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Sammamish Welcomes New Vehicle Charging Stations

For now, the city's charging stations are free. The public is invited to a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday, Dec. 16.

If you own a Nissan Leaf, Chevy Volt or Tesla Roadster, you may be pulling over at City Hall before long. That’s because two brand-new electric vehicle charging stations are now located in the parking lot on the east side of city offices.

And after a ceremonial ribbon cutting on Friday, Dec. 16, at 10 a.m., they’ll both be open for business.

The public is invited to Friday's festivities

.“If this is the wave of the future, we want to make sure Sammamish is swept along,” said Sammamish Mayor Don Gerend. “We’re really happy to be part of a growing network of public charging stations.”

The two stations, modest in size but loaded with power, were manufactured by Coulomb Technologies, a company working with the Department of Energy to build a network of “charge points” throughout the country. The city also installed two charging stations in the underground parking garage at City Hall to power future electrical vehicles in the city fleet.

Thanks to funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the city paid for installation costs only, which came to $23,000. The stations themselves were free to the city.

Tom Saxton, a Sammamish resident on the board of Plug-in America, is pleased by the progress.“I’m glad my city is helping to lead the way on charging station facilities,” Saxton said. “The new stations should get tremendous use as the number of electric vehicles increases over time. I think this is good for our country and good for our city.

”When the city formulated its “sustainability” strategy, it drew on the input of residents. These new charging stations fit perfectly with the community’s expressed desire to make energy conservation a top priority.""

“We’re not going to get there overnight,” Gerend said. “But it’s important to move forward, experiment, learn from our experiences and then move forward some more. This is a great early step in pursuit of sustainability here in Sammamish.

”To fully charge a Nissan Leaf from empty to full uses about $2.50 of electricity, enough to drive 80 to 100 miles. Most drivers, however, are expected to simply “top off” at the city’s charging stations. Initially, they will be able to draw power for free."

After a few months of observation, however, the city will likely set a price.

--Information from the City of Sammamish

Jerry Gropp Architect AIA December 13, 2011 at 12:58 AM
Very interesting indeed. It would be great if there were more of these to get the idea of electric cars moving along- so to speak. J-.
Jeanne Gustafson December 13, 2011 at 03:28 AM
I don't exactly disagree, Jerry, but at the opening of the Tesla store in Bellevue, I learned that the new models don't need a special charging station, so I wonder if the charging stations will be needed in the future
Jerry Gropp Architect AIA December 13, 2011 at 04:30 AM
Jeanne- I understand that the Leaf and others can be charged (slowly) by a regular 110volt house outlet- but they do need these fast chargers for speedier "fill-ups".

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