The electric tide is coming to Ann Arbor, and the city's downtown development authority wants to embrace it. Last week the city held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for 18 new electric vehicle charging stations placed in six city parking structures: Fourth and William, Maynard, Ann and Ashley, Forest Avenue, and Fourth and Catherine, as well as the soon-to-open Library Lane facility.
The Ann Arbor DDA
has found the usage to be higher than expected at the stations, some of which have been in place for the last month, according to Dave Konkle, the DDA's energy programs director. On average, three cars a day plug in to the 220-volt, 30-amp type 2 chargers at each station. "They can charge five times faster than the ones you plug into your own house," he says.
The stations offer free plug-ins, although normal parking fees apply. The average charge uses about 80 cents' worth of electricity, says Konkle.
The outlets were funded through a $110,000 U.S. Dept. of Energy's Clean Cities Recovery Act grant passed through the Clean Energy Coalition
Konkle says within the next two months the DDA will be adding a link to its website showing the locations of the chargers and whether they are in use at that moment. A mobile phone app with this real-time availability information will follow.
With the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf out in circulation, and the new Ford Focus and Prius plug-in hybrid following at their heels, "Our logic was that this is certainly something that is coming and Ann Arbor needs to be ready for it," Konkle says.
Drivers can "take their electric cars and, without worrying, they can come to downtown Ann Arbor and park and plug them in and go to the restaurants or the music venues or whatever they want."
Source: Dave Konkle, energy programs director, Ann Arbor DDA
Writer: Tanya Muzumdar