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USA: Ventura hopes electric charging stations draw people to downtown

Motorists traveling on Highway 101 now have another reason to stop in downtown Ventura.

In fact, if they have an electric car and are running low, they might have no other choice but to pull off and make their way to one of 10 recently installed charging stations.

Ventura is one of several cities throughout the country selected to receive the electric vehicle charging stations at no cost. The federal stimulus package provided $15 million for dozens of the stations, built by Coulomb Technologies Inc. of Campbell to be connected through the ChargePoint Network.

The stations are at three locations: the Beachfront Parking Structure at 550 Harbor Blvd.; the city’s downtown parking lot at 555 Santa Clara St.; and at City Hall, 501 Poli Street.

“The charging stations help to continue our efforts toward environmental stewardship and attract a new demographic of people to businesses in our community,” said Ventura Fleet and Facilities Manager Mary Joyce Ivers.

Users will pay 50 cents per hour to charge up, which is what the city figures it needs to break even. The city’s goal isn’t to make money on the stations but reduce its carbon footprint, Ivers said.
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