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More electric car chargers in Naperville’s future

The electric car charging station that calls a downtown Naperville parking lot home has been used 468 times in the past nine months, officials say.

That’s enough for the city to pursue plans to install more charging stations downtown, said Caitlin Marcon, project manager in transportation, engineering and development.

“We’ve had requests for more charging stations or complaints that they came to downtown Naperville to use the charging station and it was already taken,” Marcon said. “We’ve decided to move forward with putting together a RFP (request for proposals) for future charging stations.”

The number of stations to be added hasn’t been determined, because three months remain in the one-year testing period the city began in October. One electric car charger has been available since last fall in the Van Buren Street parking lot, allowing free charges for up to three hours.

“As car transportation and devices change, we’re glad that there is a device like that in our downtown for consumers that have electric vehicles,” said Katie Wood, executive director of Downtown Naperville Alliance. “I think it shows a progressive spirit of our downtown that we certainly like to foster.”

The charger has been busiest the past few months, with 168 uses between April and June. Peak use times are lunch and dinner hours throughout the week, but Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays see the most overall use, Marcon said.

While charging has been free for drivers of electric vehicles, the city paid roughly $100 for the charges used between April and June, based on additional power consumption at a rate of $0.0871 per kilowatt hour.
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