Wilmington to install electric car charging stations
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WILMINGTON -- City of Wilmington officials are continuing efforts to turn the Port City green.
Soon the first level of the Market Street parking deck will have a place to "fuel up" or grab a charge. Electric cars will have a charging station with two parking spaces dedicated for the vehicles.
"We do a have a commitment to sustainable growth and for sustainability you have to look at conserving energy and resources," said City Councilman Kevin O'Grady.
At Tuesday night's council meeting the board voted to support the Wilmington first charging stations and the two year pilot program with Progress Energy.
"It will allow Progress Energy to collect data on their usage. Hopefully it will demonstrate their profitability, so that in the future there can be private investment into creating electric charging stations throughout the city," said O'Grady.
The cost of the new charging machines will come at no price to the city as they will be provided by Progress Energy. The only bill the city will see will be for the electricity which is expected to not exceed $10 a month.
The need for the space is speeding up. Data shows the number of electric cars in New Hanover will increase from 134 in 2012 to 795 in 2015.
"Save as much money as you can and help the environment, I think it is a great idea," said Ashley Isbrecht of Wilmington.
The charging stations won't be taking up the whole parking deck just yet, but dealerships said the cars are in high demand.
"There is a need for limited charging stations for vehicles but I don't see it taking over your typical gas vehicle," said Peter Strauss of Toyota of Wilmington.
City officials said it's a way to stay ahead of the curve and encourage people to get plugged in.
"Keeps us on the cutting edge of technology. Just like we were with digital TV, with the white spaces development, and now electric cars," said O'Grady.