Residents utilize charging stations

Reporter and Reporter

Since the electric car charging stations were installed in the city in March 2012, they have seen use from residents as well as people passing through.

Three charging stations were set up in Bowling Green for a total of $7,500, but a grant from Clean Fuels Ohio covered half the cost, said Bowling Green Utilities Director Brian O’Connell.

The charging stations are known as level-two chargers, or as O’Connell would call them, “middle-grade chargers.”

“For a charging station, that seemed to be the best price we could find,” O’Connell said.

Charging stations are also located on campus in the Falcon Heights parking lot, the parking lot across from McDonald Hall and in the Stroh Center lot.

Stations can also be found using a phone app called CarStations, said Sustainability Coordinator Nick Hennessey.

This app is useful for people passing through the city who need to locate a charging station, Hennessey said.

The charging stations have used 1300 kilowatt hours since they’ve been installed, O’Connell said.

The city charging stations in lots 2 and 3 have seen the most use, as opposed to Lot 1, O’Connell said.

Of the stations on campus, the Stroh Center station has gotten the most use, Hennessey said. Hennessey said he thinks the reason for this is that the charger is used mostly by people passing through the city, rather than being used by city residents.

O’Connell said there are no plans to install more stations, but it’s possible the city could monetize them. Right now the stations are free, but a parking meter still needs to be used to park at the stations.

Chief Engineer of the University Electric Vehicle Institute Jeff Major said the installation of the charging stations is “a step in the right direction.”

Major said he thinks electric vehicles are more efficient than commonly-used gas-powered vehicles.

“I think that it makes sense to use electric vehicles as opposed to the gasoline vehicles that we have now,” Major said, “[Electric vehicles] can accomplish the mission, move the personnel or material from point A to point B with less energy.”

Major said he’s heard people say charging electric cars is less convenient than gas stations, but he disagrees. A charger can be plugged into the wall of a garage at home, Major said.

Major’s electric bill has increased by about $30 a month from charging at home, and thinks charging cars is cheaper than using gas stations.