Los Angeles is one of the best cities to own a battery-electric vehicle. An extensive network of charging stations throughout the region means it’s easy to find a place to charge your EV in the event you find yourself needing juice. We’ve compiled nine places to visit in Los Angeles with EV charging. These locations specifically have both level 2 AC and level 3 DC charging (CCS and CHAdeMO).
To help us with this, we’ve enlisted the help of a 2021 Nissan Leaf SL Plus to take us around the City of Angels. With 215 miles on a charge, that should be more than enough to get you around for a day or two, depending on your routes and how much traveling you do around the city. Its compact dimensions and maneuverability allow you to weave around traffic and get into tight parking spaces. Thanks to the electric motor’s 214 hp and 250 lb-ft of torque, you can easily get around slower vehicles, giving the Leaf plenty of power for darting around the city.
Are you a bargain hunter? You might want to check out Chinatown, one of the oldest parts of Los Angeles. This historic district was home to early Chinese immigrants to Southern California and many generations have called it home. Nowadays, Chinatown is the place for bargain clothing, electronics, and lots of dim sum. Although most authentic regional Chinese restaurants have moved to the San Gabriel Valley, the ones remaining in Chinatown continue to serve great food. Check out Ocean Seafood Restaurant and CBS Seafood Restaurant to satisfy your dim sum fix.
Nearest Level 3 DC Chargers: Bank of America, 850 N Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Museum Row on the Miracle Mile
Drive west on Wilshire Boulevard and you’ll stumble on Museum Row on the Miracle Mile just before you get to Beverly Hills. Here, you’ll find the La Brea Tar Pits, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Petersen Automotive Museum. The latter has four DC chargers on the first floor of its parking garage where you can plug in while you explore and educate yourself on art from different eras, automotive history and culture, and prehistoric Los Angeles. Should you be of the selfie type, don’t forget to take some photos with the famous Urban Light placement and whatever surprises that have come out of the Petersen’s vault.
Two Rodeo Drive
No trip to Los Angeles would be complete without visiting Rodeo Drive, the iconic high-end shopping district. Those who love indulging in luxury goods should feel right at home surrounded by boutiques of famous design houses like Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Balenciaga, Christian Louboutin, and Yves Saint Laurent. The parking structure of Two Rodeo Drive has level 3 DC charging available and is located right at the heart of the most famous street in Los Angeles. Should you want to partake in more touristy activities, the Beverly Hills sign is only a walking distance from Rodeo Drive.
Wende Museum of the Cold War
One of the best hidden gems in Los Angeles is the Wende Museum in Culver City. Situated next to Veteran’s Park, which conveniently has level 3 DC charging stations, the Wende Museum houses an impressive collection of Cold War historical materials including a 1977 Wartburg 353. It also doubles as an archive for historians and other scholars to study and write about life in East Germany and the rest of the former Soviet Bloc. The museum also owns several pieces of the Berlin Wall with a couple on display within their gardens and others in Museum Row on the Miracle Mile.
Hollywood and Highland
Hollywood and Highland is one of the most famous intersections in the city of Los Angeles. Just a few blocks from it are the TCL Chinese Theatre, the Dolby Theatre, and the El Capitan Theatre, all of which are institutions for film lovers. The Hollywood Walk of Fame is also within easy access from Hollywood and Highland, and if you’re looking to see the handprints of your favorite celebrities, you’ll find them in front of the TCL Chinese Theatre.
Nearest Level 3 DC Chargers: 6801 Hollywood Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90028 (Garage 745)
West Hollywood and the Sunset Strip
Home to one of the most vibrant LGBTQIA+ communities in the U.S., West Hollywood is always alive. In addition to its nightlife, West Hollywood has one of the largest Pride celebrations every year. It’s also home to Sunset Strip where you can shop at designer boutiques or visit legendary live music venues like the Whisky à Go-go. These were the places that first saw iconic bands like The Runaways, The Doors, Janis Joplin, and Motley Crue all became regular acts on stage. Another legendary stage in West Hollywood is the Troubadour. This was where Elton John first made his U.S. debut and where Guns N’ Roses played and immediately got signed with Geffen Records.
Nearest Level 3 DC chargers: 8000 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90046 (Level 2 chargers are scattered all over the main streets of West Hollywood)
The Americana at Brand
One of the newer shopping and eating destinations in northeast Los Angeles, The Americana at Brand offers a lot of options for those who want to partake in eating or buying goods. Should you be in the mood for the former, a branch of the iconic Taiwanese dumpling house Din Tai Fung is in the Americana. If you’re looking for small bites, there’s a cool empanada shop called Nonna’s that offers savory and sweet empanadas. Go further out to neighboring streets and you’re bound to find Raffi’s Place, a well-known Persian/Armenian culinary institution famous for their massive serving sizes of mouthwatering kebabs, soups, and other specialties. EV charging stations are scattered throughout the parking structure and found close to the escalators.
Old Town Pasadena
Long one of the most popular spots for Angelenos living in the northeastern part of town, Old Town Pasadena is a great place for good food and a little shopping. King’s Row Gastropub offers a great selection of American comfort food and a huge selection of cocktails and beer on the tap. Ramen Tatsunoya, on the other hand, serves some of the best Tonkotsu Ramen in Los Angeles, satisfying, hearty, authentic, and incredibly savory. Your best bet for parking and charging will be the Plaza Centre structure, which has level 3 DC chargers on the roof.
Foodies and fans of Japanese culture and cuisine should be right at home in Little Tokyo. Located just south of Chinatown closer to Downtown Los Angeles, this area has some of the best Japanese food in the city. Lines go out the door of Fugetsu-Do sweets shop and neighboring ramen shops on 1st Street and Japan Village Plaza. Marukai, a Japanese supermarket, has all of the snacks, teas, seasonings, and ingredients you’ll want or need. Best of all, the parking lot on Judge John Aiso Street has charging stations that are just walking distance from all of that goodness.
SEE ALSO: How-to charge your EV for free
So, how did the 2021 Nissan Leaf do on our week of adventure in Los Angeles? Quite well actually! It got us to our destination comfortably thanks to its cushy yet supportive front seats and user-friendly multimedia system. ProPilot Assist helped ease the stress of slogging through congested freeways, allowing us to enjoy our outing more.
Other than the some minor floatiness over big bumps and some wind noise at highway speeds, the Leaf was a solid choice because it’s right at home in the city. You have a lot of range to work with and it has room, power, and useful tech features to make your drive that much easier.