Electric vehicles (EV) are growing in popularity, making a winery's decision to install EV charging stations not only a sound environmental investment but an opportunity to attract eco-conscious consumers. Wineries with EV charging stations are hearing the same story: A guest was in need of a charge, found that the nearest station was at a winery and decided to stop in for a taste while plugged in. Not your typical gas station experience!
EV stations are one small part of our entire sustainability initiative, but it's a really important part. We find that we're able to find customers for life.
At Chateau Montelena the decision to install an EV charging station started with a wine club pouring at a San Francisco Giants game. Matt was asking club members when they had last visited the winery and a few said they would come up more often – but their electric vehicles would require a charge. "Just as (vine) leaves serve as solar panels for our fruit, we thought we should take advantage of our solar panels for the winery and use them to benefit customers."
Chateau Montelena was the first winery to install a DC fast charging station. "While people charge their vehicles, we invite them to come on in, see our grounds, taste our wines - it's an opportunity to tell our story and share our sustainability message." Now, Chateau Montelena is installing the first 277 volt Tesla station in the valley along with a new universal charging station. Both will be up and running by the end of May.
In addition to more than 20 EV charging stations at wineries, there are at least 30 additional stations installed by the county, cities and private businesses throughout Napa Valley. But there isn't yet a comprehensive map of locations, station types and power levels for Napa County – which is where Margot Stert comes in.
Margot is a CivicSpark fellow working with Sustainable Napa County (SNC). As part of her fellowship, she is creating a map of Napa Valley EV charging stations with detailed use information. It includes guidelines for installation, considerations for use restrictions or fees and a list of electric vehicles on the market plus the type of charging stations that work best for each. If a winery is interested in installing an EV charging station or considering purchasing an electric vehicle, Margot's report will be publicly available later this fall through SNC.
In the meantime, for a complete listing of wineries with EV charging stations, share the NVV Winery Finder with your customers and remind them to choose the EV Charging Station filter. With EV here to stay, this list will only continue to grow.