Sign of the Times
(Click to enlarge)
Destination Chargers
in my Kayenta Community

Mark D Larsen

March 20, 2023

Readers will remember that, more than 5 years ago, I volunteered to serve as a liaison with Tesla to orchestra the installation of some Destination Chargers at my community’s Art Village. During all this time I have regularly stopped by the site to repair broken plug handles and tidy up after cable cretins.

The last time I drove by the Village, I noticed that there were signs posted on the charging stations stating that they were “no longer in service,” as shown in the photo at the top of the page. I subsequently contacted the owner of the Art Village who developed our community to ask if this shut down was temporary or permanent. He confirmed that he had completely disconnected the charging stations, and will be removing them entirely in the near future.

Lest anyone think otherwise, let me clarify that the owner is not opposed to electric vehicles, renewable energy, or environmentalism. Indeed, his son, who is the principal architect for the homes here, drives a Volkswagen ID.4; they have invested heavily in a huge array of solar panels to power the Village; and the homes they have developed are expressly designed to preserve and blend into the natural, pristine desert surroundings of our community —as readers might appreciate from the tours I have given of the community in both my LEAF and my Model 3.

The first reason the owner gave me is that he has “chosen not to support him.” In other words, he does not feel comfortable continuing to show implicit approval of Tesla’s erratic, petulant CEO, who has now gone over to the Dark Side of right-wing greed, thus stabbing progressive environmentalists in the back. There are, however, additional reasons. He originally installed the charging stations to encourage EV customers to visit the Village, dine in its restaurant, shop in its Art Galleries, attend plays and musicals in its theater. What he has observed over the years, however, is that some of our own community residents have been abusing the system: rather than plugging in at home, those neighbors have been occupying the spots in the Village to charge their EVs “for free,” i.e., the epitome of selfish cheapskates, expecting the owner to foot the bill for them.

I therefore cannot blame him for shutting down the charging stations. It is yet another instance in which my naïveté about the default decency of my fellow EV owners has taken a nosedive.