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)