By: Sharon Aron Baron
The City of Coral Springs may not be able to stop climate change on its own, however, with the addition of an electric car charger and two electric vehicles joining their fleet, it’s a small step in the right direction.
Two new car charging stations have been recently installed at the Coral Springs Gymnasium parking lot. The first is a general charging station for the Nissan LEAF, Chevy Bolt and other electrical vehicles. The second one is strictly a Tesla charger.
What was the cost to the city for these chargers?
According to Public Works Director Rich Michaud, and Fleet Superintendent Steve Harbin, who both belong to the Southeast Florida Clean Cities Coalition, the idea came up about a year ago in a commission planning session where they both looked into alternative fuel options.
Tesla partners with hotels, restaurants, shopping centers and cities to fund charging stations to increase their network around the country. So Michaud pursued this with the Tesla representative who not only furnished the stations, they reimbursed the city $4,000 for labor to create the area where they would be installed.
The charging station at the gymnasium was created out of a parking lot medium and the landscaping in the middle of median was cemented. The only cost to the taxpayers will be the cost of electricity which is part of of the gymnasium’s electrical, and will only be operational between 6 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Tesla has two types of chargers on the road: superchargers and destination chargers. At Tesla supercharging stations, charging throughput can peak out around 175 amps, whereas at destination chargers – like the one installed in Coral Springs are typically from 30–50 amps.
The city is welcoming two new fully electric Nissan LEAF electric cars, which Harbin said will be a very big savings for the city. “It’s going to lower our maintenance costs 75 percent compared to a conventional vehicle.”
Once the new city hall is constructed, charging stations for the electric vehicles will be installed in the parking garage.
One of the new electric vehicles will be used by the city clerk’s office for mail deliveries throughout the city. They will also use them as pool vehicles so they can loan it to other departments to take city hall members to various meeting around the county. Harbin said they will also use them when the city has has special events so the residents can see them as well.
The new vehicles will be temporarily charged in the Industrial Park until city hall is finished. The electric chargers at city hall will be for their electric cars, but eventually they will look into opening some for the public – if there is a demand.
The car chargers at the gymnasium are now open to the public everyday from 6 a.m. – 10 p.m. and are free. The Coral Springs Gymnasium is located at 2501 Coral Springs Dr, Coral Springs, FL 33065.