Drivers of electric vehicles now have two new locations to charge their car batteries locally.

The City of Fremont recently completed installation of two ChargePoint electric vehicle (EV) charging stations — located in downtown Fremont, and along the 23rd Street corridor.

“We wanted to put them in places where people could charge and then have something to do while their car is charging,” Lottie Mitchell, city grant coordinator, said.

One of the newly installed charging stations is located in the Fremont Mall parking lot — behind the Hy-Vee gas station. The second is located in the Ilgenfritz parking lot on Park Avenue in downtown Fremont.

The two charging stations each allow for two vehicles to be charged at the same time, and parking spots have also been painted “eco-green” to signify electric vehicle parking only.

“They are open to the public and have been up-and-running for about a week and a half,” Mitchell said.

The charging stations are ChargePoint brand, meaning users must sign up for a free ChargePoint account to use, and pay for, their charging time at each station.

“It’s pretty easy. It’s just an app you can download on your phone and you put your credit card information into the app — so there is no dollar transaction at the station,” Mitchell said. “You simply log in with your app and find the charging station you want to use. Both of ours are on the map. You can reserve it or just pull up your car and start charging.”

According to information on ChargePoint’s website, each charging station is independently owned, meaning the City of Fremont gets to set its own price for charging at each station.

“Our intent is for people to come use them,” Mitchell said.

According to Mitchell, there is no cost to charge a vehicle at the two new charging stations for the first four hours of use, with a charge of $1 per hour thereafter. That makes the maximum cost of a charge only $8.

“They should be able to get a full charge in the first four hours and then move their vehicle out of the way so the next electric vehicle can come in,” she said.

The city purchased the two ChargePoint stations with help from a grant from the Nebraska Environmental Trust through the Nebraska Community Energy Alliance.

The city received a $300,000 grant toward Solar Farm No. 2, 50 percent of the cost of two ChargePoint public electric vehicle charging stations, and 50 percent of the cost of five plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) Kia Niro crossover vehicles.

According to Mitchell, the cost to the city for both ChargePoint stations was approximately $7,000 with Nebraska Environmental Trust covering the other 50 percent of the total cost.

She added that while both ChargePoint stations could be used to charge the city’s five new Kia Niro fleet vehicles, they plan to keep them open specifically for public use.

“We actually do not plan to charge out fleet vehicle with them. We are going to continue to use our own local garage power,” she said.

She added that within the first week of use, the ChargePoint stations were used by seven unique users.

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