The electric vehicle charging station, made by Chargepoint, is a 240-volt, Level 2 charger with two ports to allow two electric-powered vehicles to be charged simultaneously.
Ed Lovell, a management analyst for the public works department, said plans for the charging station were initially made when the transit station was built four years ago. The decision to install the charge station in late February +the rise in popularity of electric vehicles on the roadway.
“Four years ago, electric cars were not that popular,” Lovell said. “Over the past couple of years with electric cars getting more popular, including the Chevy Volt and the Nissan Leaf, we decided to put it in.”
The charging station cost $11,000, which was paid through Transportation Development Act funds.
Drivers can charge their electric vehicles free of charge any time, any day of the week at the transit station.
Lovell said that in nearly four weeks, there have been 11 charging sessions lasting an average of two hours each session.
Because each car model is different and the charge time varies with the amount of energy left in the battery, Lovell said there isn’t a set amount of time required to charge an electric vehicle. The average time for a car could be up to four hours. Lovell said there was no limit on how long a car could be plugged into the charger at the transit station.
The pilot program hopes to give electric vehicle owners a convenient place to charge.
“It’s a good location — you can plug in your car and then go do things in downtown while it’s charging,” Lovell said.
Use of the charging station is at no cost for a year while the city staff charts the use and power demand of the charger. At that point, Lovell said the staff will discuss options which include a fee for use of the charger or installing more chargers in the city.
Lovell said research on fees asked by other nearby municipalities and in the Bay Area for charging stations ranged from up to $2 an hour for a time-based fees to 49 cents a kilowatt-hour for energy-used fees.
The transit station’s electric vehicle charger joins two other charging stations listed as being in Tracy on various electric vehicle websites. Tracy Nissan, 3195 N. Naglee Road, has three Level 2 chargers, and MCH Electric Warehouse, 4923 W. 11th St., has two Level 2 chargers but requires a card key for use.
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