Evanston looks to extend electrical charging stations to more parking garages

Bailey Williams, Assistant City Editor

Evanston is looking to expand its electrical car charging station program to other parking garages after a report showed its use in the Maple Parking Garage during the first month reached about 80 individual uses.

“Due to the prime location of the Maple Parking Garage, guests from the adjacent Hilton Garden Inn and visitors to the nearby shops and entertainment venues can charge their vehicles while they spend time and money in downtown Evanston,” Ald. Peter Braithwaite (2nd) said in a newsletter.

From Feb. 22 to March 22, a dual connection electric vehicle station, which can be seen from the garage’s entrance, was in effect on the first floor. The success of the station has led the city to consider increasing the number of stations, which would not require changing the electrical system. The program cost less than $12,000 and half of that amount will be refunded by the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

The station was available for people to use without additional costs. The only fees required were from the standard parking fees already in place for the garage. A cord retraction system was in place, enabling drivers to not need to touch the cables. The stations also notified users when their vehicles were fully charged.

This charging option accompanies three others in Evanston, all of which were not publicly funded. Twenty-four Evanston vehicles were registered as electric near the end of 2013, the city said.

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