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USA: Lebanon to get four electric charging stations

Chuck Kotlaris, owner of Superior Music in Mt. Juliet, has driven an electric truck several years. / Larry McCormack / The Tennessean

Lebanon will get four electric vehicle charging stations as part of a nationwide initiative to encourage gas-free driving.

The four charging stations will be installed at the Martha Leeville train station, Lebanon City Hall, Don Fox Park and the Lebanon Senior Citizens Center — at no cost to the city.

Drivers will pay $1 an hour to charge on these stations and 50 percent of that goes to the city to cover operating costs.

The stations are scheduled to be installed by the end of the year.

“We want a backbone of infrastructure,’’ said Lebanon Mayor Philip Craighead about his support for the vehicle charging stations.

Lebanon could receive up to 10 stations through the EV Project designed to put in 15,000 stations nationwide, including 2,000 in Tennessee in the next 14 months.

The EV Project is a partnership between ECOtality, Nissan USA and multiple states including Tennessee.

The EV Project is designed to provide electric vehicles and charging infrastructure for the collection of data to help determine future practices.

ECOtality and partners fund about half of the estimated $230 million project. The other half is funded through a $114.8 million grant by the Department of Energy.

More charging stations will help increase convenience of current and potential electric vehicle drivers, said Mt. Juliet business owner Chuck Kotlaris.

Kotlaris has driven an electric truck several years, mainly from his home in Lakewood to his Superior Music store on Lebanon Road in Mt. Juliet.

He estimates the truck gets about 50 miles per charge in typical conditions. But that can vary depending on whether accessories like heat, air-conditioning, wipers and lights are used, and Kotlaris is hesitant to go much farther than work and back.

“The problem with electric vehicles is range anxiety,’’ Kotlaris said. “Running out of power is like running out of gas without a gas station. If you have somewhere to put juice in, I’d feel good.’’

The Lebanon sites already have an electric meter. Craighead said additional electricity will be reimbursed. Upkeep costs will be paid by ECOtality through the end of the project scheduled in 2013. ECOtality retains ownership.

Cities are allowed to pick the sites in the program.


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