City installing public EV chargers – expected to be operational in one month

Published 2:27 pm Tuesday, October 17, 2023

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By Clark Curtis, For Washington Daily News

To meet the demand of an ever changing landscape of travel, the City of Washington will install three new public electric vehicle (EV) charging stations.

“This is something that we have been working on for about one year now,” said Washington City Manager, Jonathan Russell. “Due to supply chain issues as a result of COVID there has been a delay in getting the electrical parts and transformers. But we now have everything we need to begin the actual installation of the charging stations.”

The three charging stations will be located at the new parking lot under construction behind the Washington Police Station (251 Bridge Street), the parking lot at the corner of Bonner and East Main, and at Moore Aquatic and Fitness Center (101 Airport Road). Each station will have two, Level 2 charging terminals and universal connectors for charging all makes of electric vehicles.

“These are pretty much standard for most parking spaces, parking decks, and the like,” said Russell. “They will charge at a rate of 60-70 miles of travel per hour. Visitors and local residents can do some walking or take in some sort of fun activity for a couple of hours and put an extra 100 miles on their electric vehicles. There will be a terminal for payment at each station. The rate will be similar to our kilowatt per hour charge at our residential units in town.”

Russel said installing the EV charging stations just makes sense on several levels, as more and more electric vehicles are hitting the road. “Just from an environmental standpoint we want to be as conscious of that as possible,” said Russell.

“We are also becoming a destination for people from around the state and regionally as well. When planning their visits they need the comfort of knowing that they have the ability to recharge their vehicles, which adds yet another amenity to encourage them to visit our city, and an added convenience for our residents as well. On the bigger picture, Washington is a utility provider. Selling electricity is something we should promote and encourage as part of our electrical utility,” Russell explained.

Russell said moving forward they will monitor the usage rate of the charging stations which will help to drive the installation of additional public stations in the future. “We are also encouraging private businesses to invest in this effort as well, which will help with the installation of new stations moving forward,” said Russell.

Russell pointed out that the installation and purchase of charging stations was made possible by a state grant initiative to add EV charging stations throughout North Carolina. He said the plan is to have the three stations operational within the next month.