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New Electric Vehicle Chargers Come Online In Park City

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KPCW Radio
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Electric vehicle drivers now have a few more options for charging their cars in Park City.   

Park City Municipal has installed 14 new electric vehicle chargers: four at the Wasatch Brew Pub, four at City Park and six in the China Bridge parking garage.

Those chargers cost about $40,000, which the city paid for through capital funds as well as support from Rocky Mountain Power. Park City Sustainability Project Manager Celia Peterson says this was the first wave of charger installations. The next will happen during the spring construction season.

“We're looking at some other sites, but they need some electrical upgrades, so these first three sites were kind of the quick and easy ones to do," Peterson said. "We are looking at putting in probably about a total of 40 or 50 within the next six months or so.”

Upcoming chargers are planned for City Hall; the Park City Library parking lot; the Mawhinney lot; the PC MARC; and Bob Wells Plaza, among other locations. The city is also working with some local businesses to install chargers in their parking lots—and they’ve received a grant from the statewide organization UCAIR to do so—but Peterson says a lot depends on the status of a location’s electricity facilities.

“The big part of this whole project is the infrastructure upgrades, rather than the charger installations themselves, so that's what we're working on,” Peterson said.

The chargers play into the city’s environmental goals, and Peterson says chargers on municipal property will be supplied with renewably sourced energy by 2022. But though the city has removed a barrier for people to drive electric vehicles, Peterson says the city still encourages people to take public transit or use an alternative form of transportation to reduce dependence on fossil fuels.

“That's why we're not waiving any parking fees or anything like that," Peterson said. "Parking fees are all still going to apply, and parking fees were implemented in order to disincentivize people from driving into town, but we know that people are still going to drive into town, and we want to get rid overall of combustion engines.”

Electric vehicle drivers can find charger locations using the Plugshare app and website. Peterson says the chargers the city installed are standard and work with cars such as the Nissan Leaf—Tesla drivers will need to use their adapters.

Emily Means hadn’t intended to be a journalist, but after two years of studying chemistry at the University of Utah, she found her fit in the school’s communication program. Diving headfirst into student media opportunities, Means worked as a host, producer and programming director for K-UTE Radio as well as a news writer and copy editor at The Daily Utah Chronicle.
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