(BLOOMINGTON) - The City of Bloomington announced that two public electric vehicle charging stations have been installed downtown as part of a two-year pilot program with Duke Energy.
The charging stations are located in Garage Market (at Seventh and Morton streets) and Garage Band (at Seventh and Walnut streets), and are already in operation and available for use.
"These new EV charging stations will improve access to downtown, particularly for out-of-town visitors that may not have any other option for charging their electric vehicle," said Mayor Mark Kruzan.
Funding for the equipment was provided entirely by Energy Systems Network's Project Plug-IN initiative, which was awarded American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) grant funding through the Indiana Office of Energy Development (IOED) to expand charging infrastructure. Bloomington was chosen along with several other cities across the state to provide public charging stations for electric vehicle owners.
Electric vehicles (EVs) require little or no gasoline and instead rely largely on batteries - charged by plugging the cars into an electrical outlet - for power. They cause less pollution and have lower emissions than most other vehicle types, and help reduce dependency on oil. Maintenance costs are also expected to be lower than many standard vehicles.
"There aren't many EVs in Bloomington yet, but rapidly changing electric vehicle technology, increasing gas prices, and other factors will likely result in a higher number of electric vehicles in Bloomington in the coming years," said Sustainability Coordinator Jacqui Bauer. "The new stations will allow both the City of Bloomington and Duke Energy to develop a better understanding of the demand for public charging stations and evaluate local trends."
After the two-year pilot project, the City of Bloomington and Duke Energy will evaluate usage levels and other data to determine whether to continue, expand, or end the program.
Both parking spaces will be dedicated to electric vehicle parking only. Users of the spaces will be required to pay both the standard parking fee of $0.50 per hour and an additional charge of $0.50 per hour for use of the charging station.
For more information on Project Plug-IN, visit http://www.duke-energy.com/plugin/ProjectPlugin.asp
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