The city of Lakewood is adding some electricity to its commitment to green energy with the first car charging station at City Hall.
The charger is the first to open at a city facility, 480 S. Allison Parkway, and is currently free for a limited test period. The station is on the upper parking deck for City Hall along the west side of the Lakewood Cultural Center.
“We just have the one station so far, but we’d really like to invest in more, depending on how much use this one gets,” said sustainability division manager Erich Harris. “We haven’t had lot of people using it yet, but as word is spreading, we’re getting more.”
The station came to the city courtesy of ChargePoint, a company that creates electronic vehicle charging stations. ChargePoint is represented by National Car Charging, which sells electric car equipment.
Lakewood received the charging station through a program that National Car Charging was offering that allowed municipalities and nonprofits with more than 80 employees to get a free station.
“We’re working on the cusp of this new industry, and really seeing it expanding,” said Jim Burness, CEO of National Car Charging. “We’re seeing more and more electric cars are being sold in Colorado.”
Burness said that 80 percent of car charging happens at home, and the rest at locations such as workplaces and destinations, like Lakewood City Hall.
Harris said this first station is representative of a larger effort by the city to support the use of electric vehicles. About a year ago the city became part of the Project Fostering Electric Vehicle Expansion in the Rockies (FEVER), which focuses on the metro area and finding the best way to expand the use of electric cars.
“There are a number of other grants for chargers that we’re going to be looking into to possibly get some more,” Harris said. “At Lakewood we’re really trying to take the lead as the government in this area.”
Once the charger switches to payment, a meter will notify users who have key card access that a fee will be charged.
According to Harris, most cars can be fully charged within four to five hours, with a range of about 40 to 75 miles. He also said that batteries for electric vehicles take a charge from around 10 to 12 Kilowatt hours.
For more information about the sustainability work Lakewood is doing, visit www.lakewood.org/sustainability.