My Chevy Volt Experience: First Public Charging Station Visit

I’ve owned my Chevy Volt for about 5 weeks now and just a few days ago, I finally used my first public charging station.  It’s not that I didn’t want to use a public station before now – but my daily travels just never took me near one, so I’ve just been charging in my own garage.

Enter PlugShare.com and a few days off for the holidays, and I tracked down a great local charging station at the Annie Louise Wilkerson Nature Preserve.  As an added bonus, this location has some great walking trails and a very friendly staff – what’s not to like?

After about a 15 minute drive to the site, the access road opens to a beautiful field where the main building stands with a GE charging station at the far corner.

Extra-long charging cable!

Check out the extra-long charging cable…

Lucky for me it was no lines & no waiting on the day of my visit so I pulled right into the designated EV parking spot and connected the plug to my Volt’s charging port.

Within a few seconds the charging station recognized the connection and started charging my Volt – how easy is that?!

My dashboard indicated about 1.25 hours to fully recoup the 11 miles of charge, which sounded about right for a Level 2 (15-20AMP / 240V) charging station.

Nice parking spot!

Nice parking spot!

After snapping a few photos and taking a quick look around the building, I headed over to an information kiosk to check out the trail map.  There are about 3 miles of trails at this site – more than enough to keep me busy for an hour or so.

After walking the trails and having a nice chat with the staff inside the center, I headed back to my Volt about an hour after I arrived.  I was happily surprised to see that charging was complete and I was good to go!

The philosophical side of me took a moment to think over the experience:  I arrived quietly in my Volt, charged up using solar-augmented power, had a great hike in the woods and then silently drove away.  Almost no detectable trace was left, and barely any resources had been consumed.  Maybe it was my imagination, but the birds seemed to be chirping a little louder as I eased down the driveway 🙂

Overall, a great experience, and a nice opportunity to check out a local resource that I otherwise might not have taken the time to visit.  I’ll be back soon – probably with a lunch and maybe a book to read while I top off the Volt…

Former Wilkerson farm field - looking back toward the center building

Former Wilkerson farm field – looking back toward the center building and parking lot

Little stream in the woods on the 'hidden rocks' trail

A little stream in the woods on the ‘hidden rocks’ trail