Marengo Garage Rooftop Parking Gets Supercharged

24 new Tesla charging stations just opened up this week; 20 more planned to open later this month

Published : Monday, December 2, 2019 | 1:45 AM

Robert Nowicki's red Tesla sedan being charged on the roof of the Marengo Parking Garage on Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019. Courtesy photo

When Robert Nowicki drove his red Tesla sedan up to the roof of the Marengo Parking Garage on Tuesday, Nov. 26 he had no idea he would be making local history. Or maybe he did.

Nowicki, a longtime Tesla aficionado, became the first Tesla owner to use one of the City’s 24 new Tesla superchargers, which quietly became available for the public’s use earlier this week.

According to Margie Otto, spokesperson for the Pasadena Water and Power Department, an additional 20 fast chargers that the City is installing on the same rooftop will become available by early to mid-December.

The City is planning a ribbon-cutting in early February, for what will be the largest public charging station in the western United States.

The new Pasadena charging stations feature Direct Current Fast Chargers (“DCFC”), considered the most advanced electric vehicle charger technologies available, capable of charging an electric vehicle to 80% in just 20 to 30 minutes.

“Fast charging has high demand, but the availability of such chargers is scarce,” said a PWP staff report last February, when the stations were first approved for construction.

“While the City has been promoting electric vehicles and associated charging infrastructure to reduce greenhouse gas and other air emissions consistent with the City’s Climate Action Plan, the City of Pasadena has only one DCFC located at the Del Mar Parking Garage that is available to all-electric vehicle (“EV”) drivers,” said the report.

The “Marengo Charging Plaza” is on the top level of the Marengo parking garage, which is connected to the Paseo Colorado mall through a pedestrian overpass bridge.

“The proposed Marengo Charging Plaza will enhance EV charging infrastructure in Pasadena and act as a catalyst for increased visits to businesses located in Old Pasadena and Paseo Colorado as marketed through the Tesla vehicle owner digital platform,” said the report.

The staff report also noted that the new charging spaces were “strategically selected to avoid monopolizing prime parking spaces predominantly utilized by the businesses located adjacent to the charging plaza.”

Tesla will pay all costs of its own electric service upgrades, equipment procurement, installation, maintenance and electricity use associated with its charging stations, according to the proposed agreement.

The Tesla charging stations will be separately metered, according to the staff report, and Tesla will pay all associated electric bills, as well as the electrical infrastructure improvements needed to supply PWP’s planned EV charging stations in addition to its own.

The Marengo Parking Garage is located on the northwest corner of Green Street and South Marengo Avenue, and has entrances off Green Street (eastbound) and Mareno Ave. (southward bound lanes).

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