I was in Annapolis over the weekend and stopped by the Springhill Suites at 189 Admiral Cochrane Drive to look at the new charging stations there. As I pulled into the parking lot, I noticed orange cones saving the parking space. There is currently no sign designating the adjacent parking spot as for EV charging only, so the fact that the management had been proactive to protect the spot for potential guests with a plug-in car was good to see.
This charging station is identified as public in the Alternative Fueling Station Locator. However, the message on the screen states, “THIS CHARGER FOR GUEST OF OUR HOTEL ONLY. NO EXCEPTIONS.” A regular SemaCharge card does not work on this station. Apparently, the front desk has a special card to initiate a charging session. I suppose the policy makes sense considering that there are some office buildings nearby and it is reasonable for the hotel to discourage other EV drivers so that the charging station is always available for their guests.
The SemaConnect station has a different J-1772 connector and cable than older SemaConnect ChargePro stations. The connector housing is made of a softer, rubberized plastic with a different release thumb button. The cable is much more flexible which will make it much easier to coil, especially in winter.
I’m happy to see more charging stations located at hotels. This can encourage more overnight road trips in plug-in cars.