Electric vehicle charging stations installed in Tampa

11/15/11 Olivia Kabat
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday | Listen to this entire show:

The City of Tampa recently installed electric vehicle charging stations in several parking garages and surface lots. These 10 new charging stations provide easier access to alternative transportation.

Irvin Lee, Parking Division Director with the City of Tampa says Tampa motorists with electric cars now have convenient areas to recharge their vehicles.

“The electric vehicle charging stations provide a charging port for vehicles that have a plug-in charge capability. Essentially what this allows us to do is give those vehicles that have that capability the opportunity to park in parking garages primarily, and charge the vehicle to prepare it for electrical operation.”

According to Lee, they put in the charging stations because electric car sales are expected to rise in the Tampa area.

“Part of the selection process was based on the fact that the vehicle manufacturers had the vehicles in this area or the manufacturers had anticipated sales of those types of vehicles in this region that would allow them the opportunity to be able to have a place to refuel…or should I say recharge.”

The charging stations were paid for by Coulomb Technologies through its ChargePoint America program. That network has websites and smart phone apps that allow drivers with electric cars to find out where they can plug in. The charging stations didn’t cost the City of Tampa because it agreed to participate in a Department of Energy monitoring program to collect information and evaluate their function and efficiency through 2013.

“There are a variety of many different companies that are coming up with their vehicle to enter into this market. We’re participating in this program not only for the functional purpose of allowing vehicles to be able to have a place in the public to charge, but also to assist in gathering data about not only the usage patterns but the locations where people would most be interested in charging their vehicle.”

Lee says the main goal for installing electric vehicle charging stations is to reduce the amount of fossil fuel emissions in the environment. He says recharging instead of refueling is a more environmentally friendly alternative.

“This is one of the options, one of the alternatives available to support “green” transportation. Having that “green” infrastructure, whether it’s low emission vehicles from natural gas or electric vehicles or any of the other variety of alternative fuels that are available that provide lower emissions. The bottom line is to be able to reduce the emissions from mobile sources or vehicles.”

Lee anticipates more charging stations will be installed around the city.

For more information: NovaCharge

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I wonder how many vehicles are able to be charged at the same time?