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EV Charging Stations Come To Oriental
Electric cars can recharge at Town Hall, Town Docks
December 6, 2017

T
wo electric vehicle (EV) charging stations are operational in Oriental; one at Town Hall and the other near the public restrooms by the new Town Dock. Oriental is now on the EV map for visitors electric cars.

EV Charging Station
The new charging station outside Town Hall.

Chris Browder, an ambassador for Plug-In NC, visited from Raleigh in a small, hybrid electric BMW. He instructed the staff at Town Hall on the use of the orange ChargePoint charging stations.

First, you need a ChargePoint card. ChargePoint maintains the largest network of electric charging stations in the world, mapping more than 43,000 stations. The card and account are free. If you do not have a card, or if you forget yours, Town Hall has a spare.

A swipe of the card displays charging instructions on the screen and unlocks the charging handle. Town Hall Manager Diane Miller advised it was the only way to release the handle, despite Town staff’s best efforts to remove it manually.

EV Charging Station
The screen tells you where you are and how to charge.

From there, the handle is plugged into the car and the charging begins. It can take a couple of hours to deliver a complete charge, long enough for the owner to grab a bite to eat or take a stroll through town.

The ChargePoint card is connected to the owner’s account and, if the ChargePoint app is installed on their phone, will alert the car owner when charging is complete. The station will also notify those in Town Hall when it is being used, for how long, how much energy was used, and by whom.

EV Charging Station
A screen shot of the app shows you which stations are available and can notify you when they become available. This one is in Raleigh.

For now, the stations are open and free to the public. Any model EV can be charged at the station. Golf carts are the exception. Should a an EV owner decide to use the public station as a private charger, the Town can shut them out or limit charging to specific hours.

A grant from Duke Energy paid for Oriental’s two units. “Duke put out a solicitation more than a year ago as restitution for their coal ash settlement with the government.” Use costs the Town 42 cents an hour. Miller says it’s an investment in tourism. “You buy one sandwich while you’re charging, you’ve repaid everything.”

According to the ChargePoint map, Oriental’s nearest charging neighbors are in Beaufort and New Bern. Miller doesn’t expect a sudden influx of electric vehicles, though she knows of two Teslas and a Leaf that frequent the area. The stations are upgradeable in case of greater demand down the road, allowing for two cars to charge at each station rather than one. They can also be upgraded to include a credit or debit card system if the expense to the town becomes too great.

Swansboro will have one installed at their Town Hall as soon as they reconfigure their parking lot. Miller and the their Town Manager intend to cross promote each other. “People can come down here, hop the river down to Swansboro and still be able to get back to where they want. And the same thing if they go there, he can say, ‘if you just go across the river you can charge again in Oriental, and then travel on your way.’”

Plug-In NC is a program of Advanced Energy, a nonprofit energy consulting firm. They “advance education, awareness, and adoption of electrified transportation across the state of North Carolina.” Chris Browder shows TownDock.net how to use the Oriental Town Hall charging station.

How to charge your electric car.

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Posted Wednesday December 6, 2017 by Allison DeWeese


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