By JAKE BERG
Published October 14, 2020
Snohomish to install Electric Vehicle chargers on First Street west of Avenue D
SNOHOMISH — The City Council last week approved constructing an electric vehicle charging station in Snohomish.
The council voted 4-2. Councilmen Steve Dana and Larry Countryman voted no because of the cost to build a station such as this as well as the location.
The charging station will be located on First Street, west of Avenue D near the old Iron Works building. Countryman said he’d rather see the chargers placed at the Carnegie Building.
The project is expected to cost roughly $72,000 and will include two vehicle charging modules from SemaConnect that are capable of charging four vehicles at once.
While the Mayor and majority of the council were on board with the project, two council members were not convinced that the need for electric vehicle charging stations warranted the cost.
Dana felt $72,000 was a lot of money and had concerns regarding the amount of time it will take the city to break even on the project.
Charging stations in surrounding areas charge up-to $2 per hour of charging, it was recommended that Snohomish charge $1.50 per hour to cover the cost of power as well as SemaConnect’s annual fee of $960.
At that rate, only 20 hours each week of charging would make up 73% of yearly SemaConnect fees over the course of a year.
Councilman Tom Merrill stated he, too, finds it hard to “pencil out the numbers” but shared a story with the council about a conversation he had in recent years, stating that people who drive electric vehicles have stopped coming to Snohomish because there is nowhere to charge their vehicles.
For those people, Snohomish is no longer a destination city for them, Merrill said.
Other council members agreed that the charging station will bring in business.
The closest charging stations to downtown are outside the city at Willis Tucker Park or at the Target in Lake Stevens.
The point was made that electric vehicles do not perform well in the winter and it was asked how that could negatively affect the revenue from the stations. When the batteries in electric vehicles are cold, the battery does not hold a charge as long.
Mayor John Kartak said his friends who own electric vehicles fully intend on driving them even in colder weather because of the money they spent on the car.
Kartak added that he doesn’t see that as a negative but rather a positive because people are going to charge their vehicle more.
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