Berlin To Add EV Charging Station

BERLIN– An electric vehicle charging station will be coming to Berlin following approval from officials this week.

The Berlin Town Council on Monday approved a lease agreement with Chargepoint, a company that will lease the town an electric vehicle charging station. The station, which will be installed at the lot on Commerce Street, could be in place by the end of the year.

“We want to pilot it with two spaces,” Mayor Zack Tyndall said.

Tim Lawrence, the town’s electric utility director, told the council he’d started researching charging stations when he’d been approached by a representative of Chargepoint regarding a potential lease.

“Instead of buying the equipment straight out you lease it over a five year period,” he said.

For a cost of $2,544 a year, the town can lease a dual point station, which can charge two vehicles at a time, for five years. Chargepoint will handle all installation, maintenance and software updates.

Lawrence said anyone who wanted to use the station would pay through an app. The charge they’ll pay, which will be developed by the town with assistance from its energy consultant, will cover the cost of the lease and the cost of the electricity used.

Lawrence pointed out the stations would not offer quick charging. He said they’re meant to be used by people who are in town shopping or dining and simply want to charge their car for an hour or two while they’re busy.

Lawrence said there was a utility pole about 15 feet away from the proposed location of the charging station and the town’s only responsibility would be installing the service to power the station.

Tyndall said he felt the town had been lacking an electric vehicle charging system.

“I’ve always wanted behind town hall but this might be our best place to start,” he said. “They would be stenciled spots.”

Councilwoman Shaneka Nichols expressed support for the Commerce Street lot.

“It’s centrally located,” she said, adding that it also directed attention to the Rev. Dr. Charles Albert Tindley mural on the Bruder Hill building.

Lawrence said that the station would not serve Tesla vehicles but would be able to charge 90% of the electric vehicles on the road. Tyndall said that while the town would pay the lease fee, it should recoup that funding through the charges being passed on to users of the station.

“Depending on demand it should break even,” he said.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.