5k or 10k blocks… And that’s fine and dandy. However, I find myself STILL smarting over the season that was for my Lakers.
So, at first I thought I could be Magical and lucky with a post from 32,888 miles
or maybe one Kobe and Kareem Abdul Jabbar inspired…
even Magic and Kareem
or just Kareem…
Or just a repeating 33,333…
Either way… I do drive a lot. And I figure, I’m a day or two off from my 15th month in my ActiveE.
So, what have I learned since 22,222… or 30,000 for that matter
I drive with a lot more space between myself and the car in front of me…In order to maximize the really aggressive regenerative braking that I get on the ActiveE, and enhance my single pedal driving that I enjoy. I’ve found that I tend to leave a LOT MORE space between myself and the car in front of me. This is fine for a lot of things, but I have to be MINDFUL of folks that would zip in front of me! People in the Southern California area see the space that I’ve left between myself and the car in front and want to cut in front of me to get to that spot.
A converted BMW does have some drawbacks…Around the world (at least in California), fellow BMW drivers seem to be the subject of derision in that we, as a stereotype, tend to be more aggressive and use our “ultimate driving machines” as they were meant to be driven. The Active E looks like a 1 series with all sorts of racing striping on it. Thus folks expect me to drive very aggressively. Which I do, on more than one occasion. However, when I need to push the mileage and have to try to “hyper” mile the car, I have to drive rather conservatively. I may seldom drive over 65 mph, sometimes closer to 60 mph on Southern California freeways. Fellow drivers DO NOT expect a BMW to drive in this manner and tend to embolden others to take out whatever frustrations they may have on said BMW driver and I’ve had many a driver attempt to goad me to be more aggressive with my vehicle. (which I would have gladly done if I were NOT trying to extend range than speed). People will honk at you for no reason, and you just have to adapt to it. They’re just not used to BMW drivers who drive in such a conscientious manner (in my case when I try to hyper-mile.)
This was covered in the post, but be mindful of starting your gas cars every now and then so that they don’t die on you. As a family, we’ve been closer to 80% Electric to 20% ICE in our hybrid garage and continue to try to increase that.
I’ve changed from cursing at traffic to looking at how “efficiently” I’m driving!I’ve become more “zen” at my travels. I plan my trip more and I welcome the time that I hit traffic as the opportunity to be more efficient in my use of energy. It’s kinda weird.
Anyway, approximately nine months left until I have to return my ActiveE. Wondering what I’ll have to rename my blog to once I get my Tesla Model S (still holding on to hopes of a Fiat 500e or BMW i3 as well.) Enjoying the rEVolution and hitting the “sunnier” part of the year. I am anticipating actually getting a refund from Southern California Edison for the power generated vs. used for my home from the PVs on the roof. Fingers crossed.
Blue to Green! Measures toward being energy efficient will be instituted- new water valves, flush fixtures, waterless urinals, etc.
11:38 AM 08 Jan 13
Wow. I thought. This is really going to happen! The Dodgers will definitely be upgrading the chargers in Lot N for EV Dodger fans (heck even EV Opposing team fans can plug in).
Well, my excitement just got squashed by a very nice follow up email from Reconnect CA/Clipper Creek-
From: Stacey Barhydt <Stacey@clippercreek.net> To: Dennis Pascual Sent: Wednesday, January 16, 2013 2:36 PM Subject: Re: Fwd: Eligible upgrade site for Reconnect – Dodger Stadium
Hope you’ve been well and having a Happy New Year! I had a note to contact you about Dodgers Stadium and the EV Charging stations . . . unfortunately we just found out that they are demolishing this site and accompanying infrastructure to make way for some new plans.
New infrastructure won’t be available for some time, thus they’ll miss the grant deadline.
Very sorry! But maybe the parking lot will be better in the future.
Thanks again for all your efforts, we really appreciate it!
Reconnect CA Program Support
530-887-1674 x 312
I guess the Dodgers Tweet was just PR… They’ve decided to go backwards on their commitment to the environment… (which is a shame.) These new enhancements to Dodgers Stadium just took out the Prime Ticket Section that I was sitting in last year to watch the 8 or so Dodgers game that I went to under the Premium Mini Plan that we decided to sign up for with our 2011-2012 Lakers Playoffs budget. (credit another early Lakers playoffs exit with those funds.)
So, Guggenheim Baseball Management (Mark Walter, Magic Johnson, Stan Kasten, Peter Guber, Bobby Patton and Todd Boehly) what are you guys going to do for your EV driving Dodgers fans? What made you guys decide to back-track on EV chargers at Dodger Stadium? Or do we still blame part of it on Frank McCourt because he’s still part of the parking lots around Dodger Stadium? There were some old legacy chargers in Lot N. Sure, it was a far walk from where my seats had been (you’ve torn up that section, so I’m not sure where I’ll be sitting next year since it would look like the Lakers probably won’t be in the Playoffs in 2012-2013 and I will have my early summer free, though… the Kings might be getting some of those dollars as well now that the NHL has pulled its head out of its…)
So, rather than just complain, let me propose something else… a mix of 110V and 240V chargers in ALL Dodger Stadium Parking Lots. A Baseball game can go for 3-4 hours. Some of your PHEV like the Volt or plug in Prius can use gas and can be filled up over 110V just fine during the game. Those that need a faster charge (such as the Leaf or my ActiveE) and are pure EV can use the Level 2/240V chargers during that time to get their capacity back. 110V can do in a pinch to at least get enough juice to get to another 240V elsewhere. That would show that the Dodgers really are looking to go from Blue to Green! If you really wanted to understand your crowd, I would even suggest some higher capacity NEMA 14-50 for those Dodgers fans that are just now taking delivery of their Tesla Model S (I’m anticipating getting mine during the dog days of August and beginning of September.) C’mon Dodger Ownership!
The Dodgers and practically any business can get some of its costs to install chargers back with grants that have authorized some reimbursement for installing public charging facilities.
Lastly, I got the following email from Chargepoint today –
You May Qualify for up to $1,000 in Tax Credits
Did you install an EV home charging station in 2012 or have plans to install one in 2013? We have some great news for you. The recent fiscal cliff deal passed by Congress includes tax credits for purchase and installation of an electric vehicle charging station. The Section 30C credit for Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property includes a credit of up to $1,000 for purchase and installation of a charging station for personal use.
Additionally, Section 30C includes a 30 percent credit, capped at $30,000 for business/investment use per site. This means that any ChargePoint customer who installed EV charging stations in 2012 or who plans to install EV charging stations in 2013 may qualify for up to a $30,000 tax credit per site. So tell your employer or favorite retailer (hint, hint).
Out of the six games this past weekend, we decided to try to make it to all six initially, but was too late to make it to the Thursday Night LA Kings victory.
So, we started our Downtown LA long weekend with the Fleming’s Steak House on Thursday night. A very good national steak house with a very good wine list. However, if you find yourself in the area, I prefer the Palm.
The Lakers in-game production is quite a spectacle and it always starts with an awesome tip-off video like below –
At this point in the series, the Lakers were down 2-0 and needed a victory to regain the momentum of the series. We sat in our regular Section 216 seats for this game.
This was the playoffs, and the Lakers came in and executed in this game.
The Oklahoma City Thunder put long-time Lakers favorite Derek Fisher on Kobe Bryant in this game and my better half had some good shots of them together:
It does look like they gave each other high-fives here!
As with all Lakers games, we had our celebrities out as well
Denzel in his understated New York Yankees Hat.
Jack Nicholson in shades and Andy Garcia, not in his usual seats in Section 113, but courtside.
AC Green spotted in the crowd.
Penny Marshall with Denzel.
Thank goodness for a very hot shooting night from the free-throw line, the Lakers won this game and the series became 2-1.
So, game one of five of our weekend was complete…
Next up, was a 12:30 pm Saturday Clippers game against the San Antonio Spurs.
We sat in Section 210 for this game and there are some stark difference between Lakers and Clippers games. First, Staples Center is darkened for all but the court for Lakers games. The crowd sits in darkness, much like a boxing match, whereas the Clippers crowd is bathed in gymnasium lighting. Second, Clippers fans are a LOT louder than Lakers fans (side note, I AM A LAKER FAN.) That being said, I always root for the Clippers when they are not playing against my Lakers. However, I was not as emotionally invested in this game and the Clippers ended up blowing a rather sizable early lead to lose to the Spurs.
Here is an interesting crowd photo of our weekend, note the Clipper, Laker, and Kings attire in the crowd.
A photo from the seats to show what the view was like.
Not being familiar with who attends these games, I believe Billy Crystal is the big Clipper Celebrity fan, no shots of any celebs.
Game two of our weekend ended in a loss, so we were rather subdued, but had to take figure out what to do in downtown L.A. for four hours in between Clippers and Lakers games, so we decided to take in a movie at the Regal 14 at L.A. Live. We saw Battleship, which was a BAD movie with not enough explosions to redeem itself.
However, it did keep us cool and entertained while we get ourselves ready for the 7:30 pm tip of the first of two Staples Center doubleheaders that weekend.
Game three of five for us was the Los Angeles Lakers Game Four of the Second Round. This was a hard one to take for Lakers fans. The team lost this game on the home floor and had the victory in hand, before it was lost. We were in our regular Section 216 seats that evening.
Ashton Kutcher was courtside for game four. (I blame him for the loss ;-))
Andy Garcia was in his regular Section 113 seats. Maybe it is HIS fault, since he changed seats for this game versus Game 3 of the series! Perhaps he should’ve sat courtside again.
Either way, I and a few of my closest fellow Lakers fans were disappointed that evening.
Thus Game Three of our Five Games at Staples Center ended in a massive disappointment with the Lakers trailing the series 3-1. Still better than their Staples Center neighbors at 3-0, but Lakers fans don’t compare the team against other teams, they compare them against past Lakers Championship teams.
Another disappointing game, so we headed back home for some respite and hopeful that the Kings and Clippers can do better on Sunday… Boy were we wrong.
Sunday was an interesting day in this weekend of sports in that the Final leg of the AMGEN Tour of California bike race was ending at Staples Center/L.A. Live before the start of the Kings game.
So, I guess one could count the last leg as the Finals for this race.
Either way, we were back to Staples Center on Sunday for a 12 noon L.A. Kings Game 4 of the NHL Western Conference Finals versus the Phoenix Coyotes. The L.A. Kings, at this point were hoping to close out Phoenix and find themselves in the Stanley Cup for only the second time in their history.
Game Four of our Five Game Staples Playoff weekend was fun, however, the real Kings fans would’ve picked us up to be “new” fans. I was at the game with a short-sleeved shirt and was promptly chilly throughout the whole game. We sat at the San Manuel Club Restaurant above Section 215 for the game and enjoyed a bountiful and tasty brunch buffet as well as a good view of the game.
Our flickr stream has more photos, but I think video will give you a better feel.
Needless to say, Game Four of Five ended in a disappointment with the Kings ending up being shut out at home. At least we got a good meal, and great service at the San Manuel Club Restaurant at Staples Center.
Sunday was easier than the previous two days in that we got ourselves a room for Sunday night to Monday morning at the Ritz Carlton, L.A. Live. Parking is $40 valet only with in and out privileges.
Here is a panoramic shot of our room (on Monday morning).
The view from room 2358 for that weekend was quite nice.
So, after some rest at the Ritz, we went ahead and attended Game Five of our Five Playoff game Staycation in Downtown Los Angeles with our last game of the series with the Los Angeles Clippers hoping to stave off elimination against the San Antonio Spurs. Alas it was not meant to be…
We had great seats in Section 114 for this last game of the Clippers 2011-2012 season.
Once again, hats off to Clippers fans who seem to be louder than my fellow Lakers fans. And they really have a talented kid in Blake Griffin (pictured here defending Tim Duncan)
This is a nice panoramic crowd shot from my seat at Section 114.
Nice shot of the nearby basket.
At the end of the night, the Clippers succumbed to the San Antonio Spurs and were swept off the playoffs 4-0. Our weekend at Staples Center was a resounding thud with the Los Angeles home teams going 1-4. With the Lakers eventually losing Monday night in Oklahoma City and the Kings getting in the Stanley Cup with a road victory in Glendale, AZ versus the Phoenix Coyotes.
This conversion video from Youtube is rather impressive –
So. You may be asking yourself. Aside from four Los Angeles team losses, how does this past weekend relate to my ActiveE and EVs in general.
Well, it so happens that across the street from the Staples Center is L.A. Live. An entertainment, retail, restaurant, office, residential, and hotel complex par excellence. Currently charging is free, but the parking could be free (on non-game days AND with a minimum at one of the restaurants at the complex) to very expensive $30-$40 for the day.
At Staples Center, there lies a total of TEN (10) Blink Network Chargers. Now, I must reiterate that the Blink Network Chargers require two things to operate.
1) You need to have a Blink Card. (If you don’t have one, get one. They’re growing in SoCal, not as many as Chargepoint, but definitely growing.)
2) You need to use your ZIP Code to activate the charging process (like the Gas Stations you used to use when you pumped for gasoline.)
There are four chargers in the East Parking Lot.
Two in Parking Level 2 that are back to back from each other.
The other two are side by side in Parking Level 1.
There are four chargers in the West Parking Lot, these are at GROUND Level, around the corner from handicapped and the entrance. It’s almost adjacent to 11th Street.
Three face forward, and the fourth is by itself on a column.
And lastly, there are two chargers in Valet Parking at the Ritz Carlton/J.W. Marriott. Though the actual chargers are in L3 of the West Parking Lot.
One word of warning, the Valets at the Ritz are very helpful, but you need to instruct them on how to use your charger and how to check if it is working. The helpful valet that assisted me ALMOST did everything correctly, except he plugged me into a non-working EVSE. I had to move to the operational charger. Remember to give the Valet your Blink Card AND Zip Code to charge the car.
The Valet Parking is $40 for overnight guests. I don’t know what it is if you’re just visiting. Charging is free, however.
Here is my ActiveE in one of the valet spots:
and here is the other charger at the hotel Valet Parking.
Here is a photo of the non-working Blink charger at L.A. Live hotel valet parking (it should be fixed by now), it was stuck trying to read the RFID card.
It was an emotionally draining weekend and we were glad to have been able to get a room at the Ritz on Sunday night. Los Angeles home victories would’ve been sweeter, alas, one of the three teams are still playing in their playoffs and were looking ahead to the next season.