Downtown Troy’s first electric car charging station fully operational

Published 11:20 am Thursday, June 1, 2023

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The first electric car charging station in downtown Troy is now fully operational and is free to use, for the time being.

The new ChargePoint charging station is located in the parking lot across from Byrd Drugs in downtown Troy, which is a city-owned parking lot. There are two parking spaces next to the charging station reserved for cars that need a charge.

According to City of Troy Assistant General Manager of Utilities Solomon Brackett, the level two charger would take on average 5-6 hours for a full charge.

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“We’re anticipating someone downtown shopping, or at lunch, can get 1-2 hours of a charge,” Brackett said. “That would be about a 30-40 percent charge, so probably not something you’d get a full charge out of most times but certainly something you can use if you’re downtown for a few hours or if you’re commuting and just in town for the day.”

The charging station will be free to use for at least the first six months. Brackett said that a potential rate for the use of the charging station would be re-evaluated in six months. To use the charging station, users will need to download the ChargePoint app. If and when a rate is set for the charging station, users will also use the app to pay for its usage.

Brackett said that the city wants to remain ahead of the game when it comes to technology, which is what led to the installation of the charging station.

The charging station can charge up to two vehicles at one time. (Photo by Josh Boutwell)

“Electric vehicles are a hot topic and there is a lot of research going into it nation wide,” he said. “The federal government is kind of pushing a lot of that. The City of Troy, especially owning our own utilities, we want to – even though it’s not super popular in Alabama right now – make sure we’re staying ahead of things. We sort of pride ourselves in being on the cutting edge of technology and staying up to date on any current issues or technology coming down the line. That’s why we wanted to put one in use as a test bay and provide a service to the citizens of Troy at the same time.”

Brackett said there are plans to install another charging station at the Troy SportsPlex, potentially as soon as this summer.

“We think that will be another good application of it,” Brackett continued. “Someone out there working out or going to a sporting event can park and be there for a few hours and charge their cars.”

Brackett said that the city is also applying for grant money through ADECA to potentially install more chargers around Troy, as well. According to JDPower, electric car sales in the United States increased from 328,118 in 2018 to 2.5 million in 2019. Electric car sales and hybrid vehicle sales have continued to increase since then with a 5 percent increase in 2022 from 2021. A total of 10 million electric cars were sold worldwide in 2022. Charging stations are just one more thing that Brackett said the city hopes to use to attract people to Troy, as well.

“It attracts people to Troy,” he said. “I think Troy already has a lot to offer but this is one more thing we can offer. Folks coming through, going to the beach or traveling through the 231 corridor, we want them to stop off in Troy and if a charger attracts them to us it allows other businesses in Troy to benefit from that.”