South Coast Plaza unveils networked car-charging stations

South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa has installed high-tech electric-vehicle charging stations that will do a lot more than just juice up your car while you get your shopping fix.
Ed-Begley-cuts-the-ribbon.jpgThe charging stations, by Coulomb Technologies, are actually networked, meaning their high-tech wizardly can do things like send you a text message when your car is fully charged, or enable you to find a station via Google maps on a cell phone.

South Coast Plaza says it is the first shopping center in the nation to be using this technology, and it joins other green efforts at the site such as  a waste-water disposal program  and the use of drought-tolerant plants. The stations, which are free to use, are located in the lower-level parking structure by the Crate & Barrel Home Store at 3333 Bear St. At present there are just two stations available, but that number has the potential for much growth as mainstream electric vehicles such as the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf come to market as early as this year.

Ed Begley Jr., co-star of the Planet Green series Living With Ed, took part in a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the charging stations April 24 along with local officials. Begley himself drove his plug-in Toyota RAV4 to the event, but the vehicles plug in was not compatible with the new charging systems. The new systems will, however, be suitable for the new and coming crop of electric vehicles. According to a South Coast Plaza spokeswoman, the charging stations are already influencing shoppers. A Tesla owner from Anaheim Hills came to the ribbon cutting, said Beverly Morgan, and she said now that the stations are installed, she will start shopping here.
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