Venice Charging Stations Remain Unplugged

[I]The Herald-Tribune[/I] reported on April 15, 2012 that in Venice, Florida two recently installed electric vehicle charging stations remain unplugged while authorities figure out what and how to charge users.

Unlike the nearby city of Sarasota, which allows free use of the charging stations that have been installed in its downtown municipal parking garage, Venice plans to charge those who use the new charging stations for their electrical “fill ups”.

City Engineer Kathleen Weeden indicated that the city of Venice is still trying to negotiate the best price it can get for the electricity the chargers will use. Florida Power and Light confirms that the City will be charged for the electricity used by the charging stations

Meanwhile, the chargers remain covered with plastic bags, and the four green-lined parking spaces designated for electric vehicle charging use are being used by regular car drivers.

A tentative agreement has been reached to charge about $1.50 per hour of charging, but a problem still exists in the mechanics of the billing process.

The chargers were bought with a $16,000 grant, but they had to be installed by March 30th – before the City had time to work out how to bill electric vehicle drivers. Weeden estimates that it could be a few more weeks before the particulars are worked out and the chargers are unveiled.

Venice intends to add even more charging stations in the future, so officials are giving careful consideration to all billing options to be sure the problem is solved by the time the new installations take place.

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