FIRST ON 3: Wilmington council considers electric car charging stations in parking deck

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Electric cars used to seem like something of the future, but the future is now, and more folks around the nation and locally are buying hybrid and electric cars. The City of Wilmington and Progress Energy are teaming up to encourage more folks to get plugged in.

“We do have a commitment to sustainability here, so we’re hoping that this will encourage people to own electric vehicles,” City Councilman Kevin O’Grady said.

Tuesday night, City Council will consider a resolution to install two charging stations in the Market Street parking deck.

Progress Energy approached the city about the pilot project. The energy company will provide the equipment and install it.

During the two-year pilot program, there will be no additional charges for drivers charging their electric cars; only the standard parking deck fees already in place.

The city will only have to pay for the amount of electricity used, which is estimated to be about $10 a month.

O’Grady hopes this will encourage people to plug in and also help spark more business in the city.

“I hope it’s very successful,” he said. “I hope it’s in great demand, and then it will encourage private citizens to open electric charging stations for profit.”

As far as demand goes, O’Grady says he believes there are about 100 electric cars currently on the streets of wilmington.

Jeff Gordon Chevrolet Marketing Manager Mark Santilli says electric cars are in high demand. He thinks the charging stations are a great idea.

“The fossil fuel is not something that is going to last forever,” he said. “We will have to transition over to another fuel source. How long that takes is still undecided, but this is a start.”

Data from the Electrical Power Research Institute shows the number of electric cars in New Hanover County will increase from 134 in 2012 to 795 in 2015.

Council is expected to approve the plan tomorrow night. No word yet on when the stations will be installed.

Categories: New Hanover

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