Electric vehicle charging is now possible in Plain Township
SIMPLE TWP. – Plain Township is Stark County’s newest local government to join the growing popularity of electric vehicles, with two new and initially free charging points available at the Board of Trustees office.
“I’m happy about that because it is something that we have to adopt in the future because there will be such a change with the climate, with oil prices and the problems we have to get all of that.” located, “said trustee Brook Harless.
The two ChargePoint Level 2 stations, which can charge up to four cars at a time, were funded in large part by an American Electric Power Ohio grant program that covers up to $ 10,000 per charge point for local governments.
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Eric Haines, a fire communications captain for Plain Township and the person who led the initiative, said the grant covered the total installation cost of $ 40,000 and the community spent a little more, about $ 6,000, around a five-year period to cover software maintenance and servicing.
Otherwise the stations shouldn’t cost the community much.
“We have very good power usage in Stark County, so that’s the equivalent of running a few lights out there,” said Haines.
Where are you?
The stations are in the parking lot of the Plain Township Board of Trustees office at 2600 Easton St. NE, behind Oakwood Square Plaza – which Haines said was an intentional placement.
“We wanted a place where if you were traveling from out of town or just got a new electric vehicle and didn’t have the ability to charge at home, or just a place in Oakwood Plaza to not just charge your vehicle , but also to go out for dinner or a drink or [do] some shopping in this square over here, “said Haines.
Oakwood Square has changed a lot in recent years as the township seeks to make it the center of community life.
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Ultimately, most people with electric vehicles charge their car at home. But the Trustees and Haines hope the stations’ presence could attract electric drivers who may be visiting the area to spend some time – and money – in the square’s local shops.
Currently, the charging stations are free to use, and Haines hopes the board will consider making them free until at least the first quarter of 2022.
Trustee President John Sabo said the board was not interested in turning the stations into a money maker by charging users heavy fees, especially since the initial investments in the stations were made through grants.
“It’s going to be just like that, why shouldn’t we? It’s the future,” said Sabo. “We secured the grant, which means that we did not tie up any tax money in the process. So it’s a win-win-win situation for us. “
A growing demand for greener options
Haines and the trustees are already considering where they can set up additional charging stations, provided that more funding is made available.
You’re not the only ones trying to prepare for an expected surge in electric vehicle use – Canton installed multiple electric vehicle charging stations this January, and more are available in Jackson Township and Massillon.
The investments in the infrastructure of electric vehicles are being made as the state and federal governments try to create incentives for the purchase of electric vehicles. The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency accepts charging station requests, and the Biden government’s Build Back Better plan includes tax break plans for electric vehicle purchases.
The federal government even intends to expand its own use of electric vehicles, which, according to Sabo, is a future consideration for Plain.
“We have fire trucks, road vehicles, administrative vehicles that could easily switch to this type of technology, and we’re just a lot more comfortable now that we understand the evolutionary process,” said Sabo. “This is where it’ll be interesting to see how many people … actually realize how convenient it is and then come over here.”
Jessica Yoho of Kempthorn Volkswagen in Canton said interest in electric vehicles has increased significantly in just two years of working there.
“Electric cars are definitely on the rise,” she said. “We probably get people every day who come in and want to see it.”
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, Ohio had 14,530 electric vehicles registered in 2020, representing less than 1% of the state’s vehicle registrations for the year.
Haines said he expects to see a lot more in the years to come, and Plain Township’s investment is simply preparing for an inevitable future. Since the charging stations were turned on on December 2nd, he has already seen a vehicle other than his own using the station.
“Realistically, only 1 or 2% of the vehicles you see are electric or hybrid-electric vehicles, so we wouldn’t expect much use of the stations today,” Haines said. “If you let it take a year or two, you’ll see a bigger and bigger percentage increase in EVs.”
Contact Sam Zern at [email protected] or 330-580-8322. You can also find her on Twitter @sam_zern.