LRCVB Adds ChargePoint Station for Electric Cars in Parking Deck

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Nov. 5, 2012 12:00 am  

The city of Little Rock spent about $2,800 to install this dual car-charging station in the Main Street Parking Deck downtown. (Photo by Gwen Moritz)

It’s been almost four months since a dual electric car-charging station was installed in the Main Street Parking Deck in downtown Little Rock, where, as it happens, several members of your Whispers crew park every weekday and occasionally on weekends.

Just because none of us has ever seen either of the two prime parking spots being occupied by a plug-in car doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened. So we quizzed a couple of longtime employees, and they haven’t seen a car using the ChargePoint stations either.

We have, however, seen one electric vehicle — a Chevrolet Volt — parked in the downtown area upon occasion. Just not in the parking deck.

Assistant City Manager Bryan Day said the Mayor’s Sustainability Commission suggested installing the charging station in the city-owned deck. And, he said, the Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau, which manages the deck, thought there might be some benefit to being able to cite such an amenity when bidding on conventions. The cost was about $2,800.

And although a credit or debit card is needed to activate the ChargePoint units, there is actually no charge to plug in. Entergy Arkansas forbids reselling the electricity that lights up the parking deck, Day said.

The driver of a Volt — or Tesla or Nissan Leaf or one of the new plug-in Toyota Prius models — would have to pay the going rate to park in the deck (about $60 for us monthly customers), and could then charge all day for no additional cost.

The charging station is positioned between a couple of prime spaces just up the ramp from the exit. Day said the spaces were supposed to be made available for regular old gas-guzzlers if the deck is otherwise full.



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