LIMERICK — The township supervisors are weighing a decision about whether to get into the electric vehicle charging business.
One of the issues that has impeded the growth of electric vehicles is the lack of charging stations around the country with the same kind of availability as gas stations.
Most of those who have electric vehicles charge them at home.
But in more and more places, stations are being proposed in both commercial and public areas.
A day may come soon when Limerick Township does the same thing.
The subject came up Tuesday at the township supervisors’ meeting when Township Manager Dan Kerr said a grant program might make the idea affordable for the township.
He said a grant for $10,000 is available that would reduce the cost of erecting one charging location with two charging cables at the township building on Ridge Pike from $11,400 down to $1,400.
Those who use the station would have to pay the township for the electricity, he said.
But before spending any more time and effort on looking into it, Kerr said he wanted to gauge the interest of the board. Answer? They’re interested.
“Electric cars are not just for the elite anymore,” said Supervisors’ Chairwoman Kara Shuler. She said not only should the staff look into what would be involved in having the charging station but that the township should start planning for others, like at public parks.
It was noted that there is now a charging station at the Philadelphia Premium Outlets to attract shoppers who have electric vehicles.
Supervisors Ken Sperring and Patrick Morroney both commented on the fact that Ford and General Motors are planning fully-electric vehicle lines.
The station Kerr outlined Tuesday would be a step down from that speed and charging the vehicle might take an hour. “But they could come to a meeting and their car would be all charged when they came out,” he said.
The issue also spurred another question for Morroney, who wondered aloud if the township could have some electric vehicles of its own.
“I don’t mean for the police cars, but the codes vehicles. they’re just driving around town after all,” he said.
Kerr said the idea of a fleet of electric vehicles is a larger question. He said he would come back to the supervisors with more specifics about related issues like insurance and repairs.