EV Life | July 23, 2019

#WeirdEVSpots Part 2: Southwestern US Edition


Team ChargePoint

University of California San Diego

Know what’s strange? If you read last week’s post you do! If you’ll recall, it was a travelogue of some of the offbeat destinations EV drivers can reach thanks in part to our many airport customers in the Northwestern US and Canada. This time we’re headed south—to the Southwestern US to be exact—a place where rattlesnakes still outnumber EV charging stations (but just barely).

With upwards of 100,000 charging spots and around 60 million charges (and counting) delivered, we’ve helped more EV drivers get to where they needed to go than anybody else in the industry. With our sights set on 2.5 million charging spots by 2025, you’ll soon be able to go practically anywhere you want to take your EV. Today, with Airports all over North America installing ChargePoint solutions, you can travel to some places you didn’t even know you wanted to go. Until now…

Fallen Star, UCSD

San Diego, CA

In addition to being a great place to charge your EV, San Diego International (SAN, also known as Lindbergh Field) offers airport tours twice a week (Thursday and Friday), in which lucky visitors have a rare chance to spot the endangered California Least Tern. Once you’ve filled up, drive over and say hi to our friends at the University of California San Diego and then check out:

  • Fallen Star: A little blue house sits suspended 7 stories above the Jacobs School of Engineering building. It’s open to the public from 11am to 2pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays—just be careful what you eat for lunch if you’re prone to vertigo because it not only hovers in mid-air, it was also built perfectly askew. Only 15 miles from SAN.
  • San Diego Automotive Museum: Before there were EVs, Louie Mattar outfitted his 1947 Cadillac with everything including the kitchen sink—plus a shower, a whiskey bar and a microphone connected to a speaker so he could presumably shout greetings to other drivers. Oh, how far we’ve come…a mere 4 miles from the terminal.

Biosphere 2, Oracle, AZ

Phoenix, AZ

While you’re charging your EV at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX), be sure to catch a ride on the PHX Sky Train® and admire the WWI SPAD XIII biplane suspended from the rafters in the terminal. Don’t dawdle too long, though, because you’ll want to see this:

  • Biosphere 2: Can human beings survive on Mars? Beginning in 1991, seven people spent two years living in this giant sealed 3.5-acre glass dome to find out. Another crew made a second attempt in 1994, only to abandon the effort when money for the project ran out. Today, visitors can take tours and see some of the 3,500 exotic plant species still growing there—just over 100 miles from PHX in Oracle, Arizona.
  • You Who Are Getting Obliterated in the Dancing Swarm of Fireflies: This brilliant work by one of the world’s greatest living artists, 90-year-old Yayoi Kusama, is on permanent display at the Phoenix Art Museum. That’s all we’re saying, only 15 minutes from the airport.

Homestead Crater, Utah

Salt Lake City, UT

Salt Lake City International (SLC) is in the middle of a multi-billion-dollar renovation. When it’s finished in 2020, it will be one of the greenest airports in the nation, with a terminal built to achieve a LEED Gold certification and plans to produce as much energy as it uses.

  • Homestead Crater: A meteor slammed into what would become Midway, Utah some 10,000 years ago so that you would eventually have your ideal spa day. Beneath a bulge of earth (more than 50-feet high in some spots) lies a natural mineral hot spring, perfect for swimming, diving and soaking after your hour-long drive from the airport. Reservations required.
  • Solitude Speedway: Charge up and head to the famed Salt Palace to see a colossal recreation of Utah's salt flats made out of tape. Why? Because it’s awesome and almost as quiet as an EV, only 15 minutes from SLC.

World's Largest Cowboy Boots, San Antonio, TX

Texas

Novelist John Steinbeck once famously called Texas “a state of mind.” A century earlier, journalist Jane Cazneau said it was “the gathering place of the most restless and imaginative spirits in the union.” It’s hard to disagree with either of them. Despite Texas’ long history as the U.S.’s’ biggest oil producer, a few restless and imaginative spirits are looking toward a fossil fuel-free future in the Lone Star State. We’re excited to be part of that future, with our charging solutions represented at three of the state’s biggest airports—Dallas/Fort Worth International (DFW), Houston’s William P. Hobby (HOU) and San Antonio International (SAT). Before, after or during your charge at HOU, make sure to pop over to the nearby 1940 Air Terminal Museum for a spectacular primer on the early days of commercial flight, then hit the open road for:

  • World’s Longest Car Wash: Everything really is bigger in Texas—especially this massive, 255-ft car wash in Katy. You’ll need it too, after the dusty 50-mile drive from HOU.
  • World's Largest Cowboy Boots: While we’re on the subject of big, 2019 marks the 40th anniversary of these 40-ft tall, suitable-for-selfie, Guinness Book of World Records certified Texas-size cowboy boots, just over yonder (2 miles from SAT).

Want to know what else is weird? Find out next time when we take you to the out-of-the-ordinary destinations you can reach from airports across the US Midwest.

Where’s the strangest place you’ve taken your EV? Let us know using the hashtag #weirdEVspots on Twitter for a chance to win a special prize. If you'd like EV charging at your favorite airport, feel free to tag them too!


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