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Raleigh ups electric car charging stations

Posted January 9, 2012

— With an increase of electric cars on the road, cities like Raleigh are adding more public charging stations.

Last week, Raleigh put the final touches on its 29th charging station. Eighteen stations are already open to the public, mainly in downtown, and 11 are in place for city-owned vehicles. One of the public stations is even located in the WRAL-TV studio parking lot on Western Boulevard.

"Raleigh prides itself as being a city of innovation," Assistant City Manager Julian Prosser said Monday.

Prosser said that's why Raleigh joined a nonprofit initiative a few years ago to become one of the first U.S. cities to install public car-charging stations. The public stations were only used 96 times last year, but they offset more than 19 tons of carbon dioxide in vehicle exhaust. This year, the usage is expected to go up, Prosser said.

"We think the demand will increase, and I would not be surprised to see a significant increase," Prosser said.

Raleigh adds more electric car charging stations Raleigh adds more electric car charging stations

For now, taxpayers are footing the bill for the electricity that drivers are using. Prosser said it's not a lot of money, but as more drivers use the stations, the city likely will start charging for them.

The city spent $125,000 for the charging stations. State and federal grants, as well as manufacturers' donations helped offset the rest of the costs.

Raleigh electric car charging stations (Red pins denote stations that have not gone online yet)

24 Comments

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  • torque1 Jan 18, 9:00 a.m.

    I know someone who just purchased an electric car and paid over $40,000 ... whew! What a savings!! I think I will continue to drive my car that is paid off!

  • lpickup2 Jan 12, 11:02 a.m.

    As a followup to my previous comment, even if the TCO of gas vs. EV is a wash (after having researched it myself with real facts, I believe the EV will ultimately have a lower TCO, but you are entitled to your own guesstimate), there are many other reasons to buy an EV other than saving money. In my case the top 4 reasons are: reducing the US's dependence on foreign oil; more efficient use of energy regardless of the source; reducing emissions; and TCO. Sure you can argue that taxpayers shouldn't have to fund EV development, but the amount that is subsidized is a drop in the bucket compared to how much we spend on subsidies for new oil/natural gas exploration not to mention maintaining a military presence in the gulf region to stabilize and keep oil flowing through the Straight of Hormuz. If you want to take the side of big oil and send $$ to the middle east, that's your choice. But in my opinion it's money well spent to kick start the effort to get us off big oil.

  • lpickup2 Jan 12, 9:50 a.m.

    I have made an investment up front, for sure. But your example makes no sense: where does your $18K figure for a replacement battery pack come from anyway? Yes, you made it up, just like you also made up the 4-5 year battery life. Nobody knows what replacement battery packs will cost in 8 years. Then you've assumed that at 8 years and 1 day the pack will suddenly fail. No, what that means is that worst case at that time the battery will have 80% of its original capacity, still sufficient for my use for possibly several more years. Plus you've ignored the residual value of a "used" pack which will likely have a secondary use for electrical utilities as grid storage. But if you want to add in the cost of replacement items like the batteries, then this has become a Total Cost of Owernship discussion, and you need to consider maintenance and repair of gas engines: oil changes; tune ups, mufflers, catalytic converters, O2 sensors, timing belts, ...

  • promethianfire Jan 11, 12:17 p.m.

    "facts from an actual EV owner: the battery is warranted for 8 yrs/100K miles...I'm paying 3.5 cents/mile (which INCLUDES a $12/month add-on I pay to Progress/NCGreenPower.org that ensures the power I buy comes from renewables making my carbon footprint truly ZERO for the car) vs 13 cents/mile I got in the 25MPG car I traded in. Who got sold the bill of goods?" lpickup2
    Now add the cost of the replacement battery pack, $18K, divided by the 100K miles (optimum use) and add those costs. that's a whopping 21.5 cents per mile. 25 x 21.5 = $5.375 Your mind is made up but your math is undone. So as long as gas is below $5.38 a gallon, you've bought the bill of goods, and you've paid the price upfront.

  • Close-minded libs Jan 11, 9:49 a.m.

    They are cherry picking carbon benefits. These did not spontanously appear, so what was the carbon overhead for implimenting these? Plus, the electricty flowing through them, how is that being generated? Should even include the added carbon taking parking spaces away adds.

  • yournot Jan 10, 4:15 p.m.

    Waste of taxpayer money, again. Less than 1% of the cars on the road are electric. The car manufacturers just declared electric cars dead, a non seller. The only ones who buy these cars are people with lots of money and time on their hands, the very wealthy. This is another case of pay for play politics.

  • LegalEagle Jan 10, 10:19 a.m.

    I am also an EV owner (100% electric Nissan Leaf) and will echo the pro-EV comments below. I am finding similar results with my Leaf and love the fact that Raleigh is so forward thinking with regard to electric vehicles. This WILL make a difference.

  • dmpaltman2 Jan 10, 10:05 a.m.

    I think I'll stick to driving my 2005 Chevy Silverado and my 2012 Ford F-250. Nothing wrong with being green, but I can't haul material in a Leaf,Volt or golf cart.

  • lpickup2 Jan 10, 9:42 a.m.

    While it's true that you'd have to leave your car parked all day to get a full charge if you drove up completely empty, many EV drivers will do most of their charging at home and only use the charging stations for extending range. For example, the other night my wife used the car for her daily commute (40 miles total) and we had some errands to run near downtown. The round trip would have put us at about 80 miles total, within the car's range, but starting to cut it close, so we decided to grab dinner at the Flying Saucer and charge while we ate, giving us extra buffer. Without the charging station we may have chosen to stick closer to home or go somewhere like North Hills that has charging stations, but instead downtown business benefited from the fact that charging stations were there.

  • lpickup2 Jan 10, 9:04 a.m.

    I was going to give kudos to Raleigh for forward thinking wrt charging stations, but based on comments it seems like there is a lot of misinformation out there. The other night I drove my LEAF downtown and parked @ a charging station for 2 hours and drew 7.6kWh of electricity. That's a whole 80 cents of power, or a whopping 40 cents/hour. Since it costs $1/hour to park in the garage, I'm really raking it in and the city will surely go broke at that rate only getting 60 cents/hour for that spot. Folks you can cherry pick and make up whatever stats you want, but here are some facts from an actual EV owner: the battery is warranted for 8 yrs/100K miles. Savings per mile are significant. Just for fuel alone, I'm paying 3.5 cents/mile (which INCLUDES a $12/month add-on I pay to Progress/NCGreenPower.org that ensures the power I buy comes from renewables making my carbon footprint truly ZERO for the car) vs 13 cents/mile I got in the 25MPG car I traded in. Who got sold the bill of goods?

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