Now in charge: Norway has new station for electric vehicles
NORWAY — Electric vehicle owners now can charge their batteries in downtown Norway.
The single-vehicle charging station opened Jan. 4 at the corner of Main Street and Sixth Avenue.
A ChargePoint Express 250, the station’s internal power converter, changes alternating current from the city’s power grid into direct current rather than relying on an electric vehicle’s on-board converter.
Vehicles can reach full charge in 23 minutes on average, Norway City Manager Ray Anderson said.
Anderson and the Michigan Municipal Electric Association advocated for the station when the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy announced the Charge Up Michigan Program, a project aimed at building fast-charging stations throughout the state. Their work earned a grant for 33% of the $77,300 project.
The Norway Department of Power and Light covered another 33% of the total, Anderson said. While the city would have been responsible for the remaining amount, that was paid by the Downtown Development Authority.
“It’s their district,” Anderson said, “They jumped on and championed it right off the bat.”
Construction began in September and finished in December.
Drivers can charge their vehicles at a cost of about 31 cents per kilowatt-hour during peak hours and about 25 cents per kWh off peak, plus a $2.20 connection fee per visit. Users pay through the ChargePoint mobile application rather than by cash or credit card.
“I’ve been pleasantly amazed at how excited everyone has been” about the station, Anderson said.
“A lot of people that are driving EV are environmentally conscious,” Norway Department of Power and Light Foreman Scott Hegy said. “With the (Sturgeon Falls Hydroelectric Facility), they’re basically tapping into green energy every time they charge their vehicle.”
“It’s a nice fit,” Anderson said, adding the station also would bring highway drivers downtown, within walking distance of Norway Pharmacy, Pat’s Grocery Store, and nearby restaurants. “We expect it’ll get its good share of use. If we see it pick up when we get the statistics on it, we’ll put a second one in. We’ve got room.”