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Old 08-23-2011, 03:01 PM   #1
AVANTI R5
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Default Citing a Lack of Usage, Costco Removes EV Chargers




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Costco, the membership warehouse-club chain, was an early leader in offering electric-vehicle charging to its customers, setting an example followed by other retailers, including Best Buy and Walgreen. By 2006, Costco had installed 90 chargers at 64 stores, mostly in California but also some in Arizona, New York and Georgia. Even after General Motors crushed its EV1 battery cars, the Costco chargers stayed in place. Yet just as plug-in cars like the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt enter the market, Costco is reversing course and pulling its chargers out of the ground, explaining that customers do not use them.
“We were early supporters of electric cars, going back as far as 15 years. But nobody ever uses them,” said Dennis Hoover, the general manager for Costco in northern California, in a telephone interview. “At our Folsom store, the manager said he hadn’t seen anybody using the E.V. charging in a full year. At our store in Vacaville, where we had six chargers, one person plugged in once a week.”
Read the entire article at the: NY Times Wheels Blog
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Old 08-23-2011, 04:03 PM   #2
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It would be better for stores to have free public phone chargers like they do in Asia. Seriously, everybody needs those.
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Old 08-23-2011, 04:13 PM   #3
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Costco had EV chargers?
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Old 08-23-2011, 05:29 PM   #4
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I wonder if the chargers were the old school spec, or the SAE J1772 spec. If they were the old spec, no wonder they weren't being used.

"Here's a brand new netbook PC with USB, Hdmi, and ethernet ports...oh and we threw in a PS/2 tipped wired mouse".
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Old 08-24-2011, 01:39 AM   #5
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Costco had EV chargers?
Yes they did back when the EV1 was around. That car was way ahead of its time.
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Old 08-24-2011, 02:05 AM   #6
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Costco encourages early adoption, then pulls the plug as the EVs are just starting to get rolling. Funny. How many of their customers did they expect to suddenly have EVs at once, and of those how many did they expect to charge away from home? Sheesh, the volume takes time to build up!
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Old 08-24-2011, 11:10 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lboogie
I wonder if the chargers were the old school spec, or the SAE J1772 spec. If they were the old spec, no wonder they weren't being used.

"Here's a brand new netbook PC with USB, Hdmi, and ethernet ports...oh and we threw in a PS/2 tipped wired mouse".
It sure sounds like this is the issue. From the OP's linked article:

"The Costco outlets are also outdated by current standards, but a state-supported program stands ready to upgrade them at no cost to Costco."
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Old 08-24-2011, 11:13 AM   #8
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Might it be becasue if you are going to a warehouse store you might need more hauling capacity than the current crop of EV's provide?

Just a thought...
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Old 08-24-2011, 12:19 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by shikataganai View Post
"The Costco outlets are also outdated by current standards, but a state-supported program stands ready to upgrade them at no cost to Costco."
Priorities first!
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Old 08-24-2011, 03:07 PM   #10
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Maybe it is because the average costco shopper drives an older car and is not really all that worried about protraying an environmentally friendly image. Not many enviroyuppies shop at costco.

Most costco folks do not have the cash for a 40k dollar compact sedan. IF they did, they would not need to shop at costco.

I know it is stereotyping, but the same folks who shop at costco, shop at walmart. And the average clientel that go to walmart are more your F250 croud, not your Nissan Leaf crowd.
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Old 08-24-2011, 05:08 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by SCRAPPYDO View Post
I know it is stereotyping, but the same folks who shop at costco, shop at walmart. And the average clientel that go to walmart are more your F250 croud, not your Nissan Leaf crowd.
Huh?

Costco customers and Walmart customers are about as far apart as you can get, and Costco customers have a lot deeper pockets. You certainly don't shop there to save money .

In any case I can't blame them for pulling out the chargers. Even with the most optimistic rates of adoption the rate of EVs versus gasoline powered cars is essentially zero. Unless Costco wants to push an agenda, there's no good economic reason to maintain the unused infrastructure.
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Old 08-24-2011, 05:18 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCRAPPYDO View Post
Maybe it is because the average costco shopper drives an older car and is not really all that worried about protraying an environmentally friendly image. Not many enviroyuppies shop at costco.

Most costco folks do not have the cash for a 40k dollar compact sedan. IF they did, they would not need to shop at costco.

I know it is stereotyping, but the same folks who shop at costco, shop at walmart. And the average clientel that go to walmart are more your F250 croud, not your Nissan Leaf crowd.
If you actually care Costco doesn't have the same clientele as walmart.

http://www.coriolisresearch.com/pdfs...ing_Costco.pdf (slide 30)

Costco 54% affluent
Walmart 25% affluent

As always when possible I link to actual data for such statements. I like to learn from what others link as well.
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Old 08-24-2011, 05:34 PM   #13
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Well that is interesting and very suprising. Where I live, many people I know who love costco and walmart do infact fall into my two catagories. I should have said your experiences may vary lol
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Old 08-24-2011, 05:52 PM   #14
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I see plenty of Prii in Costco parking lots around here in hippie country. Obviously those aren't plug-in vehicles, but those who own plug-ins would tend to have more $$$ than non-plug in buyers at this point. Putting charging stations in more upscale/nu-hippie retail locations; whole foods markets, trader joes, modernized shopping malls, Apple Stores, makes sense. Wal-Mart/Target....notsomuch right now.
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Old 08-25-2011, 12:50 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCRAPPYDO View Post
Maybe it is because the average costco shopper drives an older car and is not really all that worried about protraying an environmentally friendly image. Not many enviroyuppies shop at costco.

Most costco folks do not have the cash for a 40k dollar compact sedan. IF they did, they would not need to shop at costco.

I know it is stereotyping, but the same folks who shop at costco, shop at walmart. And the average clientel that go to walmart are more your F250 croud, not your Nissan Leaf crowd.
that's a bit shortsighted statement at least coming from where i live and my experiences. when you buy in bulk like you do at costco you have to have the money to buy ahead. people that live paycheck to paycheck can not afford to go to costco, and having been there many times with my parents and on my own a quick shopping trip to get a few things turns into a few hundred bucks in an instant. not to mention the cost of a membership for a year. costco caters heavily to businesses as well.
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Old 08-25-2011, 09:12 AM   #16
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Five Million Plug-In Cars Sold By 2017 Pike Says




More than 5 million battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles (PHEVs) will be sold globally during the next six years as a combination of rising fuel prices, more stringent greenhouse-gas standards and government incentives will offset the effect of new alternative-fuel vehicles taking longer to get to the market than previously expected, Pike Research said in a report released this week. The U.S. is expected to surpass Japan as the largest producer of plug-in electric vehicles (BEVs and PHEVs) in 2013, while China is slated to become the largest consumer market of plug-in EVs by 2016.

Cumulative sales of plug-in electrics will reach 5.2 million vehicles in 2017, up from 114,000 vehicles this year, Pike Research said in the report. By 2017, Asia Pacific will account for almost half the consumer purchases of electric-drive vehicles, while North America and Western Europe will each account for about 25 percent, according to Pike Research. Additionally, cumulative sales of hybrid-electric vehicles will total 8.7 million units in 2017. Since 2002, about 2 million hybrids -- most of them Toyota Prius sedans -- have been sold in the U.S., according to Pike Research.

The cumulative sales totals are actually about 6 percent less than Pike Research's forecast last year, which indicated that annual global plug-in electric vehicle sales would surpass the 1 million mark in 2015. Most of that decline is from vehicle delays and cancellations between 2010 and 2013, Pike Research Senior Analyst Dave Hurst told AutoObserver. So far in the U.S., the only full-fledged plug-in electric vehicles mass-produced for the public are General Motors' Chevrolet Volt PHEV and the Nissan Leaf BEV. Ford's Focus Electric BEV and the Mitsubishi i (formerly the i-MiEV) BEV will debut in the U.S. later this year.

Meanwhile, the U.S. will leapfrog Japan as the world's biggest producer of plug-in electric vehicles in 2013, according to Pike Research. In addition to the Focus Electric, Ford will introduce at least four other electrified vehicles in North America and Europe by 2013. Additionally, General Motors said last week that it would bring its Cadillac Converj PHEV luxury coupe to market as the Cadillac ELR, though offered few details. Through the first seven months of the year, Nissan sold about 4,800 Leafs in the U.S. while GM sold about 2,900 Volts.
AutoObserver.com.
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Old 08-25-2011, 10:40 AM   #17
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Sounds like Pikes Research is heavily invested in EV's. No freaking way we go from 112,000 to 5 million. I will sit back and keep laughing at this.

Two threads in this forum say how volt sales have all but died, and now this guy is trying to revamp the hype of EV. I think it is funny those who try to force a trend on the US public.

Actually not so funny...now that I think about it. All manner of crap has been brainwashed into our society...
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Old 08-25-2011, 11:09 AM   #18
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the EV and hybrid thing is going to go bust. Why buy them when you can get decent non-****box cars getting high 30s or even 40+ mpg?
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Old 08-25-2011, 11:31 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arghx7
the EV and hybrid thing is going to go bust. Why buy them when you can get decent non-****box cars getting high 30s or even 40+ mpg?
Multiple reasons:

1) buyers motivated by non-economic factors
2) buyers overreacting to gas price swings
3) buyers who realize that a "40 mpg" econobox that gets more like 30 mpg combined, if that, is not equivalent to a larger, nicer hybrid that gets 40 or even 50 mpg combined
4) economic incentives for the BEV and PHEV crew
5) people with foresight who are willing to risk being ahead of the curve for at least a few years
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Old 08-25-2011, 12:29 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shikataganai View Post
1) buyers motivated by non-economic factors
Which is a small minority.

Quote:
2) buyers overreacting to gas price swings
Temporary, and goes both ways.

Quote:
3) buyers who realize that a "40 mpg" econobox that gets more like 30 mpg combined, if that, is not equivalent to a larger, nicer hybrid that gets 40 or even 50 mpg combined
The number of hybrids that are bigger, nicer, and 40 mpg aren't very common, and there isn't anything at the 50 mpg level but a basic Prius and it's cheaper & smaller.

Quote:
5) people with foresight who are willing to risk being ahead of the curve for at least a few years
Given the typical life span of a vehicle and the state of the economy, planning for returns that won't materialize for at least five years is not foresight, it's wishful thinking .
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Old 08-25-2011, 03:49 PM   #21
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Bravo.. well said.

harsh reality back up by slow sales proves all your points Rootus.
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Old 08-25-2011, 04:09 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keepclam View Post
Costco encourages early adoption, then pulls the plug as the EVs are just starting to get rolling. Funny. How many of their customers did they expect to suddenly have EVs at once, and of those how many did they expect to charge away from home? Sheesh, the volume takes time to build up!
Exactly ! Nissan customers in the SF Bay Area have just started to take delivery of the Leaf. I think they started to show up in June or so. People had left deposits on these cars months ago. Actually, 2 guys at work are asking the company to install recharge stations for their Leaf .

Last edited by neg_matnik; 08-25-2011 at 04:15 PM.
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Old 08-25-2011, 04:12 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Rootus View Post
Which is a small minority.

The number of hybrids that are bigger, nicer, and 40 mpg aren't very common, and there isn't anything at the 50 mpg level but a basic Prius and it's cheaper & smaller.

Given the typical life span of a vehicle and the state of the economy, planning for returns that won't materialize for at least five years is not foresight, it's wishful thinking .
I plan to have gasoline vehicles in the future… but will also try to have at least one BEV around with enough solar/wind to be self-sufficient off the grid. Such a gamble might not pay off in my lifetime but when my future grandkids inherit the land (as in literally, my land, not as in a figure of speech) they'll welcome my foresight.

I bet that the number of non-economically minded consumers is much higher than you allow for. After all, everything above the most basic econobox that's reliable enough for a low TCOS reflects being motivated by something other than pure cheapness, and many people are seeking an outlet for their "white guilt," like it or not.

Oh, and with regard to 40 mpg nice, somewhat roomy hybrids, the just-revised 2012 Camry Hybrid is exactly that beast. Between 41/38 and 43/39 mpg depending on trim so a comfortable 40 mpg combined, and $26-27k.

http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-13746_7...ore-efficient/
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Old 08-25-2011, 04:14 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by SCRAPPYDO View Post
Bravo.. well said.

harsh reality back up by slow sales proves all your points Rootus.
I hate to intrude on your fantasy, but the Leaf is actually selling quite well: http://green.autoblog.com/tag/nissan%20leaf%20sales/

Over 10k sold worldwide, on pace to sell 12k in the US alone this year despite the Fukushima-related slowdowns.
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Old 08-25-2011, 04:15 PM   #25
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said camry renders cars like the volt completely dead on arrival. And this will only get worse year after year.
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