Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Covering Dallas, Monmouth, Independence, Falls City and surrounding areas since 1868
January 08, 2013
FALLS CITY -- Falls City can now be added to the list of places to "charge up" for owners of electric vehicles.
Two electric vehicle charging stations located at City Hall, 299 Mill St., were operational as of Thursday, said City Administrator Amber Mathiesen.
The stations are Level II chargers, meaning a full charge takes about two hours.
Mathiesen said the city is happy to offer the service, which comes at no cost to the city.
In addition, the city will now be highlighted on statewide and nationwide maps of charging locations, possibly sparking tourism in the area.
"The state will be doing some green tourism mapping, as well," Mathiesen said. "The city is planning to be on those maps."
The installation for the charging stations was free, paid for through an incentive program of the U.S. Department of Energy. The city applied for the incentive in September and initial concrete and electrical work began a few weeks ago. The station pedestals were installed on Dec. 31 and the stations were ready for service Thursday after software upgrades, Mathiesen said.
Falls City now joins locations in West Salem, Monmouth Rickreall and Grand Ronde where electric vehicles can be charged in Polk County.
The city hasn't had any inquiries from electric car owners about its stations yet, not surprising considering only 29 are registered in Polk County as of September. But Falls City will be ready for whenever the first electric vehicle needing a charge rolls into town.
"We were happy to be on the leading edge of the technology rather than being the last ones to see it come," Mathiesen said.