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SSC electric car charging station open for use

South Sioux City is one step ahead of the curve when it comes to environmental issues. Last October, the South Sioux City Finance and Public Works Committees both approved a three-year lease of an electric car from Billion Auto and began planning the construction of a charging station at the city hall.
The lease came as part of an initiative to excite residents about potentially using an alternative fuel vehicle, as well as a statewide effort to build more charging stations and make Nebraska a greener state.
“The more people get a chance to drive the vehicle the more they will feel comfortable in it and see that it does have pizzazz and can work in the winter and does have a heater in it,” says Lance Hedquist, City Administrator of South Sioux City. “The more people get the chance to see how well it works, I think there will be more initiative by residents to get electric cars.”
However, in order to have electric cars, one needs charging stations. “It’s a chicken and the egg situation,” says Hedquist. “If you don’t have charging stations, then how are you going to have the vehicles?”
Thankfully, South Sioux City was selected in a nationwide promotional project to receive a free charging station, which will be up and running this week.
The charging area is located right next to the City Hall building and can only take card payments. Since charging can typically take a few hours, reservations need to be made, and can be done so online or by a Smartphone. Also, the station can charge up to two cars at one time.
Since Nebraska is the only totally public power state in the United States, many officials find it important to help promote electricity and electrical use in our community and the state of Nebraska. The move is seen as both beneficial for the state and the environment.
“We think the more people get a chance to see this, it will get more public acceptance in the area and reduce our reliance on foreign oil,” says Hedquist.
However, with the new technology, there are a lot of questions. This is why the city allows residents to come and test drive the car, asking any questions they want and getting a feel for the new vehicle.
The car gets about 87 miles on a fully charged battery, but has an eco-mode so as to save electricity, often giving it about 20 miles of extra life. It is estimated to cost $250 to power the car for 10,000 miles. Despite concerns about the power of electric cars, it has quite a bit of kick and would be an ideal in-town car.
“You’ll find incredible acceleration,” says Hedquist. “This is not a golf cart, this is one that does have acceleration and can actually beat a police car off the line.”


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