City celebrates opening of electric car charging stations
By Lyndon German
Sep 28, 2017, 09:17
Along Appomattox Street across from City Park residents will notice two new electric car charging stations. On Sept. 18 the Hopewell Government held a ribbon cutting to
commemorate said achievement, showcase the latest electric car models and communicate with local environmental activist.
In May of this year Hopewell City Council agreed to appropriate $7,500 to install the charging stations. Economic Development Specialist Jake Elder presented Council with the opportunity noting that there are nearly date 540,000 electric vehicles have been sold in the United States. According to VDOT traffic data 33,000 vehicles that travel I-295 between Route 10 and Route 36 per day, meaning 56 of those vehicles may be electric.
Between I-295 exit 15A and exit 9A only two charging stations are available. By installing some in Hopewell’s downtown area, Elder implied it’ll attract drivers coming of the interstate to charge their vehicles. While commuters are waiting for their cars to charge, which can take up to two hours according to Elder, they may be tempted to spend time in Hopewell’s downtown area.
Also thanks to an initiative by the Tesla Company all of the cost from the city would be reimbursed after installation. Council agreed unanimously to install these stations.
During the ribbon cutting ceremony representatives from the Sierra Club Virginia Chapter, Drive Electric RVA and Virginia Clean Cities gathered advocating clean energy alternatives. Matthew Wade, deputy director with Virginia Clean Cities, spoke briefly before the ribbon cutting noting that the partnership between Virginia Clean Cities and Hopewell has been a long one.
“I must have been talking to Jake for months now,” said Wade noting that working with Elder and Interim City Manager Charlie Dane has been an easygoing process.
Like Wade and Elder, Councilor Christina Luman-Bailey has advocated for clean energy alternatives for a long time. As Chair of the Virginia Municipal League’s (VML) Go Green Virginia initiative one could say it’s appropriate the charging stations were installed in her Ward.
“There’s no reason Hopewell can’t be a leader in the region for environmental stewardship,” said Councilor Bailey adding she hopes to see more significant improvements to change the perception of Hopewell.