City wants to add recharging stations for electric vehicles

Port Orchard is investigating the feasibility of federal grants to construct recharging stations for electric cars. - Courtesy photo
Port Orchard is investigating the feasibility of federal grants to construct recharging stations for electric cars.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Port Orchard isn’t planning on just talking about a “Green Initiative.” It’s also walking the walk.

“We’re working on the mechanics for getting funding for electric vehicle recharging stations in downtown,” said Mayor Lary Coppola in his May 2010 newsletter. “There are a number of grant opportunities out there for this and we are pursuing some with both Nissan and the federal government, among others.”

According to Coppola, there have been conversations with a major auto maker in the electric vehicle marketplace just this past week. The company will be doing a site visit within the next 30 days to determine if the city of Port Orchard will qualify for grant funding to build and install electric vehicle charging stations.

The auto maker has offered to help the city with the required application to attain funding, and the city has accepted its offer.

City representatives have met with Puget Sound Energy and determined the optimum location downtown, one that is is readily accessible for visiting electronic vehicle (EV) tourists to locate, plug in, and easily walk downtown shopping and other attractions.

“It’s a place with infrastructure already in the ground for both quick-recharging and more substantial full recharging,” Coppola said. “We see this as a cutting-edge opportunity for new economic development and a natural expansion of the city’s evolving Green Initiative.

“Based on the pre-sale numbers of electric cars like the Nissan LEAF, Ford Fiesta and Chevy Volt,” Coppola said, “it’s extremely clear that the Seattle metropolitan area will be an early adopter of this technology, as both Seattle and Portland dominate the pre-sale statistics for these vehicles.”

Electric vehicles have a range of about 100 miles on an electrical charge.

“We believe we can successfully encourage owners of them to visit our city and spend their money here by simply reassuring them they can actually get home once they get here,” Coppola said.

“We will charge for the electricity,” he said, “so it won’t cost the city's taxpayers anything, and will be a no-cost win-win for Port Orchard.”

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