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New Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Installed with County Rebates

Three local organizations have taken advantage of a county incentive program to install electric vehicle charging stations at reduced costs while providing enhanced services to their visitors.  Thanks to Sarasota County’s ChargeUp!  program, five new charging stations with a total of eight new charging ports, have been installed across the county by organizations that have recognized the value of supporting sustainable transportation.

Program Background

The ChargeUp! Sarasota County program was approved by the County Commission in October of 2016 and launched in February of last year. The goal of the program is to encourage the private sector to increase their role in supporting electric vehicle charging infrastructure by incentivizing station installation at targeted locations. The county recognizes the air quality, cost reduction, and fuel diversification benefits provided by electric vehicles and is working to encourage their adoption through education, incentives, and county-owned stations. Program funding is provided by the Pollution Recovery Trust Fund, which pays for environmentally beneficial projects through fees from violations of environmental regulations.

Program Results

Sarasota County Sustainability spoke to the current recipients of the ChargeUp! rebates and they shared why they participated and what their experiences have been since the stations were installed. The participants’ costs varied based on the type and features of the charging station chosen and their site specific installation challenges, such as the proximity of the chosen parking space to electrical service. They each received the rebate at the 50 percent level given their status as non-profit/ government organizations. Each of the three organizations have seen benefits and said they would recommend the program to others. Two of the organizations installed their stations at facilities that also have solar photovoltaic systems, meaning the electric vehicles charged there are partially powered by sunshine. All stations installed as part of the rebate program are available for the general public to use. Their experiences are outlined below.

Join the ChargeUp! Movement

If your organization is interested in adding a charging station or if you have a suggestion of a location that would  benefit from one, contact Sarasota County Extension and Sustainability at SustainableSarasota@scgov.net. Staff are available to help organizations think through the best types of chargers, most appropriate locations, and to assist in the rebate application process.  Funds are limited and available on a first come, first served basis, so act now.

ChargeUp! Sarasota County Rebate Program Recipients in 2017

Town of Longboat Key

The Town of Longboat Key took advantage of their improvement project at Bayfront Park to add a charging station as an amenity for their residents and visitors. It is currently the only publicly available charging station on the island. “If someone is looking at adding a station we would definitely recommend the rebate program,” said Mark Richardson, the Town’s Streets, Facilities, Parks & Recreation Manager. “It was a very simple process and the staff was easy to work with.”

  • Station Type: NovaCharge NC5025 non-networked, single port, Level 2 charging station
  • Location: Bayfront Park, 4052 Gulf of Mexico Dr., Longboat Key
  • Total Cost (before rebate): $5,468
New College of Florida

New College of Florida installed three double port charging stations capable of charging a total of 6 vehicles at once at their parking lot adjacent to the Heiser Natural Sciences building. The stations are connected to the Chargepoint network, with real-time availability information through their online portal and smart phone app. One of the ports is reserved for disabled parking permit holders. They installed their stations to encourage electric vehicle technology with the college’s Green Policies agenda. They also have solar photovoltaic panels on the roof of the adjacent building. “We are getting excellent usage from college staff and students who drive electric vehicles,” said John Milton, Coordinator of Construction Projects for the college. “We hope to see more general public use as knowledge of the facility spreads.”

  • Station Type: Three Chargepoint CT4021 networked, double port, Level 2 charging stations (6 total ports)
  • Location: Heiser Natural Sciences building, 5800 College Dr., Sarasota
  • Total Cost per port (before rebate): $3,638 (per port costs calculated to be comparable to other installations that only installed one charging port)
Peace Education and Action Center

The Peace Education and Action Center shared that they installed their charging station as part of their organization’s environmental commitment. “It’s the right thing to do in preserving our future by supporting zero emission cars,” said David Beaton. “If we are going to make a difference and turn this planet around, we need to put our money where our commitment is.” Their station is part of a comprehensive effort to improve the sustainability of their facility, which also includes a 10 kilowatt solar photovoltaic system and solar water heating.

In addition to the environmental benefits, the charging station has had the added benefit of bringing new patrons to their business. They said their patrons and volunteers love having a station to charge up when they come to events or meetings. They even have a vendor that uses the station on the weekends for his personal car and an EV driver that works over six blocks away that occasionally charges at their facility and walks to work.

  • Station Type: JuiceBox non-networked, single port,  Level 2 charging station
  • Location: Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center at 525 Kumquat CT, Sarasota.
  • Total Cost (before rebate): $1,669

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