Usage estimates for EV stations around Barrie fall short, but effort charges on

Usage at charging stations for electrical vehicles (EV) at various locations in Barrie is falling “well below” initial estimates, Adam McMullin, manager of energy management, advises city council in a memo.
“Staff previously reported an initial estimated cost of $12,000 annually for the electrical usage of these EV charge stations. Based on part-year consumption data (as of December 31/2018), it is estimated that these costs will fall well below the initial estimate for the foreseeable future, even with an anticipated increase in utilization of the locations,” he writes. 
Back in late 2017, the City connected with Tesla to install charging stations at four locations, with Tesla covered all of the capital costs for the installation. In all 54 stations were installed at four locations:
• Marina, with 12 stations
• Heritage Park, with 12 stations 
• The library, with six stations
• The Parkade building, with 24 stations 
“The parkade chargers were energized on February 22, 2018 followed by the Heritage Park and marina locations on July 1, 2018, with usage increasing over the course of the summer as their existence became more commonly known. The library location chargers were brought online on September 15, 2018,” writes McMullin.
As part of the planning process, the Downtown Barrie Business Association (BIA) voiced support for the EV charge station deployment, “potentially offering sponsorship of the electrical operating costs. Staff have reached out to the BIA to discuss this partnership opportunity and are awaiting feedback from the BIA executive group.”
In addition, staff received both support and opposition for the program from the public. Feedback included comment that users of the stations should pay for the service without any cost to taxpayers.
“Staff will be reporting back to Council in the fall of 2019 after a full year of operation on public comments and feedback received, parking options, fee and charging alternatives and future opportunities,” continues McMullin.
“This evaluation period is necessary as the EV market is rapidly growing and the municipal best practices for adoption of EV charge infrastructure is evolving. Furthermore, it will allow staff to capture additional public feedback and evaluate the seasonal impact of usage and operation of these stations before potential options are brought forward for Council’s consideration.”

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