A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

City’s public EV charger about to open

Written September 28th, 2021 by Hasso Hering

This was the charging station on Sept. 4. It looked ready but wasn’t. Wednesday it will be.

You may be surprised to learn, as I was, that this is National Drive Electric Week. Sophie Dykast at City Hall mentioned it when she told me that Albany’s first city-sponsored electric vehicle charging station will open to the public tomorrow, at 8:30 Wednesday morning.

I’ve reported on this venture before. The gist is that it was Dykast’s idea to put an EV charging station downtown as part of the overall economic revival program of the Central Albany Revitalization Area, the city’s urban renewal district. After getting approval from the CARA advisory board and the city council, she arranged the details, including a survey of potential sites and a grant from Pacific Power that paid for the installation.

The quick-charge station now about to become ready for use is in the city-owned former JC Penney parking lot off Water Avenue between Broadalbin and Ferry streets.

The gizmo is part of the EV Connect network. To use it, you have to have, or get, a free account with that network, which can be done online.  Then, anybody with a vehicle equipped to “quick charge” — or charge quickly, as a stickler for grammar would say —  can use it.

The station has two types of connectors, CHAdeMO and CCS/SAE. One stands for “Charge de Move,” and the other for “Combined Charging System.” (I looked that up.)

Tesla vehicles have a different type of connector, so their drivers will need an adapter.

What about the price? Charging there will cost 35 cent per kilowatt hour. I’ll leave it to someone who knows more about it than I (just about anyone, in other words) to calculate how that compares to the price of motor fuel.

These and other details are explained in a fact sheet to be published on the city’s website (cityofalbany.net) at the time the station opens for use on Wednesday.

As you may have noticed, Pacific Power has been pushing electric vehicles in online ads. Lately the utility is promoting electric bikes too, even offering a subsidy to buyers of E-bikes who meet income limits. So maybe, as farfetched as it sounds today, one of these days we’ll see public charging stations for bikes as  well. (hh)




3 responses to “City’s public EV charger about to open”

  1. H.R. Richner says:

    Pacific Power is being political, by necessity, as they suffer under many arbitrary rules not imposed by the market. They know very well that without new nuclear power they could never succeed supplying all the power required by the replacing of all fossil-fueled vehicles, in addition to its own change away from that source. When do they plan to let us know?

  2. Hasso Hering says:

    George Pugh sent this comment: “Thank you Hasso for the follow-up. I was most interested in the charge per kilowatt. At $0.35 per KW, which is a little more than three times what I pay here, I think the payback would be pretty slow on a charging station. I think I will look elsewhere for a green investment.
    Talking with a neighbor with a highly subsidized, lower end EV, he only charges at home. As long as they are mostly used as commuter vehicles, it would seem that charging station would not be particularly useful. Of course you could take several rides on the carnival ride while you wait for your charge.
    Commercially, I think charging stations would be more of a draw at fueling stations near the freeway.”

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