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The Daily Tar Heel

Town of Carrboro installs more electric vehicle charging stations

An EV charging station sits in the parking lot of Martin Luther King Jr. Park in Carrboro, NC on Thursday, Mar. 3, 2022. This is one of two EV charging stations recently added in the Town of Carrboro.

Carrboro installed two new electric vehicle charging stations in February, which join its original charging station at Carrboro Town Hall.

Both Carrboro and Chapel Hill have made stations like this available to the public as electric vehicle usage has increased in recent years.

The Carrboro Town Hall charging station was installed in 2017 and had 141 unique users in its first year. In its fourth year, from August 2020 to August 2021, it saw 281 unique users. And so far this year — from August 2021 until early March — it has seen 245 unique users.

Laura Janway, environmental sustainability coordinator for the Town of Carrboro, said these new charging stations were funded by a grant from the North Carolina Volkswagen Settlement.

She said the Town is working with other municipalities to create an EV charging station suitability analysis.

“It's going to be a really comprehensive analysis and incorporate lots of different factors, including equity,” Janway said. “So, when we have that finished, it will allow us to prioritize different locations, not only within Carrboro but with the larger picture of EV charging stations throughout the county.”

The analysis will be completed in the next few months and will serve to help determine placements of future charging stations.

But Carrboro is not the only town working toward green transportation — Chapel Hill also has plans to expand electric vehicle accessibility. 

John Richardson, sustainability officer for the Town of Chapel Hill, said the area currently has three charging stations, with at least five more stations planned for the next 12 to 18 months. 

The plan seeks to convert 50 percent of all traditional cars to electric vehicles by 2030 and 100 percent by 2050. 

“The Town's Climate Action and Response Plan has a goal of creating a Town-wide network of workplace and residential EV charging stations," Richardson said in an email.

One aspect of this plan is adding new sustainable transportation options. The Town has purchased three electric buses, which it plans to put into circulation shortly after they are officially revealed to the public on April 8, Chapel Hill Community Outreach Manager Jeffery Sullivan said.

“We are currently training our operators on the vehicles and testing the buses out on various routes to help us determine which routes they can serve when we are ready to introduce them into regular circulation,” Sullivan said in an email.

The Town has also purchased 20 all-electric Nissan LEAFs as service vehicles to replace the old service vehicles that will soon be phased out. 

Richardson said installing free charging stations was an important step in the process to incentivize the transition to electric vehicles. 

The EV charging stations in both Chapel Hill and Carrboro are both currently free to use, but Richardson said Chapel Hill is considering introducing a fee for its charging stations. 

“Now that the transition is underway, we think it's a good time to make sure that this incentive is still needed and appropriate for all applications of this technology,” Richardson said in an email. 

For information on Chapel Hill EV charging station locations, click here. For information on Carrboro locations, click here


@DTHCityState | 

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