PETOSKEY – Petoskey could make new public charging stations for electric vehicles available as early as next year.
At their meeting on Monday, Petoskey city council members heard about the possibility of installing up to three hookups in the city allowing hybrid and electric cars to refuel. In particular, the infrastructure would benefit local residents who do not have the parking space or amenities to charge at home.
One of these circumstances earlier this year was a major factor in the city’s efforts to implement the new public facilities. A citizen, who lives in a neighborhood without a garage and requiring the use of on-street parking, bought a hybrid vehicle and wanted to know if he could get permission to either connect an electric wire to his car on the street, or install a station that would allow him to access the power supply to his home from the street, said Mike Robbins, director of public works at Petoskey.
“We discussed it at length and rejected the request, at that time, to put this unit in a public right of way”,
Using a cordon or building a private charging station on the public right-of-way was not both logistical and legal, but Robbins said the request was “not without merit” and that ‘it corresponds to the city’s long-term sustainability objectives. possible public spaces where charging stations could go. Earlier at the same meeting, city council members adopted their “Petoskey habitable” master plan, which contains multiple references to encouraging electric vehicle installations in the region and shifting the city’s fleet to electricity.
“Electric vehicles are coming… which means there is a need for infrastructure in our city. There are charging stations around, there are places these people can go, but we’ll see what we can do to meet that demand, ”Robbins said.
Currently, there is a public electric charging station in the city, located in the Darling Lot, the parking area at the corner of Petoskey and Michigan streets. This was installed in 2017 in conjunction with the city’s Green Corridor Project which built a non-motorized trail along a former rail corridor.
The plan to study and possibly install new stations should be included in both the capital improvement plan and the city’s budget for 2022.
Depending on what the city finds in its preliminary explorations, the objective would be to add a “level 3” charging station in a practical and walkable part of the city, with the possibility of a few “level 2” stations. .
These levels refer to the energy potential of the stations and the usable load range, with level 1 providing 140 volts, level 2 providing 240 volts and level 3 providing a three phase power system ranging from 208 to 480 volts. Level three stations are only compatible with certain high-end vehicle models and can charge vehicles powerful enough in 20 minutes to travel up to 80 miles, compared to 20 miles in 60 minutes for level two stations. But Robbins said the efficiency is getting higher and higher. A Level 3 station would cost approximately $ 40,000 and a Level 2 station would cost approximately $ 7,000.
City officials were not expected to take action on the matter at their Monday meeting, but most city council members spoke positively about the idea.