EV charging station goes online in Keystone

By Wesley LeBlanc
Posted 12/12/18

KEYSTONE HEIGHTS – There’s a new place for electric car owners to charge their cars in Clay County and it’s in Keystone Heights.

About a year and a half ago, the North Florida …

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EV charging station goes online in Keystone

Posted

KEYSTONE HEIGHTS – There’s a new place for electric car owners to charge their cars in Clay County and it’s in Keystone Heights.

About a year and a half ago, the North Florida Transportation Planning Organization was given a second wave of grants from the U.S. Department of Energy as part of its Clean Cities Program. While the TPO is a part of this coalition, in North Florida the Clean Cities Program has been titled the North Florida Clean Fuels Coalition. After a charging station was installed in Fernandina Beach as the first station in phase two – the second wave of grants – Keystone Heights was targeted as the next city to receive one. On Wednesday, city and county officials joined TPO officials to officially dedicate and celebrate the new EV charging station’s installment.

“We’re very happy and very excited to be a part of the North Florida TPO regional plan for electric vehicles and this technology that is being ushered into the region,” said Scott Kornegay, Keystone Heights city manager.

Located by the Keystone Heights City Hall and tennis courts area at 160 South-East Lakeview Dr., drivers can access the charging station 24/7 and will cost users 10 cents per kilowatt-hour, according to Kornegay. A kilowatt-hour is the measure of electrical energy equivalent to the power consumption of 1,000 watts for one hour. The ChargeWell branded charging station can charge two vehicles at one time.

TPO Public Affairs Manager Marci Larson said this station was installed for roughly $12,000 to $13,000. Larson said the TPO was able to keep costs lower by installing level two chargers with the grant money. A level two charger is not the fastest electric car charging station, but it isn’t the slowest either. It can fully charge a 100-mile battery in about 4 to 5 hours, which would come in at roughly 7.5 kilowatts.

For comparison, a level three charger, which is what Tesla installs around the country, can charge a Tesla in 20 minutes to one hour, depending on the model. Larson said Tesla owners can still use the Keystone Heights charging station as well, though.

The reason for this charging station in Keystone Heights isn’t necessarily tied to the number of electric cars in the area, but rather, the growth of alternative fuel sources. Larson said as those alternative sources are become proliferated, the region has to be ready for users of those sources.

“The Clean Fuels Coalition goal is to encourage public and private entities to use alternative fuels, of which electric is one of those types of fuels,” Larson said. “Anybody that has been reading the media for the last five years knows that electric vehicles are becoming more and more prominent. You of course have Tesla making them, but many of the major manufacturers are getting involved too and we are just preparing this region for the future of those vehicles.”

Larson said not only is electricity a cleaner fuel source, but it’s a more affordable one. Many electric car owners will see their costs in yearly fuel cut in half. Overall, the TPO hopes that the more charging stations available in the public space, the more potential customers will be inclined to purchase an electric vehicle, which is the ultimate goal of the Clean Fuels Coalition.

“If people know that there are going to be charging stations other than in their own garage or on their own property, they’re going to be more inclined to consider the purchase of an electric vehicle and that helps everyone,” Larson said.

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