Went to check out the new ChargePoint stations in Laguna Beach yesterday. The wife and I go there often, just to walk around and see all the touristy stuff. Despite the Sawdust Festival, the traffic wasn't bad at all. There are 2 charging stations in a public (pay) parking lot, just off Laguna Canyon Road. I'd never used this lot before, usually just street parking (if you can find it on Sunday in the summer) for $1 per hour (metered).
I assumed that this lot would be metered like the rest of Laguna Beach parking, but after turning into the lot I saw a sign that read "$10 per Day". There was a parking lot attendant and I asked him if there was an hourly option. The attendant glanced down at the Volt logo on the side of the car and said "Oh, you're electric. You can park for free for three hours." He directed me to the end of the lot (I already knew where they were from the ChargePoint map, and Google Maps.)
I wish I'd had a camera with me, because there were two parking spaces marked "EV Parking Only" with signs reading something like "Free Parking for 4 hours for EVs while charging", contrary to the lot attendant's three hour warning. The spaces are at the South end of the lot, right across from Ocean Avenue, two blocks from Pacific Coast Highway. I'm not positive, but I don't think there is ANY free parking in the downtown area of Laguna Beach.
So after plugging in the Volt, the wife and I walked down Ocean Avenue, then back up Forest Avenue, the main tourist area, where all the shops and restaurants are. After about two hours of sight-seeing, we made it back to the parking lot to find the Volt almost fully charged and ready for more adventures! And all for free!
Thanks to the city of Laguna Beach for rewarding early adopters of new technology. It worked for them, since we found a new shop that sells cupcakes (delicious) and the wife found some shoes she couldn't live without. All in all, a fine day with enough charge in the Volt to drive out to Cook's Corner and see the HUNDREDS of motorcycles lining the road as far as the eye can see, and back home again using only .3 gallons of gas!
Long live the Volt!