Tarentum considering installing electric vehicle charging station
An electric vehicle charging station could be coming to Tarentum — and using it might be free.
Borough officials are considering installing one or more ChargePoint charging stations in the borough parking lot near J.G.’s Tarentum Station Grille.
A state reimbursement program would cover most of the installation cost, borough Manager Michael Nestico said.
The rebate, from the state Department of Environmental Protection, would pay $5,000 per plug or $10,000 for a single station that has two plugs.
Council could vote to apply for the rebate when it meets Thursday.
For a station with two plugs, the cost to the borough after the rebate would be between $3,000 and $4,000, Nestico said.
The catch is that the rebate program expires at the end of the year, and there’s no guarantee it will be continued in 2020, he said.
Nestico said the borough, which operates its own electric utility, can decide if it wants people to pay to use the charging stations or if they’d be free to use. The cost to the borough would be minimal to almost negligible, he said.
The stations could also be set to be free during certain hours and at a cost during other hours to discourage people from leaving vehicles at the station overnight.
That could help attract people to the borough and put them within a short walk of borough restaurants and other businesses that they could patronize while their vehicles are charging, Nestico said.
A lot of places with charging stations do not charge drivers to use them, knowing the cost is offset from the benefit of bringing people to their area, Nestico said.
Those driving electric vehicles would be able to find the stations on a smartphone application.
There are currently no other charging stations in the immediate area of Tarentum, Nestico said.
According to the ChargePoint map, the nearest charging station is at the Dunkin’ Donuts on Freeport Road in Harmar.
Brian C. Rittmeyer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Brian at 724-226-4701, [email protected] or via Twitter .