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updated: 12/16/2013 9:29 PM

City will pick up the tab for people to charge their vehicles

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  • A car is plugged into the first car charging station offered by the city of St. Charles Monday at the First Street garage.

       A car is plugged into the first car charging station offered by the city of St. Charles Monday at the First Street garage.
    Rick West | Staff Photographer

  • Julia Davies of St. Charles demonstrates how she charges her Tesla during the unveiling of the city of St. Charles's new car charging station Monday at the First Street garage.

       Julia Davies of St. Charles demonstrates how she charges her Tesla during the unveiling of the city of St. Charles's new car charging station Monday at the First Street garage.
    Rick West | Staff Photographer

 
 

St. Charles Mayor Ray Rogina and City Administrator Mark Koenen and a resident with a Tesla electric car demonstrated Monday afternoon the Electric Vehicle Charger technology at the First Street garage.

A ChargePoint, Level 2 EVC recently was installed on the fourth floor of the parking garage. The dual charging unit is available to residents to charge their electric vehicles free for up to two hours. The technology allows users of a mobile app to monitor station availability and receive notifications about the progress of their charging.

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"It's very convenient to be able to find a charge station wherever you are and to be able to tell if it's occupied or not (by using the app)," said Julia Davies of St. Charles, who brought her Tesla in for demonstration purposes. "It's really handy."

The city received a 50 percent matching grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to install the $12,000 unit.

City electric services manager Thomas Bruhl said the city will pay the cost of the charging. He said each two-hour charge is approximately 60 cents. He and the city estimate yearly costs for electricity at about $300. In contrast, the city's budget for all electricity usage is $40 million annually.

"St. Charles is always trying to encourage green activities in the city and this is just another one of those steps," said Koenen.

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