Hope installs electric vehicle charging stations

HOPE – Hope has become one of the first small communities in Indiana to provide electric vehicle (EV) charging stations.

“The EV stations are up and running now,” town manager Jason Eckart said.

The effort to obtain the two charging ports began a year ago after Hope town council members learned of a federal mandate that will require 80% of new vehicles sold in the U.S. to be electric 10 years from now, Eckart said.

Another incentive was provided by council member Clyde Compton, who quoted an article claiming that any community that doesn’t get EV chargers immediately is going to lose out on economic development.

Last August, then-town manager Frank Owens told the council in Hope that he had researched different types of EV charging stations. Clipper Creek is the 2nd largest charging station manufacturer outside of Tesla, Owens said.

During that meeting, Owens presented a quote from Clipper Creek for a dual pedestal extension kit in the amount of $4,476, plus $180 shipping cost. The package includes a ChargeGuard EX, which will allow a charging option in the future if decided upon.

While the stations come with a five-year warranty, the former town manager said the dual EV is a low-cost unit compared to others. Owens had two electricians look at the electrical box on the town square to confirm the six amps required for the chargers will be available.

The total cost of the EV project, which includes concrete and installation, was $5,756.

While council member Ohmer Miller suggested some businesses should share in the cost, fellow councilman Ed Johnson said that if a card reader were placed on the machine, the EV charging stations should be able to support themselves.

However, at last check, it was agreed that the use of the chargers will be temporarily free. But if the EV units become popular, the town will likely start charging for their use.