Pacific City Needs EV Charging

The following piece was drafted by Loving Husband, then sliced and diced by Yours Truly. It’s posted at

Well-done, sweetie. I’m so proud of you!

Pacific City Needs EV Charging

by Curt Finnegan

My wife and I live in Albany and last June purchased a Nissan Leaf all-electric vehicle (EV). With our dog, Agate, in tow, we frequent Cape Kiwanda, the Pelican Brewery, Bob Straub State Park, and everywhere in between. We were thrilled to learn that many areas in Oregon and Washington are now accessible to electric cars thanks to the West Coast Electric Highway:

We think an EV charging station located near the Cape and the Pelican Brewery would be an enormous asset to Pacific City. Local businesses would benefit greatly. We typically spend an afternoon (and many dollars) in and around the Pelican. And we’re just one of many EV families.

We’ve talked to Pelican Brewery management and voiced how it would be great to have an EV charging station nearby. Knowing how tight parking is at Cape Kiwanda, we agree the designated charging spots must be away from the best (read “close-in”) parking and enforced with a time limit.

An EV charging station runs from $400 to $600. See for some affordable options. The cost to install in a public use area would depend on where to tap into existing power, the type of outlet and local electrician rates and permits.

A variety of payment plans are available for current charging station companies. Some provide unlimited usage per month (like cell phones), some are time-based (how long you’re plugged in), and others are usage-based (number of kilowatt-hours drawn).

Even a NEMA 14-50 outlet or two would be beneficial. These are the most common outlets at an RV campground. This outlet would be the simplest and least expensive, possibly not even requiring special parking if placed smartly.

Our current solution is to pay Seascape RV Park (right across from the Pelican–ask for Bob) $5.00 for two hours’ use of a NEMA 14-50 outlet, if there is an open spot. More than two hours costs $10.00. It’s a bit spendy, but we’re glad to have that option available.

Electric vehicles are the future of automobile transportation. More and more drivers are looking for destinations where they can charge their cars and spend their money. The bottom line is, wherever we park and charge, we ultimately spend money at nearby businesses.

I can be reached at I am also listed on, a very helpful website and smartphone app for locating charging stations nationally. Through Plugshare, I can share my home station with anyone needing a charge.

Electric vehicles really bring out the community in you. I think that’s a great thing. I don’t mind avoiding the gas stations, either.

Curt Finnegan is a rabid fan of electric vehicles and other environmentally friendly technologies. He lives in Albany, Oregon, with his wife, Heather (and their four-legged, furry children) and works as an online technical support specialist at Linn-Benton Community College.

Me and Ricky Bobby

This will probably sound monotonous if you follow mytruenorth2013, but yesterday Husband, Happy Dog and I enjoyed another spectacular Oregon coast day.

Ocean waves

However, this time there was one major difference.  Here’s a teaser:  see if you can guess what we did in addition to having chowder and beer at Mo’s and being dragged down the beach by Happy Dog.

Tesla interior

That was way too easy.  Husband and I did, in fact, enter the Post-Tesla phase of our life together.  We attended a National Drive Electric Week event and had the opportunity to test-drive Steve’s Tesla Model S P85.

Steve in backseat

This is Steve in the back seat, calmly watching as my über-excited husband drives his $65,000 car down Highway 101.  Upon being asked “How can you let complete strangers drive your Tesla?” Steve replied, “It’s just a car.”

Hmmm, no.  It’s not just a car, Steve.  It’s a Magical Space Car.

By the way, über-excited Husband as of early June has a fancy electric car of his own.

Husband & Leaf

Husband also allows encourages coerces strongarms people into test-driving his car.  I’ve watched him gabbling endlessly about kilowatt hours and regen and charge adapters and other stuff interesting only to him and other like-minded EV geeks, and drag complete strangers off by their shirtsleeves to drive the Leaf.  Their feeble protests are no match for his eagerness to share with them every excruciatingly minute detail about it.  At least you’ve gotta admire his enthusiasm.

Husband claims the Leaf runs on fairy dust, and that old-school, ICE (internal combustion engine) cars run on “devil goo.”  I guess that makes my 2005 Prius a devil goo – fairy dust hybrid.

Quite frankly, during the pre-Tesla summer months, regardless of all the crap I’ve been giving him about it, the new Leaf was pretty cool in my book.  It plays a cute little boop-boop-beep-boop song after you push the start button and makes a fun sound as it backs up.  Plus it has SiriusXM radio, a cool GPS display and six cupholders.

Now, however, it is referred to as the Grandpa-Mobile.  This photo should clearly illustrate why:

O my god

This is me following Steve’s explicit directions to pull out onto Highway 101, make sure there was no one behind us, let the car ahead of us get way, way, WAAAAAAAY ahead, and then punch it.  I’ve enlarged the picture to highlight a number of key details:

  1. Raised eyebrows
  2. Death grip on steering wheel
  3. Pursed lips enunciating “Oh my god” and “Holy shit” over and over and over
  4. 56 mph showing on speedometer approximately 1.6 seconds after I stomped on the gas electron pedal

You have no idea what “Zero to sixty in four seconds” feels like until you experience it for yourself.  I can only liken it to sitting in the captain’s chair on the bridge of the Starship Enterprise as Mr. Sulu throws it into warp speed.

Starship Enterprise

I’m pretty sure I gave myself, Husband and Steve a mild case of whiplash.

If this were über-enthusiastic Husband’s blog, he would no doubt include reams and reams of illuminating, but ultimately boring technical details about Tesla Motors, each individual Tesla model, the Nissan Leaf, electric vehicles in general, kilowatt hours, battery levels, numbers, specs, graphs, data, pie charts and so on.  I don’t have the remotest interest in any of that.  Here’s what I care about, and ten reasons why I’ll never need to test-drive another vehicle ever again:

  3. It handles like a dream and is incredibly comfortable.
  4. It’s an electric vehicle, and, correspondingly, has no tailpipe farting out pollution to melt the polar caps or aggravate your child’s respiratory condition.
  5. You can drive it more than 250 miles before it needs charging.
  6. It’s completely, lusciously gorgeous inside and out.
  7. It’s totally stealthy.
  8. Everything is controlled by a super-cool, 17″ LCD touchscreen – no messy buttons, levers or dials cluttering up the dash.
  9. It has a panoramic roof, the front half of which opens.
  10. Tesla Motors is an American car company that renders every other American car company completely, utterly obsolete.

You can also special-order one with a high-end espresso machine that pops out of the glove compartment.

OK, not really.  But that would be pretty awesome.