Even more electric car charging stations could prove both an environmental and economic benefit for Crescent City and Del Norte County, according to PacifiCorp senior product manager Eva DeCesaro.
Decesaro made a presentation regarding electric vehicle charging stations to business representatives during the Crescent City/Del Norte County Chamber of Commerce’s “lunch and learns” on Nov. 13.
“We’re still all figuring out electrical vehicles, and more and more people are looking at electric alternatives,” said Cindy Vosburg, the chamber’s executive director.
The organization hosts “lunch and learns” through the fall and winter months, during which chamber members gather for a meal and an educational presentation. After PacifiCorp regional manager Monte Mendenhall expressed the desire to educate the community on electrical vehicles, Vosburg set the Nov. 13 luncheon into motion.
PacifiCorp is the parent company of Pacific Power, which provides Crescent City’s electricity.
During the pasta lunch at Elk Valley Rancheria, DeCesaro discussed the possibility of adding more electric charging stations in Del Norte County. The county already ranks ahead of other Pacific Power electrical customers, according to DeCesaro, with Klamath and Crescent City sporting a handful of charging stations.
“That’s a great thing and it shows that your communities are sort of leading the charge,” DeCesaro said.
As the price of gas keeps rising, fueling a gas-powered car could cost more than charging an electric car, Decesaro said. She emphasized that Crescent City is a prime location for electric charging stations, since U.S. Highway 101 runs right through the city, attracting tourists.
The economic benefits could be an asset for residents, she said, not to mention the environmental perks for a city rich in natural beauty.
DeCesaro began her presentation by clarifying the three different types of charging stations. A level one station takes eight to 14 hours to charge, a level two takes three to four hours, and a level three - a DC fast charger - can take as little as half an hour.
A topic she highlighted was a $200,000 grant Pacific Power offers to customers for the purpose of installing a charging station. Pacific Power has reserved 20% of the fund for small businesses that apply.
The grant is meant for community use, not for residential, and will cover some of the infrastructure costs. It will not be used to maintain the charging stations. Rather, it will be used for initial installation.
Most charging stations last eight to ten years, according to DeCesaro, but Pacific Power is looking for at least a five-year commitment with the grant recipients.