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USA: Surge of electric-vehicle charging stations coming to county

BREMERTON — Two years ago, 22 all-electric cars were registered in Kitsap County. Now, there are 104, mostly Nissan Leafs, according to the state Department of Licensing.

Though still a tiny percentage of vehicles, they’re catching on. And they need places to power up.

The Kitsap Transit Board of Commissioners approved a purchase last week that will greatly increase the peninsula’s number of charging stations. Eight will be installed at park-and-ride lots: three at George’s Corner, two at Bayside Community Church in Kingston, and three at the Harper church near Southworth. One each will be placed at the agency’s Poulsbo, Port Orchard and Charleston Boulevard bases, and two in the Bremerton Harborside parking garage.

All should be completed by the end of September, said Wendy Clark-Getzin, Kitsap Transit capital development director.

There are about a dozen charging stations now, though not all are open to everybody. One is in a parking lot near county buildings and limited to employees, as will be the three at Kitsap Transit operations centers. (The county recently received a grant to install a second station on campus the public can use, said Autumn Salamack, Kitsap resource conservation manager.) One at Advantage Nissan only is for customers.

Bremerton is receiving four charging stations that it plans to install along the street across from the post office as part of the Pacific Avenue improvements, said Mayor Patty Lent.

Stations approved last week are the first for Kitsap Transit. Agency officials don’t intend to charge users for power the first year, and believe the board supports the concept, Clark-Getzin said.

The three charging stations for the agency’s bases are free from the state Department of Enterprise Services, said Clark-Getzin. Eight for the park-and-ride lots are being purchased with a federal grant, piggybacking on a Los Angeles County contract. Harborside stations are from state toll credits and local funds.

The transit board and directors spoke last week of the need to develop a policy for all Kitsap entities so vehicle charging is consistent. There’s a wide mix of players, including the county, cities, Olympic College, gas stations, ports, stores and car dealers. Several vendors can provide the equipment. Some require payments, some do not.

Kitsap Transit Executive Director John Clauson, who drives a Chevy Volt, said the agency also wants to create a map of all the local charging stations.


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