Mayor Chris Beutler today announced that ten City parking garages now have public electric vehicle charging stations. Each ChargePoint™ station is capable of charging two cars at a time, so the public now has more than 20 spots to charge electric cars in the downtown area.
"This is important for our community because we know that over the next five years, manufacturers are bringing electric pickup trucks, vans, buses and other heavier equipment to market," Mayor Beutler said. "We also know that the efficiency and cost of the technology used to re-charge electric vehicles are improving every day."
The first two ChargePoint™ stations were installed in 2014 in the Green 2 garage, 530 "P" Street. One station is used by Lincoln Electric System and the other is for the public use. One new station has been installed in each of these locations:
A station is also located in the lower level of the County-City lot at 425 S. 10th Street. It will be used mainly to charge City vehicles, but will be available for public use when the garage is open for events like Husker football games.
Beutler said his Administration has been analyzing investment in electric vehicle refueling infrastructure since he was first elected in 2007. He said data collected by the Nebraska
Community Energy Alliance (NCEA) and UNL Engineering College show the economic and environmental benefits. The stations have a $1 minimum fee, which pays for a four-hour charging session. The fee is $1 per hour after that. All normal parking charges apply.
"On average, your fuel dollar will take you three to four times farther in an electric vehicle compared to a conventional gas powered vehicle," Beutler said. "At the same time, the electric vehicle will produce three-and-a-half times less emissions. With even more proof of the benefits, we can justify further expansion and strategic locations of our charging network, including opportunities for public/private partnerships."
The ChargePoint™ stations were funded from parking revenue and a grant from the Nebraska Environmental Trust (NET). Beutler thanked NET for its financial and public support for the electric vehicle charging technology. He also thanked the NCEA for its work on the state-wide deployment of electric vehicle fueling infrastructure.