Vermillion has seen 17 charges on six different vehicles since opening a car charging station next to City Hall on Center Street in Vermillion on Aug. 15.
The city implemented the car charging station for electric cars over the summer as a part of the city’s goal to be more eco-friendly, James Purdy, assistant city manager said.
“What started the conversation is the people in the community came to the city and gave a presentation,” Purdy said. “They talked about what we can do to be more environmentally friendly … These stations are few and far between. This is an idea I pitched to the city council and they were super supportive of the idea.”
Purdy said the city, attempting to reduce its carbon footprint, is considering adding an electric car to its fleet, among other goals.
“Maybe cutting down on paper, trying to go paperless,” Purdy said. “Everything to getting an electric vehicle for our city fleet. The city is also looking at looking to bring solar power into the community.”
Vermillion added the car charging station without a solid goal or idea of how much use it would get. In just over two months, the station’s use has surpassed the city’s expectations.
“We weren’t really sure what to expect for demand,” Purdy said. “We weren’t sure what we were going to find, but our use has been more than we expected.”
Having a college campus in Vermillion influenced the decision. Purdy said a majority of the population in Vermillion works at or attends USD, so the city tried to communicate with them, specifically through social media.
Overall, the city has welcomed a positive reaction from the university with this move, Purdy said. There is a small charge associated with using the station, but it evens out the cost of electricity the city uses to charge the vehicle.
Electric stations are sparse in the midwest, Purdy said. If students with electric cars travel from far away to attend USD, the city wanted a mean for them to charge it.
“I knew we would have students coming here that would be driving electric cars in the future,” Purdy said, “but I didn’t expect it to be within the first month.”