Before Signing Off On EV Charging Stations, the Council Breaks Down Cost of Plugging In

Categories: City Hall
ecotality_charging.jpg
On Monday the council's Transportation and Environment Committee took up the subject of setting up electric vehicle charging stations at several city facilities, including City Hall and the downtown central library. For the most part the committee was on board with the initiative, which includes putting three electric trucks in the city's garage, but there was some skepticism concerning San Francisco-based ECOtality's offer to install those stations at Love Field, Dallas Executive Airport and Fair Park. Some council members wondered: How much will it cost the city to charge drivers' electric rides? Because, far as they were concerned, that was like giving away gas.

Some on the council were under the impression it could run as high as $40,000. But moments ago, Errick Thompson, director of Equipment and Building Services, told the council he went back and did the math, looking at 170 stations in use across the country, and after he put pencil to paper he'd come up with a cost of ... $1,400. And only $400 will come out of the general fund, since Aviation will pick up the tab for the airport charging stations. Said Mark Duebner, director of Aviation, the Love Field parking garage is a "revenue generator," so having the stations installed there "gives us an additional amenity that might draw folks to the airport."

Ann Margolin was initially skeptical of Thompson's math: "It was shown the cost of the electricity would be $43,000, and now we're showing it's $400?" Her tone suggested she wasn't going to sign off on the offer.

Margolin asked: "What is the cost of filling a car with electricity. I just can't imagine how the cost is this low." Thompson told her "actual usage" is somewhere around "less than $2" per car.

Sandy Greyson wondered: "How long does it take to charge up an electric vehicle .. an average amount of time?" Thompson told her, oh, about four, eight hours if you're driving a Leaf or a Volt.  "I am just curious, taking that length of time," said Greyson, "what are people doing while their car is charging up?" Thompson reminded her: Drivers probably wouldn't be pulling for a full charge. And, besides, "This is a quicker charging station than you might have at your home." She remained wary: "It doesn't seem to equate to me. That number doesn't add up to me."

But Mayor Mike spoke up, his request hinting at how the vote would go: "It'd be great if in the first three months you can come back and say, 'This is what we think it's costing us.'" And with that the vote was taken, all in favor.

After that there was yet another impromptu -- and very lengthy -- discussion about who in this city gets flooded and why. I'll let Schutze handle that one.
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18 comments
tyre machines
tyre machines

Well he should know about legal parking.He could be sued bigtime for it.

RTGolden
RTGolden

-- usually a $1,200 purchase with a $500 to $600 installation fee -- Utility services will mostly revolve around ensuring that home charging occurs at night. Ecotality will receive fees for managing and timing home charging. Programs -- such as giving consumers large discounts (3 cents per kilowatt hour) if they comply with managed charging programs -- might get funneled through car charging service networks.

The above are from http://www.greentechmedia.com/...  an article using a lot of input from the aforementioned ECOtality.  It looks like, for the cost of roughly 4-500 gallons of gas, one can get the home charger bought and installed.  From what I can gather their plan is subscription based, however, like cell phones, and the charging station can be delivered and installed 'free' with extended term contracts.

One good question is the highway maintenance tax replacement.  The current revenue stream for highway maintenance comes predominantly from gasoline taxes.  As electric vehicles become more and more prevalent, one can assume the revenue from gas taxes will decrease.  Roads, bridges and interstates will still need to be maintained however, and I'm guessing one of the new revenue streams will involve some sort of additional surcharge in your electric bill, whether you have an EV or not. (Like the 911 charge on a cell phone bill).  It's an interesting development in technology, i'm sure it will be interesting watching it play out.

The Credible Hulk
The Credible Hulk

What is the cost of filling a car with electricity?!?!?!?

*repeatedly bangs head on desk*

Herewegoagain
Herewegoagain

At Love Field people leave cars for days. How will that work? How do you know there will be a station available when you show up? Another dumb idea from the City of Dallas. 

Pecos_Drifter
Pecos_Drifter

Woo Hoo free recharge!!! Now if I can just come up with the $30,000 to buy the car I'm gold.....

GusMitchem
GusMitchem

The horseshit idea that electric cars are green Is the biggest scam going, it would be more efficient to just full the trunk with coal, cause that's what your burning! Add the loss to the resistance in the line and show me some numbers

Peter
Peter

$400 each or total?

MattL1
MattL1

Hey, if that's all it's gonna cost, might as well give it a whirl. What the hell, right?

Abj4
Abj4

The list of questions grows .....how many outlets at a station ?  If someone is plugged in for an 8 hour charge,  do the others get in line ?  Will there need to be some type security to control who and how this "free electricity" is dispensed ?  Or do we just ignore this as another kayaking project by our city leaders ?

Phelps
Phelps

It's simple math.  If people actually used it, it would be $40K.  Since no one is going to actually use it and it's just decoration, you can light the LEDs and screen for $1400.

Bitter
Bitter

Here are some things you CAN'T do while charging your car at Fair Park:Attend the Cotton Bowl Classic, see a concert at the Band Shell, go to the Women's Museum, ride the Top of Texas Centennial Tower, see a large collection of Centennial Fair memorabilia, and ride rides at Summer Place Park.

Anon
Anon

not sure how tacking a fee on everyone's electricity bill is the same as charging 911 fees to phone users. everyone who uses a phone has access to 911. everyone who uses electricity does not have an electric car. even if electric cars became the only legal means of driving, everyone using electricity would not drive a car. you'd still have bikers, walkers, etc

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

You have one of them fancy coal-powered computers too?

RTGolden
RTGolden

From what I can find on the web, ECOtality's game plan is to corner the charging network, i.e. sell it as a service, not as equipment.  Big manufacturers, like GE, will have economy of scale working for them on the equipment as an end product, and ecotality won't be able to compete.

They seem to be making an educated guess that the real market opportunity here is to be a provider network.  They will charge customers for the electricity used at public charging stations, and draw a fee from the utility companies for managing home charging stations.  The idea for home charging stations is to charge mainly at night, during low demand hours. 

RTGolden
RTGolden

A fair point.  I still think the utilities would find a way to sneak a charge on everyone's bill.

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