Public charging stations, essential to making electric car ownership practical, are coming to City Hall.
A pair of ChargePoint charging stations, expected to be the first of many public stations in Bellevue, are being installed this month in the visitors' parking lot at City Hall (450 110th Ave. NE). A ribbon-cutting ceremony is set for 2:30 p.m., Friday at the charging stations.
"We're excited about getting charging stations here," Mayor Don Davidson said. "In keeping with the goals of our Environmental Stewardship Initiative, we want to encourage cleaner transportation options. Helping create a network of charging stations in our region is one way of doing that."
With American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding, Campbell, California-based Coulomb Technologies will install 4,600 public and home "ChargePoint America" charging stations in nine regions, including the Bellevue/Redmond area, around the country.
Coulomb is working with Ford, Chevrolet and SmartUSA who, along with other manufacturers, have announced plans to introduce mass-produced electric vehicles in the next two years. The City Hall charging stations were provided to the city free as a part of the ChargePoint America program, in collaboration with Coulomb's Pacific Northwest distributor, ChargeNorthwest.
The 240-volt charging stations being installed at City Hall, intended primarily for use by visitors who have business with the city, will charge an average automobile electric battery in four to six hours. Most people would likely use them to "top off" during visits to City Hall. ChargePoint stations are networked so users can check the charging status of their car and locations of unoccupied charging stations by using a smart phone.
Speakers expected at the Nov. 19 event include Mayor Davidson, ChargePoint America Director Michael Jones, Technologies Vice President Ted Fagenson, as well as representatives from Kemper Development Co. and Puget Sound Energy.
Businesses can learn about receiving free public charging stations at ChargePoint America.
The $37 million ChargePoint program is made possible by a $15 million grant funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act through the Transportation Electrification Initiative administered by the Department of Energy. ChargePoint America will provide 4,600 public and home charging stations by October 2011, adding to the existing ChargePoint network.
Coulomb will work together with its distribution and industry partners to evaluate the demand from the respective geographic regions and allocate charging stations based on this and other factors. The ChargePoint America project will collect data characterizing vehicle use and charging patterns, and Purdue University and Idaho National Labs will analyze the data.
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