City approves electric vehicle charging stations

Encinitas residents and employees will soon have a public spot to charge their electric vehicles.

The city council on Aug. 9 unanimously approved a three-year contract with Corridor Power for 10 parking spaces for electric vehicles in an existing City Hall lower overflow parking lot at 505 S. Vulcan Avenue. Council member Tasha Boerner Horvath and Mayor Catherine Blakespear were also appointed to a subcommittee to overlook the project.

The arrangement also calls for a drivers’ lounge building, where people can wait or grab ready-made snacks while their cars are charging. Currently, the lot has 25 parking spaces available, but the drivers’ lounge would remove seven of those. Of the remaining spaces, 10 would be used for electric vehicles and eight would be used for public, non-charging spaces.

Boerner Horvath said the drivers’ lounge should be branded with information about Encinitas, and the products sold should come from local businesses.

City staff analyzed that the parking lot is currently most in demand between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. Staff anticipates peak demand for fast-charging from 6:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Fridays. The parking lot would be open 24 hours a day and staffed at all times.

Angus Clark, president of Corridor Power, said the lot would remain free for residents and parking will be available when the spots are not in use.

Blakespear said the subcommittee should ensure these rules are enforced, and the spots should also be available for public use during select city events. She also recommended escalated remedies for a breach of contract should anything go awry.

However, Blakespear said, she's generally onboard with the project.

"I think it's an important part of us doing our part to help the environment," she said.

There will also be 30 plug points for electric bicycles in the lot.

In an agreement with Corridor Power, which was first approved by the planning commission in June after being evaluated, the city will collect about $57,432 in total license fees for the use of the city's property over the course of three years.

The charging stations will cost about $3 to use for 20 minutes, which is the average charging time, according to Corridor Power.

Encinitas residents and employees will be issued free cards to use when they need to charge their cars.

Staff did not give dates on when the charging stations and drivers’ lounge building will be available or when construction will begin.

Copyright © 2017, Encinitas Advocate
68°