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Electric Charging Station at City Hall Upgraded in Time for Earth Day

Avista provided the equipment; City installed it

Release Date: 4/21/2011 12:00:00 PM

MEDIA CONTACT: Marlene Feist 625-6740

With Earth Day just around the corner, the City of Spokane today is announcing that the electric vehicle charging station at City Hall has been upgraded to allow for charging electric vehicles more quickly and efficiently. The station has been upgraded to a “Stage II” unit that provides 208 volts and can charge an electric vehicle in half the time of the earlier 110-volt, “Stage I” equipment. The 110-volt unit was equivalent to a typical household outlet.

charging station

The charging station is located in the parking lot just to the north of City Hall. Currently the charging station has one outlet, but later this year it will be upgraded to two outlets allowing two vehicles to charge at the same time. The station is a partnership between the City and Avista. Avista provided the new equipment, and the City installed it.

“Over the last three years, the City has been working to implement sustainability programs and projects that help protect our environment and reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” says Mayor Mary Verner, “We’re very excited to have the charging station upgraded and to add new alternative vehicles to our fleet.”

In part, the City wanted to upgrade the station to accommodate two new vehicles that will be added to the City’s motor pool. To save money and resources, the City dramatically reduced its motor pool in 2010 and committed to an emphasis on alternative-fuel vehicles for the remaining motor pool vehicles. The motor pool was reduced from 29 vehicles to five vehicles, including three hybrids the City already owned and the two vehicles that are being added. The City is expecting delivery of a Nissan Leaf this summer and a Chevrolet Volt by early 2012.

Of course, the station can be used by the public as well. As the cost of fuel and pressure to lessen dependence on oil increases, consumers are adopting more alternative modes of transportation. Electric/gas hybrid vehicles are now more widely available, and last year the first mass produced electric vehicles were made available. Such options for converting to alternative transportation also are becoming more affordable to the average consumer.

With widespread adoption of alternative transportation, the demand for energy to power these vehicles will grow, which is where electric charging stations come in. While charging primarily will be completed at home, the availability of public stations will help eliminate the “range anxiety” of electric transportation.

The charging station at City Hall is one of three that Avista has installed in Spokane. Other stations are located at the Steam Plant Grill and Avista’s headquarters on East Mission.

“My thanks go out to Avista for continuing to be our great partner on this project,” says Mayor Verner.

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