The City of Greenfield could be expanding its use of municipal electric vehicles in 2020 as the community further embraces the technology.
Director of Utilities Mike Fruth says the city has been very satisfied with the two EVs it currently uses.
“Our engineers use them daily for travel about the city,” says Fruth.
Fruth says the city is looking at the possibility of adding a third EV to the city fleet sometime this year.
In addition to using electric vehicles, the city also currently operates two Level 2 charging stations which are available for public use. The first station was installed 14 months ago, along Main Street in downtown Greenfield. Last month, the city installed a second charging station.
The two charging units are leased from a company called ChargePoint. Fruth says the units are leased for 5 years, at $2,000 per year. ChargePoint is responsible for maintenance, but Greenfield earns revenue on user fees.
“We will assess the need to continue the leases, update to new technology, or allow the private market to take over,” said Fruth.
Last week, Greenfield-based utility company NineStar Connect announced it had installed two Level 2 charging stations in Hancock County, one in Greenfield and the other in McCordsville.
The city is looking at the possibility of installing a Level 3 charging station near Interstate 70. While a Level 2 system can recharge an EV in 4-5 hours, ChargePoint says a Level 3, also known as DCFC, can recharge an electric auto in about 30 minutes.
“The level 3 units will be necessary along interstate routes to satisfy the need of interstate travelers,” said Fruth. “As the state becomes more saturated with charging units, driver anxiety will decrease, and the use of EV will increase.”
With the convenience comes cost. Fruth estimates operating a Level 3 system would cost $25,000-$30,000.
NineStar connect says there are 163 charging stations in Indiana. As a growing number of automakers invest in electric vehicle technology, the demand for charging stations will continue to grow as well.
“I am hopeful that IDEM (Indiana Department of Environmental Management) will soon make grants available to encourage more charging units in strategic locations throughout the state, and along interstate routes,” Fruth said.