How much does it cost a city to have those electric car charging stations?

There are electric car charging stations all over Norfolk and Virginia Beach. Here's one at the Hall Nissan in Virginia Beach. (Melanie Occhiuzzo/Southside Daily)
There are electric car charging stations all over Norfolk and Virginia Beach. Here’s one at the Hall Nissan in Virginia Beach. (Melanie Occhiuzzo/Southside Daily)

It seems as though every new property being built in either Virginia Beach or Norfolk has an electric car charging station and there doesn’t seem to be a downside to having one just yet.

Both Norfolk and Virginia Beach are home to electric car chargers installed by either Tesla, ChargePoint or any of the other 12 networks available for electric car drivers to use.

The chargers are installed by developers or donated by Tesla.

In Norfolk there are about 12 public electric car charging stations for anyone to use, according to the website PlugShare.

Those charging stations are in parking garages, library parking lots, business parking lots and restaurant lots.

Lori Crouch, city of Norfolk’s spokeswoman, said Tesla donated the chargers to the city for the parking garages.

She said each unit is valued at roughly $550 and is installed by Tesla at no charge to the city.

The city pays for the electricity (an average cost of $1.50 per charge), she said, and users pay for parking.

The other charging stations are installed by the property owners and developers.

In Virginia Beach there are nearly 30 charging stations according to PlugShare and Julie Hill, Virginia Beach spokeswoman

The city pays nothing for those stations, Hill said.

There are two charging stations in Virginia Beach Town Center that the city contracted with the company Charge Point to install.

Charge Point paid for a three-year renewal contract for $705 per unit, totaling out to a cost of $1,410 to have the charging stations in Town Center until Nov. 23, 2020, according to documents provided by the city.

The other charging stations in Virginia Beach were installed by the developers, Hill said.

By having so many different locations to charge your car, the cities have given those specific locations an economic boost, said Matthew Wade, area contact for Clean Cities Coalition Network.

He said it costs almost nothing to maintain an electric car charging station so after the initial installment and equipment costs, they are easy for a business to have.

“You can differentiate yourself from your competitors,” he added.

By having a charging station at your place of business, people who drive electric cars are going to be more loyal to you than other business, Wade said.

So far there are no downsides to having charging stations throughout the cities based on Wade’s assertions about costs and maintenance.

He said Virginia should be on the lookout for more charging stations to come up as the EV Charging program Electrify America funnels more money for charging stations in the state.

To find a charging station near you, click here.

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