If you're driving something with a plug, signs that tell you where the nearest charging station catch your eye more than if you were driving something else. When your range says 2 miles, you're probably sporting an expression similar to someone about to wet his or her pants.

So imagine you're driving near, say, the outlet malls in Camarillo, Calif. and you see "Electric Vehicle Charging Station" with an arrow pointing towards the shops. Follow another string of signs and arrows and you'll arrive at some of the saddest charging stations I've seen in a while. I only point these out in particular because I pass them almost every day and I can't help notice the sorry state of the charging facilities and the poor location.

First off, two have paddle chargers. That'd be fine if you came in an EV that's more than a decade old, a Toyota RAV4, Honda EV Plus or a GM EV1 that escaped the crusher. But in a modern Leaf or Volt or Tesla, that's not going to do you any good. And I have no idea what the third one goes to. A golf cart? Of the three chargers available at the Camarillo Outlets, none are really what you'd call compatible. Doesn't that seem like false advertising to promote these stations when no one's EV will work on them? Why wouldn't they take down these signs or cover the stations in black plastic? If I pulled up in a Leaf, I'd be pissed.

Also, they're located in probably the least convenient place possible, away from any stores and around the back side of the mall where the employees probably park. I mean, it does have convenient access to the Subway, which is fine if that's the reason you decided to go to an outlet mall.

In any case, outlet mall shopping and public EV chargers go hand in hand. If you're going to be spending your cash and walking around for several hours, doesn't it make sense to charge your plug-in as well? Some of these places are really missing an opportunity to charge for some electricity.


Are there some really rundown charging stations with lots of signage telling you where to find them? And have any of you EV owners encountered situations like these?