St. Augustine has a new electric vehicle charging station as part of a partnership to promote clean energy, and more are coming.
With funding through the North Florida Transportation Planning Organization, an electric vehicle charging station recently became available on DeSoto Place near City Hall in downtown St. Augustine.
The electric vehicle charger is free to use and open to the public, but people have to pay to park if they use the charger during enforcement hours, said Reuben Franklin Jr., the city of St. Augustine’s mobility program manager. The installation still needs some additions, such as paint, and an official unveiling will be planned at some point. But it’s active and available for charging, he said.
The charger isn’t registered yet, and it can provide up to 10 charges before it’s registered, Franklin said. The city plans to register the charger this week so that there won’t be a cap on the number of charges.
The type of charger used on DeSoto Place, a ChargePoint CT4000, can charge up to 25 miles of range per hour and can provide a full charge on some vehicles in less than four hours, according to the ChargePoint website. There’s also a support number listed on the charger that people can call if they have issues.
The North Florida TPO has been working to spread the use of electric vehicle chargers in the region, including in Duval County, North Florida TPO spokeswoman Marci Larson said.
“It is all part of our Clean Fuels Coalition initiative,” Larson said.
The organization, which is the transportation planning agency for the region, has been using various funding sources for the effort.
The DeSoto Place project cost about $15,000, said Wanda Forrest, North Florida TPO transportation planning manager.
The city allowed the charger to be placed on public property and will pick up the tab for the electric bill, Franklin said. Details on that cost weren’t immediately available.
Franklin said there will be four charging stations to start with, including the DeSoto Place charger.
“The ideas is (to be) sustainable,” Franklin said. “We’re moving toward the age of electrification. This is a step in that direction.”
Other locations coming soon include Malaga Street, the city parking garage off West Castillo Drive and near the St. Johns County Main Library, Franklin said. Officials chose the locations based on how often people visit those areas and the location of power sources, Franklin said.
The other locations could be up and running in March, Franklin said. The city might add more chargers if the program is successful, Franklin said.
In addition to new public charging stations, other privately owned charging stations exist in St. Augustine and St. Johns County — mobile apps such as PlugShare show the locations of chargers across the country and beyond.