Mayor signs contracts for electric vehicle charging stations

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A Charge Point electric car-charging station.

Mayor Mike Cooper last week signed contracts with ChargePoint Northwest to receive six new electric vehicle charging stations for the City of Edmonds. The Mayor also sent out a news release explaining the significance of these charging stations to Edmonds.

By acquiring these stations and installing them in four separate areas of the City, Edmonds will become a good location for both visitors and residents who already own — or are considering the purchase of — one of several new all-electric plug-in vehicles now beginning to enter the regional and national consumer fleets in large numbers, Cooper noted. The stations are available at no cost to the City under a federal grant but the City must pay the cost of installation.

“These charging stations are an important addition to Edmonds. Not only do they provide a place for owners of all-electric automobiles to come for a quality retail experience without having to worry about getting their car recharged but they also fulfill commitments we have made in our City Climate Protection Plan,” Cooper said. “These are good for our local economy and the environment.”

The equipment, designed and built by Coulomb Technologies, is a level II station that provides a faster charge than a typical home charging unit. One of these stations can charge a Nissan Leaf, for example, from a 15 percent level to over 80 percent in three to four hours. Two of these stations will be installed in the Public Safety building parking lot, two will be located on Main Street between 5th and 6th streets, one will be attached to the south wall of City Hall serving a public parking lot, and one will be placed at City Park. All will be available to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. ChargePoint provides software for smart phones and laptops that show the locations of all charging stations in their network and indicate those that are currently available for use.

Payment is required for getting your car charged. Owners must register with ChargePoint and receive an RFID card that will connect with the network and be linked to a customer’s credit card. Once that ID has been established at the station, the owner can then plug in. The City has not yet established the rate to be charged for this service, although $2 an hour is a typical number.

“This is one small step in a much larger effort by Edmonds to improve and protect our local economy while making consistent progress reducing our community’s carbon footprint, improving air quality, and lowering our dependence on oil, particularly foreign sources of oil,” Cooper said.

6 COMMENTS

  1. I’d like to know more about how the locations were chosen. They seem to be favoring city council staff instead of the general public. I’m going to bet that 3 of them will be “private” parking places and mostly unavailable to general public.

  2. “All will be available to the public on a first-come, first-served basis”. There is already one in the Public Safety parking lot that doesn’t charge ony money.

  3. Andrew – I’ll check with the city to make sure, but as far as I know, all of the parking spaces were chosen to be public-available spaces. When the City receives its first all-electric vehicle, then there will likely be a separate spot reserved for it, but these “Chargepoint” stations are part of a rollout to support public electric vehicles.

    Ron B – would be happy to chat with you about why I believe that electric vehicles are anything but “hair-brain touchy feel good” ideas. Preferably after you’ve spent a half dozen summers away from your family, in the Persian Gulf, protecting the lifeline of our oil addiction, though I’m willing to waive that if need be.

    The federal grants are part of a comprehensive package to reduce energy use by all governments, from local to federal, as well as programs to support individual home and business energy conservation. For a small example, check out the program the City is hosting through the library, that provides free use of a “Kill-A-Watt” style meter for you to use to determine where your home is using electricity. (Go to http://www.edmondsenergy.org for more info)

    Not every program undertaken under the banner of energy independence is a good one, but I believe that shifting to electric vehicles IS a good idea. Using our already-installed electric grid allows us to take advantage of any available energy source, vice being locked into a single fuel. Shifting to EVs at the same time as we build renewable generating sources of electricity (wind, solar, tidal, responsible hydro) makes even more sense.

  4. Ron, concur with the ideal of a total spectrum approach. However, unfortunately, we are limited to one step at a time.

    Our electricity here in the NW is almost clean, so no guilt switching to an EV. Elsewhere in the US, coal is king. However, even humble coal fired electricity is superior to gasoline engines, given a great number of criteria from which to judge. So, instead of looking for the all encompassing answer that costs nothing and pollutes nothing, we will have to be content with incremental improvements. And if we are not, and we fail to take the little steps, other nations will leapfrog us, as China and Germany have.

    So I urge a change in actions based on alternatives that are “better”, not necessarily “best”. Would anyone today propose adopting gasoline powered vehicles as our transportation method of choice?

  5. Todd Im not too familiar how good the electric cars work,another alternative to gasoline is diesel that is what I drive I get over 42 miles a gallons its cleaner than gasoline not as clean as electric but runs great I can go 75 to 80 mph all day and get over 40 miles per gallon. The biggest pollution saver is the public transportation the train and bus system getting the 1 driver commuter off the road . I was on a job for a couple years where I could do the bus it is the way to go the bus or the train, I like the idea of electric cars but we also have a great train system right on the water going into seattle everyday I also think we should use the railroad system more for transporting products and use the trucking system less, everything helps.

  6. Mike – agree with all of your points. Diesel engines are a LOT more efficient than gasoline engines, and now that we finally have “clean diesels” available, they are not as polluting as they used to be.
    Public transportation and shopping local are positive steps as well, though it’s just a fact of life for most people that individual or family transportation is the often the only practical alternative. So, anything we can do to increase efficiency or reduce the use of oil-based fuels in personal cars and trucks, is good.

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