2016 ElMoto 4Corners - Moultrie, GA to Asheville, NC
Georgia car dealers are the best! Today was a day filled with charging stations at car dealerships and my day couldn't have gone better!
Charging at a car dealership is always an adventure because you never know how friendly, or not, they will be. But in Georgia, rest assured that you are not only allowed to charge, but welcomed with open arms!
My first stop was at Tennyson Nissan in Tifton, GA. I plugged in behind the dealership, next to the service entrance, and went into the waiting area to check some email. Within minutes several employees approached me with a bit smile asking about the electric motorcycle outside! I was wearing my leather jacket in the cool air conditioning, so they picked me out pretty quickly. The head of customer experience, Erick, even gave me a banana and a donut for the road! Incredible!
Then I went to Jeff Smith Kia, which was the first time I attempted to charge at a Kia dealership. They also embraced me and gave me bottled water to drink and treated me with the utmost kindness and interest.
After that my journey took me to Childre Nissan in Milledgeville, GA. They have a CHAdeMO fast charger here, but I don't have the equipment on my bike to use it. Hopefully soon that will change. Once again, the good folks who work there came right out to greet me and ask questions about electric motorcycles. They also offered me to stay inside while I charge.
At that point in the day I had to eat so I walked to a nearby Applebees and grabbed some food. Ended up chatting with the waitress and some nearby patrons about my motorcycle because she asked what bike I ride. She also rides, so it was fun talking to another biker.
Then the most boring charge of the day was next in Athens, GA. Boring charges are great because it means everything worked right away! I charged at a park-n-ride outside of Athens and waiting in a nearby Waffle House. My battery temperature was approaching the critical temperature of 120F above which point the battery will stop charging to protect itself. Managed to charge just fine at a slower rate than usual (6kW instead of 9kW), then it was off to South Carolina.
Stopped by the Bleckley inn in Anderson, SC where the front desk person was happy to let me charge. This was a funny stop because their chargers are behind a wooden fence. So they cut a hole in the wooden fence and feed the charging cable through it.
My original plan was to charge at Furman University, but I realized that I could make it to Asheville without stopping. Woohoo! One less stop gets me to my destination 30 minutes sooner!
But wait! Of course the entire day can't go smoothly. There HAS to be something that goes awry. And that something happened near the end of the day.
I went straight to the address that Google maps said was where my friend lived. WRONG! There were 2 streets in the same zip code with the same name! What the heck! I had planned this perfectly so I would coast into his driveway with no charge left, and now I had 6 more miles to go!
Fortunately I don't actually arrive with zero charge left, and I was able to make it to his house without going into low-power mode. *phew*
He is from Aosta, Italy and greeted me with genepy, as is our custom. A good friend is a welcomed sight after a day of riding in the heat.