City to open first electric vehicle charging station
Sun Staff October 12, 2012 10:04AM
Updated: November 15, 2012 6:30AM
The city of Naperville will officially unveil its first electric vehicle charging station Tuesday morning in the downtown Van Buren surface parking lot.
A special ceremony will be held at 9:30 a.m. where city officials will be joined by representatives from area car dealerships that will showcase some of the electric vehicles that are currently being sold. Members of the public are invited to attend as well. The Van Buren surface parking lot is located at Van Buren Avenue and Main Street downtown.
“This electric vehicle charging station is a unique addition to our downtown area that will provide a convenient service for those who currently own electric vehicles or those who plan to own them in the near future,” City Manager Doug Krieger said.
Since electric cars are still not common, the city is not sure how much activity the station will see.
“The city is using the installation of this public charging station as a pilot project to monitor the unit’s popularity and usage, information that will help us further develop policies and long-term plans for future electric vehicle charging in Naperville,” Krieger said.
The Van Buren electric vehicle charging station is a Level 2 charger that will allow users to partially recharge their vehicles for up to three hours while shopping or dining downtown.
Some businsses downtown see the station as a possible promotional opportunity, since it takes hours for an electric car to charge. The owners will need to fill their time downtown while their cars charge, and that should mean money for local businesses.
“We’re pleased the city is using the downtown to promote and evaluate the city’s response to public electric vehicle charging stations,” Downtown Naperville Alliance Representative Steve Rubin said.
Electric vehicles must be charging to use the parking space and they can charge up to three hours.
The parking space is not allowed to be used by any vehicle that is not an electric vehicle, and the parking space has been designated a tow zone for violations.
In addition to introducing the new charging station to the public, the city will use the ribbon-cutting ceremony to announce the winners of the residential electric charging station raffle held earlier this summer. The city will conduct a raffle drawing for five residential electric vehicle charging stations to utility customers.
The charging stations being raffled off were obtained by the city as part of its federal matching grant for the Naperville Smart Grid Initiative.