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Naperville expanding number of charging stations for electric cars

Drivers of electric vehicles soon will have three more places to get a charge in downtown Naperville — but at a price.

The city council on Tuesday night approved the $3,744 purchase of two new charging stations that each can refuel two electric vehicles at a time. The move will increase the number of downtown charging locations for electric vehicles in need of juice from one to four. But getting charged up no longer will be free.

Drivers who park in the charging spots will be billed 75 cents for each hour and must pay by swiping a credit card.

Council member Robert Fieseler, who drives an electric Chevy Volt, said he supports the additional charging stations, but asked why the number of available locations will not increase to five.

Karyn Robles, transportation and planning team leader, said it’s because the two new dual-vehicle chargers will replace the one that has been operating in the Van Buren Avenue parking lot since October 2012. That charger only has capacity to serve one car at a time and lacks the technology to accept payment or network with the newer units, Robles said. So the city is keeping it in storage and evaluating whether it should be set up somewhere else.
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