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DeWitt restaurant site of new car-charging station; more sites to follow in CNY

Drivers of electric cars can now park at Chili’s Restaurant in DeWitt and charge their vehicle for free while they’re grabbing a bite to eat.

The electric car-charging station is the first one installed as part of an overall plan to roll out 22 similar stations across Central New York, according to John Gilbrook, transportation project manager for National Grid.

The car-charging station, installed last week alongside the building in the parking lot, is designed for electric car owners to hook their cars up for free for an hour or two while they’re inside dining, Gilbrook said. Chili’s picks up the 50 cents per hour charge for customers.

National Grid is also talking with Kohl’s in Fayetteville and Panera in DeWitt about setting up stations, but nothing has been finalized yet, Gilbrook said. National Grid is looking for business owners who would be interested hosting a station.

Installing a station costs on average about $6,500, with the business owner picking up 10 percent of the cost, Gilbrook said.

A Chevy Volt, for example, could take a two-hour charge and then go only about 5 to 7 miles, enough for the driver to get home, or to another charging station. A charge of four to six hours will allow the car to travel about 35 miles, Gilbrook said.


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