Who Killed the Electric Car Charging Stations?

California electric vehicle drivers have recently been surprised to find critical charging stations at Costcos around California are being quietly removed, without warning and without explanation.

Costco’s charging stations have supported the pioneering owners who purchased electric vehicles in the 1990s and early 2000s. As documented in Who Killed the Electric Car, most of these cars were taken back by the automakers and crushed. Fortunately, hundreds of these vehicles were saved by the electric vehicle activists who founded Plug In America. The owners still depend on these cars, many of which still perform just as well today as when new. These cars are a testament to the longevity and reliability of electric vehicles.

While Costco is removing these legacy charging stations, thousands of new electric vehicles are hitting the roads. In order to support these new vehicles, the California Energy Commission has created a grant program that pays all expenses to upgrade legacy charging equipment to new stations that are compatible with the Nissan LEAF, Chevy Volt, and many others soon to follow.

Rather than taking advantage of these free upgrades this program, Costco is choosing to simply remove old chargers, at greater expense than replacing them for free!

We drivers of electric cars will always be grateful to Costco. Costco deserves praise for its early support of electric cars. Hundreds of thousands of miles of petroleum-free, emission-free driving (and thousands of hours of Costco shopping) have been enabled by the existence of these electric vehicle charging stations. The charging stations installed over ten years ago have survived thanks to Costco’s leadership and in conjuction with the volunteer efforts of the electric vehicle drivers of electric vehicles, along with Plug In America and the Electric Auto Association.

Now it seems that Costco believes its members don’t value electric vehicle charging. We urge all current and potential Costco members to thank them for their past support and let them know you value electric vehicle charging at Costco’s conveniently-located warehouses. Please urge them to take advantage of the state upgrade program to replace their old AVCON chargers with modern J1772 charging stations and to keep the existing SPI chargers to maintain support for the RAV4-EVs that survived the crusher and inspired us to keep fighting for electric vehicles.

Please send an email below to Costco CEO James Sinegal. Include your Costco membership number in your text if you can.

Thank you from all of us at Plug in America.

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