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City to Add Electric Vehicles Charging Stations in Downtown Garage

semaconnectAt last night’s Council meeting, the City Council approved the purchase and installation of two electric vehicle charging stations in the City’s parking garage. The cost to purchase and install the two charging stations will not exceed $12,900.

The EV charging stations will be another visible sign of the City’s commitment to environmental sustainability.

City explored the cost of installing a charging station in the garage in order to be proactive and to support the City’s sustainability initiatives. No survey of the number of electric vehicles utilizing the parking garage has occurred. Staff has witnessed Teslas and Leafs parking in the garage on occasion.

Moreover, staff considered the following benefits during their decision to install the charging station.

– Public availability of EV charging encourages more people to purchase cleaner electric vehicles, thereby reducing emissions.
– Offering EV charging makes College Park an even more attractive destination.
– It pulls more visitors to local businesses and boosts the local economy. The typical EV driver has 2x the national average income, is highly educated and green-minded.
– EV drivers often choose destinations based on the availability of EV charging and they tend to shop around charging locations, so their car can be charging while dining or shopping.
– EV charging helps nearby businesses attract new customers, and build a steady revenue stream from repeat buyers who stay longer and spend more.
– It further establishes College Park as a green leader.
– Electric vehicle numbers nationwide have increased 10X in the last 4 years.
– There are about 6,000 electric vehicles in the state, that’s about 1 electric vehicle for every 400 conventionally-powered vehicles registered in MD. There are about 900 public charging stations across the state.
– Currently, there are about 16 EV stations on UM campus and 2 off campus on University property.

– The City will likely increase its fleet of electric vehicles in the future. Providing a charging station in the garage and several at DPW will enable the City to charge is EV fleet in the future.

Staff has not completed a feasibility study and recommended against it. The cost of the study would likely be equal to or greater than the EV charger and installation. For the reasons stated above, staff has recommended the purchase and install of the EV charger in the garage.

EV charger usage depends on the garage, the day of week and the time of day. Some locations are more popular than others. Nearly every charging station on the UM campus is usually occupied by 8am on weekdays.

The City will be eligible for a $5,000 (maximum) reimbursement from the Maryland Energy Administration if we move forward with the purchase of the charging stations.

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