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Posted at 1:09 PM ET, 01/12/2011

Mass. Ave. apartments get car charger

By Luke Rosiak

425 Mass, one of a string of luxury high-rises erected along a strip of Massachusetts Avenue NW near the Mount Vernon area in recent years, unveiled today the first residential electric car charging station in the District.

tesla.jpgAnd it did it in style, demonstrating the battery recharging station with a pair of sporty Tesla Roadsters.

Residents can park in the building's garage, plug in and, for a few dollars and a few hours, charge up. The cars can charging using regular outlets, but the high-voltage one reduces the time required.

"We are proud to be the first in DC to provide this modern, environmentally friendly amenity to our residential community," Robert Grealy, Area Vice President for Equity Residential, said in a statement. "With the advent of the new generation of electric cars, it is increasing[ly] important to provide a charging infrastructure for apartment residents who share a common garage."

The building's operators say they'll also soon introduce Zipcars in the apartment's garage--which would work remarkably well for the building's tenants, many of whom prefer an urban, car-free lifestyle but would appreciate access to a car without the environmental and other burdens that come with ownership.

In November, then-Mayor Adrian Fenty introduced the first public electric car charging station along 14th Street. Those were part of a stimulus grant which will install them throughout the country. College Park and Herndon also have stations.

By Luke Rosiak  | January 12, 2011; 1:09 PM ET
Categories:  District, Driving  
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Comments

I saw a Tesla Roadster on Van Dorn Street a month or two ago. Neat-looking car. I wanted to roll down my window and ask the guy about it, but I wasn't in a good position to do so. Strikes me as a bit impractical, though, because of its limited range combined with the six-figure price tag. I wouldn't have been able to drive one to Pittsburgh for the Winter Classic, for example, without stopping for a long time to recharge.

Posted by: 1995hoo | January 12, 2011 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Let's be practical here...do you think charging your car will be cheap??? If this lessens our dependence on gas it only means the price of electricity will drastically increase...If you don't think so just check your next electric bill if you have an all electric house...

Posted by: pentagon40 | January 13, 2011 12:15 AM | Report abuse

Let's be practical here...do you think charging your car will be cheap??? If this lessens our dependence on gas it only means the price of electricity will drastically increase...If you don't think so just check your next electric bill if you have an all electric house...

Posted by: pentagon40 | January 13, 2011 12:16 AM | Report abuse

"Let's be practical here...do you think charging your car will be cheap??? "

Agreed, but cost aside, right now I'm not sure about the environmental impact. We are still using a lot of fossil fuel to generate electricity. We need to start getting back to nuclear, now.

Posted by: BEEPEE | January 13, 2011 1:53 AM | Report abuse

This installation is generally a good thing. The citizens with means pay installers to hook up their expensive toys to the grid. As a result, the installers gain experience for when are tasked with a greater volume of projects. Furthermore, the kinks and efficiencies of such an installation get worked out now rather than when common citizens' garages are hooked up.

Also, I will take a leap and state that those who pay six figures for an automobile may feel less of a pinch 'at the plug' regardless of the cost. Not that the wealthy aren't price-aware -- they are. But their ability to absorb a cost which might hurt an average wage earner is greater.

Posted by: CB12 | January 13, 2011 8:13 AM | Report abuse

Great news! We should not begrudge those who can afford to be on the cutting edge! Welcome to the future! Hopefully ZipCar will get an electric vehicle soon!

Posted by: mcgreen1 | January 13, 2011 8:22 AM | Report abuse

"The cars can charging using regular outlets, but the high-voltage one reduces the time required."

lol

Posted by: MarilynManson | January 13, 2011 8:25 AM | Report abuse

I love the picture. Nobody in a "luxury" apartment is going to restrict themselves to just one parking spot for one car.

It's time for a luxury tax.

Posted by: getjiggly1 | January 13, 2011 9:02 AM | Report abuse

This is a nice "first." But the really important story will be the attitudes of Arlington, Fairfax, Bethesda, etc. about public charging stations. For EVs to have any economic or environmental impact, they must become mainstream transportation choices. That requires a significant infrastructure, such as the one Better Place provides in countries that have adopted their model.

How cool would it be if the DC area installed a Better Place infrastructure?

Posted by: TandemCaptain | January 13, 2011 9:20 AM | Report abuse

I own Volt # 408 and it is a game changer.

Posted by: PostWebReader | January 13, 2011 10:28 AM | Report abuse

I drive Volt #408 and it is a game changer.

Posted by: PostWebReader | January 13, 2011 10:31 AM | Report abuse

While the Tesla Roadster may have a driving range less than a gasoline powered car, it does have an all electric range of 200+ miles on a full charge. For most of us, that is more than sufficient.

Posted by: jswhaley | January 13, 2011 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Very nice! Please do a follow up and let us know how this works out at 425 Mass.

Posted by: MILWI | January 13, 2011 11:27 AM | Report abuse

One of my basic questions has been, if you're going to buy a six-figure vehicle, or even a consider buying a six-figure vehicle, is it really necessary for the government to give you a rebate (meaning give you money obtained from people who either don't want to spend six-figures on a fancy vehicle, or can't afford to spend six-figures on a fancy vehicle, or who, themselves, can't afford any vehicle).

Posted by: Dungarees | January 13, 2011 3:03 PM | Report abuse

I still see the same ignorant comments on every damn article about electric vehicles. Let me try to clear some of this up for you.

EVs cost significantly less to operate and maintain than gas-powered vehicles. Yes, your electric bill will go up (obviously), but you won't be spending $100+ on gas every month ever again.

Electric motors are much more efficient than gas engines. The electricity used (even if partially from coal) will create less pollution than gasoline engines.

No vehicle is perfect for all people and situations. However, The range on current electric vehicles is more than sufficient for 90% of Americans. If you only occasionally need to drive more than 100 miles (or 200 miles depending on the vehicle) at a time, you can use Zipcar, rent a car, or swap vehicles with a friend. Obviously, future EV models will have greater range and shorter recharge times.

The tax credit is good for ANY electric vehicle, not just on expensive ones like a Tesla. And it's a credit, not a rebate (meaning you have to have paid at least $7,500 in taxes that year in order to get that amount taken off). This tax credit is needed to encourage the adoption of EVs in order to improve the trade deficit and economy (electricity is 100% domestic while oil/gasoline is 60% imported), decrease pollution, and decrease funding to OPEC nations (many of which hate the US). It's a Win-Win-Win.

Posted by: g99999 | January 13, 2011 3:44 PM | Report abuse

There is nothing inexpensive, renewable or benign about nuclear power. It is dangerous, expensive and polluting, starting with the mine tailings and through to the unsolved problem of what to do with very long-life radioactive wastes. Ever heard of "stranded costs"? We in Pennsylvania have been saddled with over $4 billion in such charges for the two Limerick reactor plants.
Ever heard of the Price-Anderson Act? Insulates plant owners from liability for Three Mile Island / Chernobyl type disasters. Look at your property insurance policy for another exclusion.
Renewables such as solar, wind and geothermal are the only feasible alternatives to nuclear, filthy coal and imported fossil fuels. Nuclear and fossil plants have been allowed near population centers, avoiding the long lines needed by renewables; it is a horribly uneven playing field for power generation alternatives. The only fair action is federal funding for a new power grid that can bring power from renewables sites, and avoid the solar flare and foreign-government hacking vulnerabilities of the current control structures and entities. If subsidy money equal to the massive amounts lavished on nuclear, coal and oil over the last 70 years were made available to solar, wind and geothermal, this country could be self-sufficient in energy and off fossil and nuclear in 20-30 years, for civilian and military uses.

Posted by: JayinPa1 | January 13, 2011 3:56 PM | Report abuse

I own Volt # 408 and it is a game changer.

___________________

Very cool. Howz it going so far? Are you charging on 220 or 110? What's the impact on your electric bill? Any issues?

Posted by: bob29 | January 13, 2011 4:56 PM | Report abuse

A win-win-win for the ultra-wealthy

Posted by: getjiggly1 | January 13, 2011 5:00 PM | Report abuse

A win-win-win for the ultra-wealthy

Posted by: getjiggly1 | January 13, 2011 5:01 PM | Report abuse

"A win-win-win for the ultra-wealthy"

Only if you think that only the ultra-wealthy can afford to lease a Leaf or Volt for $349/month.

Posted by: g99999 | January 13, 2011 5:47 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: addjian16 | January 13, 2011 8:53 PM | Report abuse

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