Topping off electric vehicles at Glen Cove’s charging may cease to be a free ride as the city contemplates adding fees for users.
The public charging station at the city-owned Pulaski Garage has been free since it was installed in 2017.
“I’ve been talking about starting to charge because the electricity isn’t free to the city of Glen Cove, and yet we’re giving a free charge to anyone who wants to use it,” said Mayor Pamela Panzenbeck.
The proposed fee schedule would be 30 cents per kilowatt hour, which Panzenbeck said would be about $2.10 per hour of charging. The average charge is about two hours, meaning drivers could expect to pay $4.20 to charge their vehicles, the mayor said.
CHARGING IN GLEN COVE
30 cents per kilowatt hour
Average charged is expected to cost $4.20
Average time to charge car is about 2 hours
SOURCE: City of Glen Cove
About 40 drivers charge their vehicles at the station about 240 times per month, said Rocco Graziosi, Glen Cove project manager at the Department of Public Works.
The city pays $400 to $600 a month for electricity at the station, which has outlets for two vehicles, she said. In addition, the city pays about $1,150 to ChargePoint to operate the charging station.
“It’s time to stop giving it away and [start] charging,” Panzenbeck said.
The city held a public hearing Tuesday night on its plans to start charging fees to use the charger. The public hearing will remain open for three weeks and a vote is expected on April 12.
Graziosi said the average electric vehicle takes about seven kilowatts of electricity to fully charge, but that hybrid vehicles which use gasoline and battery power need less charging.
Users will pay through their ChargePoint app. The app tells drivers when their vehicle is done charging so it can be moved and the charger freed up for other drivers.
The city is also contemplating whether to charge extra fees to drivers who leave their vehicles at the station after they’ve finished charging.
“Most of the people using it are actually doing really well, and they’re moving their car because … when their car is charged they get a notification,” Graziosi said. Drivers haven’t been “abusing” the service by leaving their vehicles there for long after they’re charged, but fees could be added through the app.
Graziosi said the city has no plans to add more charging stations but could in the future.
If the fees are enacted, Glen Cove would join Smithtown, which last year began charging drivers to use its stations that also had been free. Montauk last year announced it would be installing charging stations that would also include a fee for drivers.
The New York Power Authority’s electric vehicle charging stations charge slightly higher fees than those contemplated by Glen Cove, at 35 cents per kilowatt-hour, according to its website.
Panzenbeck said that the fees in Glen Cove would help the city’s bottom line and that the goal is to break even, not to profit from the fees.
“We have to look for all little sources of revenue,” she said.