If you need to charge your electric vehicle in Lincoln, try one of the downtown parking lots.
The city recently invited businesses and the general public to complete a survey regarding the use of electric vehicles in Lincoln, as part of the creation of a community strategy for electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
Whatever those plans are, they will be built on the 15 charging stations that have been available mostly in city center car parks since 2016. Each has the capacity to charge two cars at once.
Frank Uhlarik, the city’s sustainability and compliance administrator, said the city got grants to buy and install them, and is in the process of installing 12 more charging stations – each with two charging ports – at municipal operating sites, although they are also. available to the public.
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Existing charging ports are mostly used by city visitors or people living in downtown condos, he said.
As of March, 110 people had used the charging stations 338 times, according to the Nebraska Community Energy Alliance, which monitors charging station usage for communities and organizations that are part of the group. This had saved users $2,575, compared to gas mileage, although Uhlarik noted that the price of gas was much lower than what motorists are currently paying.
Since their first installation, the stations have been used 9,639 times, saving car owners $42,778.
Uhlarik said the city is taking a “measured approach” to building the infrastructure, though he said ultimately the private sector – convenience stores and other places where motorists often fill up – will have to take market control.
While the city can do a better job of advertising charging stations, electric car users can access apps that tell them where all the stations are and if there’s a wait, he said. declared. And so far there are no long queues to use them.
But that could change – that’s why the city is creating a plan.
President Biden’s bipartisan Infrastructure Act provides states with $7.5 billion to build an electric vehicle charging network along interstate highways. Nebraska was recently approved for $6 million a year for five years, which the state plans to use to install charging stations along I-80.
A draft of the city plan – including the results of the survey – will be available later this year.
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